Patrice Dougan is the Herald's education reporter.

Schools dispatch goods to Fiji

Westlake Girls prefects (from left) Olivia Hall, Caterina Barton, Kate Stanton, Samantha Addison-Saipe and Emily Coyle, and teacher Pravina Ali. Photo / Nick Reed
Westlake Girls prefects (from left) Olivia Hall, Caterina Barton, Kate Stanton, Samantha Addison-Saipe and Emily Coyle, and teacher Pravina Ali. Photo / Nick Reed

Two Auckland schools are filling a shipping container with supplies to help their peers in Fiji.

Pupils from Westlake Girls and Westlake Boys High Schools have dug deep to raise money and donate essential items for Fijian schools after Tropical Cyclone Winston tore through the island nation.

Maths teacher Pravina Ali, who is from Fiji, organised the initiative with her father Gyanendra Deo, who helps to co-ordinate aid.

The idea had grown faster than she expected, Ms Ali said.

"The response from the [school] community was so huge I decided to bring in a 20ft container, and I went around looking at the whole of the Westlake community and the boys' school as well, and they were really keen to help out," she said.

They focused on school supplies and have so far collected thousands of textbooks, stationery items, calculators, diaries and clothes.

"Everyone has given so much."

Stationery companies Croxley Stationery, Staedtler, Beckett Books, and Paramount Merchandise had also contributed, she said.

The container will be in the school carpark until tomorrow, when it will be shipped to Rakiraki for schools in the Tavua to Rakiraki area, on the main island of Viti Levu.

Space has been left in the container for extra supplies, and Ms Ali invited locals to drop in with anything they wanted to donate, including larger items such as furniture.

"I would like to send as much as possible ... I'm desperately looking for more stuff, in terms of furniture, books or anything else. If the community wants to drop in they can all bring it, I just want to fill it up."

- NZ Herald

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