SW student, gran travel to Bali with gifts for kids

Therese ColmanManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Dale Atkins, EMPS Indonesian teacher Francesca Knowles and Asha Peskett, 10, with gifts for underprivileged children in Indonesia.
Camera IconDale Atkins, EMPS Indonesian teacher Francesca Knowles and Asha Peskett, 10, with gifts for underprivileged children in Indonesia. Credit: Therese Colman / Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Ten-year-old East Manjimup Primary School student Asha Peskett and her grandmother Dale Atkins will travel to Indonesia today to deliver gifts and letters from the school.

Ms Atkins is a volunteer with Strong Angels, a charity based in Bunbury, that provides aid to underprivileged villages and schools in Bali and Lombok.

Together with Indonesian teacher Francesca Knowles, Year 6 and 7 students have donated toys, games, books and written notes to be taken over.

Ms Atkins and her granddaughter will visit three schools whose students are at risk of being forced into field work or moved to orphanages.

“Illness, blindness and poverty are some of the factors that cause difficulties in the village,” she said.

“If a family member becomes sick and is unable to work, the children often end up having to go to work, or are moved to an orphanage to be cared for.

“Strong Angels have a large network of people across the South West that volunteer, fundraise and regularly send money and care packs to these villages too.”

Dale Atkins, EMPS Indonesian teacher Francesca Knowles and Asha Peskett, 10, with gifts for underprivileged children in Indonesia.
Camera IconDale Atkins, EMPS Indonesian teacher Francesca Knowles and Asha Peskett, 10, with gifts for underprivileged children in Indonesia. Credit: Therese Colman / Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Ms Knowles said the students had been learning about Indonesian language and culture.

“Projects like these give EMPS students an insight into how others live,” she said.

“There’s lots of ways of living, and we teach the children that just because something is different to how we do it here, it doesn’t mean it’s better or worse.

“We encourage the students to be curious about cultural differences.”

Asha said she looked forward to meeting the children.

“I hope the kids feel more hope and happiness after they receive our gifts,” she said.

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