Weston women fill hundred of backpacks to for schoolchildren living in poverty

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 February 2018

The Soroptimists with some of the backpacks.

The Soroptimists with some of the backpacks.


A Weston-super-Mare women's group has filled 500 backpacks which will help some of the world's poorest children.

The Weston branch of Soroptimist International supports Mary’s Meals, which provides food to more than 1.2 million schoolchildren in 15 countries.

The Soroptimists filled backpacks with notebooks, pens and school clothes which will help children access education.

Ronnie Murdin, who leads the Weston collection, said: “It is so uplifting seeing pictures of children receiving the backpacks – they have sheer joy on their faces from receiving something basic they have never had before, such as a pencil or tennis ball.”

The group has sourced items in creative ways, including buying backpacks at car boot sales, and making skirts out of old shirts.

Joe Black, education officer at Mary’s Meals, said: “We are very grateful to the Soroptimists of Weston for their amazing support.

“Most of the children who benefit from Mary’s Meals and the Backpack Project have suffered war, poverty, famine, or natural disaster. They don’t have simple things like pencils and copy books, or even suitable clothes to wear to school, which means they can miss out on an education.

“A simple backpack filled with basic educational items, together with Mary’s Meals, can help solve this problem, and allow these children to make the most of their education which provides an escape route from poverty.”

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