Pupils headed off into the countryside on a 10km walk and raised more than £4,500 for QE’s long-running Indian charity appeal and for the Piano Fund.
Torrential downpours forced a last-minute change of route, but the walkers were not to be denied their day in the Dollis Valley and relished the chance to stretch their legs in support of the Sathya Sai (English Medium) School in Kerala, southern India.
Extra-curricular Enrichment Tutor Katrin Hood, who is in charge of the School’s charity work, said: “It was a joy to see the boys chatting and laughing with their friends as we walked through the beautiful countryside around our School. Our heartfelt thanks to go all of those who have so generously donated.
“Before heading out, the boys attended an assembly to learn more the fantastic Sai School and our long-standing link with it. It was fascinating to hear from past and current students, as well as teachers from the Sai School themselves via video,” said Ms Hood.
During the assembly, the boys watched a video from Old Elizabethan Major Charles Russell (1997–2004), who spoke about his experience of visiting the Sai School in 2004. He still sponsors a child there. He is one of number of former pupils and staff to have visited, including former Headmaster Dr John Marincowitz (1999–2011).
The Sai School has both boys and girls and caters for primary and secondary-age children. Over the two decades the appeal has been running, QE has funded improvements including the construction of a new building, various repairs and, recently, the provision of a computer room that enables pupils there to sit digitally-based examinations.
During the assembly, the boys learned first of the problems caused by flooding in 2018 attributed to global warming and then of the current desperate plight of the Sai School because of the deleterious effects of Covid-19 on the Indian economy. Parents in the struggling rural communities have been unable to pay the school fees and teachers are not being paid, they were told.
The walks were part of QE’s Enrichment Week and were held on separate days for the two year groups. The Piano Fund, which was also a beneficiary along with with the Sai School Appeal, was established to help equip the new QE Music School opening this autumn to the highest standards.
The event followed a two-day football tournament earlier this month for Years 7, 8, 9 and 12, which also raised funds for the Sai School Appeal.