Since 2003, Ashton Park School have organised an annual expedition to build classrooms and provide educational materials and training in Kenya and Tanzania. The expedition ethos is based upon the values of team work, empathy and cooperation and students who take part learn a lot about themselves as well as the wider world they live in.
Plastic bags are now banned in Kenya (www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-41069853), so as part of the 2017 expedition, and in collaboration with a Bristol based charity called Maji Safi Projects, Ashton Park textiles students made cloth tote bags to take and hand out to the children. The children were delighted with these bags as they have many uses for them, including using them as school bags or for storing their clothes in.
In 2017 the expedition took just 40 bags with them, but in 2018, we aim to make even more of a difference to children’s lives. If you can help, by making or donating a cloth bag, Ashton Park School would love to receive them.
The bag must:
- Be well made and strong
- Be suitable for a child to use, ideally unisex
- Be no bigger than 50cm x 40cm
Bags can be made from old sheets, duvet covers, or clothing. Or you can buy a bag from Hobbycraft for just 50p for decorating. Different techniques such as fabric paints, appliqué, embroidery, beading or tie-dying can be applied. The bag could have a game printed on it, such as snakes and ladders, with a pocket inside containing dice and counters. Alternatively, the bag could display the alphabet, or numbers for the younger children. Be as creative and imaginative as you like.
Bags need to be handed in to Ashton Park School by Friday 22 June 2018 as they will be taken to Kenya the following week.
For a ‘How to’ guide on sewing your own bag, please see the slide show here: