Text Book Aid
01 January 1988

Maggie Kirk, Pippa Faunce and Caroline Hewitt have now left their schools in Birmingham and the south of England.

Due to the persistence of three British schoolgirls, resource-starved Soweto schools have just received 18 tea chests filled with badly needed text books.
Maggie Kirk, Pippa Faunce and Caroline Hewitt have now left their schools in Birmingham and the south of England. While still sixth formers, all three attended Moral Re-Armament international study weeks for young people where they met South Africans.

`I already had an interest in South Africa,' says Maggie, `but during this week the situation became real for me. I left wanting to do something, however small, to help.'

Her first move was to invite one of the black South African students she had met to speak to her sixth form at Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham. `The talk was a massive success. Everyone wanted to know what we could do to help in a constructive way.' Her South African guest had a suggestion. `He first outlined to us the crisis facing black education. Then he said that if we could collect together any unwanted text books and send them out to the black schools, it would bring an immediate and direct benefit.'

The same thought occurred to Pippa and Caroline as they returned to their school, Christ's Hospital in Sussex, after the study week. They approached the headmaster. `After consultation with staff, he gave us permission to send the school's surplus text books to South Africa,' says Pippa. `But he added that it was up to us to arrange it - and raise the money.'

This they did by holding a sale of second-hand books on behalf of a dealer in the town - with profits going to the shipping fund. When the three tea chests they had filled were handed over to the shipping company in London, with the specially reduced shipping costs and van hire all paid, £2 remained in the fund. `This was the exact amount I had promised to repay a friend for the phone calls I had made from her home while the books were being collected,' says Pippa.

Meanwhile Maggie Kirk was discovering that there was no shortage of surplus text books in her Birmingham school. `It was almost embarrassing to see the number of good quality books waiting to be thrown out,' she says. She is grateful for the whole-hearted backing given by her teachers.
Money raised for charity by her sixth form paid the shipping costs for Maggie's 15 tea chests. Invaluable help was given on the transportation of both loads by an enthusiastic Birmingham shipping agent.
The girls say that the project has increased their faith that God can show them what to do.

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