Hodder Education operates a voluntary leave scheme where staff can take two days away from the office to volunteer for a great cause. Gemma Aukett from our assessment marketing team has just returned from her long weekend volunteering at Glastonbury Festival. Here’s her experience:
Last weekend I joined the 100-strong recycling team supporting the Kiota charity at the festival. Kiota is an independent charity set up to raise project-specific funds for Kiota Women’s Health and Development (KIWOHEDE), a Tanzanian organisation working for the rights, health and development of women and children in Tanzania.
The charity funds a secondary school educating 160 students in four classes. All registered students are selected on the basis of need. They are from poor families, struggling single parent families, are orphaned or have very minimal family support. As well as providing secondary education, the school aims to prevent early marriage, unwanted pregnancy, child prostitution, dangerous child labour and gang involvement, and targets those most at risk of abuse and hazardous labour.
The donated wages of the Kiota recycling team at Glastonbury Festival will cover six months of their funding to provide: four full time teachers' salaries, two security guards, food, educational materials, water, electricity and welfare costs (including outreach, bus fares and medical costs).
At the festival, alarms sounded in tents at 5.30am as bleary-eyed volunteers made their way down to The Other Stage, presented each day with a field of litter to be recycled. Shifts started at 6am on Friday to Monday and whilst the rest of the festival slept (or made their way home from the night before) the recycling army made their way across the site sorting and recycling as much of the waste as possible. By the time the acts began on the main stages at midday, the whole site had to be litter free.
The lack of sleep, strong morning sun and constant back bending were a challenge, but we sang our way round the field and spirits were kept high as the team leader shared messages of thanks from the staff and children at the school. It was hard but satisfying work, and a pleasure to be part of such a fantastic team.
Working for an educational publishers, it meant a lot to be supported by the company to do voluntary work to help such a wonderful school. The children at KIWOHEDE Open School adore learning and cherish the safe and positive space they are able to gain their education in. You can find out more about the charity on the Kiota website.
If your school is interested in a partnership with Kiota, or would like to learn more about the KIWOHEDE Open School, you can contact Pippa Brown, Kiota trustee, and she'd be delighted to hear from you.