Vanuatu pen-pal bid teaches compassion

Broad Bay School principal Greg MacLeod with pupils (from left) Andie McGouther (5), Anika...
Broad Bay School principal Greg MacLeod with pupils (from left) Andie McGouther (5), Anika Biggins (5), Jake Collins (10), Owen Bettis (9), Daniel Higgins (7) and Remy Perrow (7). PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
Broad Bay School pupils hope to become pen pals with Vanuatuan children affected by Cyclone Pam after sending them boxes of toys, books, letters and stationery.

School principal Greg MacLeod said the idea was to teach children to connect with the wider world in a compassionate way.

''We are a small school with a big heart.''

Twenty decorated boxes had been created by pupils, with their own photos, letters, crayons, books and more packed into them.

''We want to establish that personal connection. Hopefully, the children who receive these boxes will write back and we can get a pen-pal thing going.''

The project is in conjunction with Blue Coconut, a Pacific coconut oil company, and members of the University of Otago alumni.

The boxes were delivered to the university yesterday afternoon and will be sent to Blue Coconut in Christchurch and then on to Vanuatu.

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