Portsmouth school’s computer gift to help pupils 8,000 miles away

LINKS Members of the city's Zimbabwe Committee with Stamshaw headteacher Simon Cattermole and pupils Courtney Hinks, Jack Richardson, Shayna Morey, Hannah Kerridge and Joshua Stewart.
LINKS Members of the city's Zimbabwe Committee with Stamshaw headteacher Simon Cattermole and pupils Courtney Hinks, Jack Richardson, Shayna Morey, Hannah Kerridge and Joshua Stewart.

Primary school in Gosport celebrates one year since merger

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PUPILS at a Portsmouth school will be able to chat with friends far away after they raised enough cash to buy a computer and webcam for youngsters in Zimbabwe.

Children from Stamshaw Junior School, in Tipner Road, Tipner, have made friends with students in Nyameni Primary School, which is in the Zimbabwean town of Marondera.

The Nyameni school in Zimbabwe

The Nyameni school in Zimbabwe

And the school council decided to cement their friendship with the donation of the equipment, which means the pupils will be able to communicate with each other despite the 8,000 miles between them.

Simon Cattermole, headteacher, said: ‘We have linked with the school in Zimbabwe and have been working closely with the Portsmouth Zimbabwe Community Group.

‘Earlier this year we had raised £7,500 and the children went to see The Lion King at the West End.

‘With the money left over the student council decided they would buy a computer and webcam, plus books, pens and pencils for the school. In a school of 1,300 children, they only have access to two computers – and both are broken.

‘That’s why the pupils decided to buy a computer and then a webcam.’

The Portsmouth Zimbabwe Community Group has been working with Portsmouth City Council to help twin the city with Marondera – about 70km away from the capital city of Harare.

Chairman Jaison Matewu said: ‘This event is about building relationships and friendships between the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe – residents of Portsmouth and Marondera, and more importantly the pupils of Stamshaw and Nyameni.

‘The historical relationship between the two countries goes back more than two centuries.

‘Hence what is happening today is to revive and strengthen that relationship.

‘About 98 per cent of students in Zimbabwe will not have had access to a computer – that is why this gift is so special.

‘I am very happy and proud of the students in Stamshaw and the school has taken the first steps to build this relationship by giving this donation to Nyameni School.

‘They have opened a new line of communication which is unaffordable to most schools in Zimbabwe.’

The parcels have been posted to Zimbabwe along with 280 English language and literature textbooks donated by Miltoncross School.