First for Somerset charity as ‘School in a Bag’ reaches South America

The ‘School in a Bag’ charity initiative is celebrating a significant landmark as its first delivery of SchoolBags has reached South America. The 32 SchoolBags were delivered to street children living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in a ‘first’ for the Somerset-based initiative that delivers rucksacks full of stationery, learning resources and eating utensils to poor, vulnerable and disaster affected children around the world.

SchoolBags-reach-South-AmericaSchool in a Bag, which is run by the Piers Simon Appeal, collaborated with the Bristol based charity Flamingo Foundation to achieve this breakthrough into South America. During a recent trip to Rio, the Flamingo Foundation delivered the SchoolBags to street children who stay at CIACAC, a house located in a slum called Parada de Lucas in the northern most part of Rio de Janeiro.

Over a million people who call Rio home live below the poverty line, whilst one in five resides in a favela, or slum. These communities are infamous for powerful drug lords and brutal gang warfare.

The CIACAC was set up by a disenchanted mother to show the local children that there is an alternative, a different way of living. Around 900 young people have been through the project’s doors since it began 10 years ago.

The Flamingo Foundation will be working with the CIACAC providing extra tuition to the young people at the project. According to founder Katherine Sparks, the SchoolBags have been instrumental in the launch of this project as the contents give the children everything they need for school.

Katherine said, “It was an incredible trip – and the kids loved the SchoolBags! These children never get anything of their own so they were absolutely over the moon. The kids’ faces literally lit up when they received them. It was so lovely to see.”

Luke Simon, Charity Liaison Officer for the Piers Simon Appeal and School in a Bag, says, “We are absolutely delighted that, through the Flamingo Foundation, we were able to give SchoolBags to the street children of CIACAC. The consignment to Brazil is now the twelfth country where we have handed out SchoolBags to underprivileged children, bringing our total distribution so far to 37,425.”

School in a Bag is now in discussion with Flamingo Foundation about the possibility of providing SchoolBags for more of the children their work supports.

The Piers Simon Appeal is a disaster relief charity that delivers aid worldwide through donations and via the School in a Bag initiative, which has helped over 37,000 vulnerable children across the globe. Its forthcoming Home Farm Fest music festival is the charity’s largest fundraising event of the year and the money raised will help the charity continue its life-changing work around the world.



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