A student club at a local French school has made a large contribution to the building of schools in Ecuador.
École acadienne de Truro’s humanitarian group recently raised and donated $12,500 to the WE Charity (formally Feed the Children) to help build new schools and support the education system in Ecuador.
“It all started in 2013,” said Violette Drouin, a 17-year-old student of the ÉAT and co-founder of the humanitarian group.
“I brought the idea to the school because I heard of the WE movement. I wanted to work with them to build a school, but realized I couldn’t do it by myself. So, we started a group, did a bunch of fundraising and now here we are.”
The group of like-minded youth has spent the last four years holding fundraisers and events within their school and the community surrounding it, including hot chocolate sales, dances and after school activities for French students, all in an effort to reach the $10,000 needed to build a new school in Ecuador through the WE Charity.
“Working with WE was a pretty natural choice,” said Drouin.
“I had known about the organization for several years and I liked their initiatives. They started gaining a lot of momentum, so it just seemed like a good way to go. Their whole purpose isn’t necessarily to do charity work, but to help communities become self-sufficient, so its more of a sustainable development movement.”
During last year’s WE Day in November, the École acadienne de Truro came out on top against other French schools in the Maritimes and won an award for the best embodiment WE’s philosophy.
Alongside the $12,500 donation before Christmas, the group also made an earlier donation of $2,000, bringing the total raised to $14,500, but they aren’t stopping there.
“I think we will be sticking with this campaign,” said Jillian Lawrence, a grade 10 student and member of the club.
“Although its good we made the donation, and its great because $12,500 is a lot of money, it didn’t go towards our specific school pillar. The money was spread around generally, so there is still like $6,000 to raise to get to our $10,000 goal.”
Outside of fundraising, the group has also helped with community initiatives by supporting various food drives, holding a clothes drive for Syrian refugees and collecting used skates for the town’s rink.
Since returning to school from Christmas break, the group is planning and preparing fundraising ideas for the coming months, including another hot chocolate sale for students in the next few weeks.
“We couldn’t have done this without the whole school,” said Lily Frazer, another member of the group.
“Everything we did and all the money we raised was from our school through the fundraisers. The community around the school, such as the community centre and the parents, really helped.”