As part our topic work on Africa, in June 2015 Year 5 and 6 had a visit from a charity which makes cardboard furniture. Our visitor, Mike, explained the difficulties there are in some parts of Africa in providing basic items to assist children with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects movement and co-ordination. The charity makes chairs from cardboard for children so that they can sit up in a comfortable position to eat and to play, and also to learn. In most cases the children supported by this charity, Cerbral Palsy Africa, would not be able to have access to to even something as basic as a chair; they come from very poor communities and the medical expertise which we might take for granted here in Potters Bar is often not available.
Our visitor showed us lots of information about the work of the charity and explained how he had been to Kenya to help local people to learn the skills to build cardboard furniture themselves. He showed us some chairs and we helped to add strength to them using glues and newspapers. When they were finished the chairs needed to be decorated. Nice bright colours make an attractive finish, so a group Year 6 and a group of Year 5 children created designs they thought would be suitable. The chairs are often referred to as Chicken Chairs, can you guess why from the pictures?
After they were finished the chairs were labelled and sent with charity workers to Kenya. Here they were delivered to children with cerbral palsy, who immediately began to use them. We hope to hear from the families of these children in the future to increase our knowledge about their lives.
Many thanks to Mike and his colleagues at CPA for helping us to see charity in action.