by Amy Stokely
During March 2011 the first anti-government protests started to happen in Syria. These started out peacefully but quickly escalated into something much more violent and dangerous. Now, over four years after the civil war started, more than 220,000 people have died as a result and it is believed that half of those are innocent civilians. The Syrians are now the largest refugee population in the world and, at the rate in which they are fleeing, there could be more than 4.27 million refugees by the end of 2015. This will become the worst mass exodus since the Rwandan genocide 21 years ago.
Over the last five months, thousands of refugees have crossed European borders illegally in a desperate attempt to find a better life; many of these refugees have been slowly relocated to camps around Europe and some of these will be at or transferred to camps in Northern France. In Calais a permanent refugee camp has been established and this is where our donations of food and hygiene items are going.
A PGS parent - Helen Wilson - has organised for our boxes to be transported to Calais. These boxes are full of items which will help these families have some semblance of normality. The response which you - the pupils - have given is astounding, in just two weeks we have managed to fill an entire marquee full of items which can help these people.
Along with those boxes, we also collected an amazing total of £1,250 through monetary donations and tickets for the charity showcase concert. This money is going directly to the charity Save the Children which is appropriate for our school as over 50% of all the Syrian refugees are children under the age of 18.
I am so proud of what our school has achieved and would like to thank all of those who were involved in making this happen, who took part in the concert and who brought in their donations.
Click here to see a video about the PGS fundraising effort published by the Portsmouth Daily News.