News Young people change young people’s lives at Bradford Forster Academy

In another first, Bradford Forster Academy (BFA) is pioneering a scheme to engage their pupils in changing the lives of young people in Tanzania.

Each year group at the Church of England academy is paired with a young person in Tanzania through the Christian child sponsorship agency, Compassion

Compassion connects individuals and groups with an individual young person in a less developed country. Once a Compassion child is sponsored, they are given access to health care, education, regular meals and health checks. Through Compassion, letters, cards and gifts can be sent to the sponsored child making a real connection between the very different experiences of the sponsors and the sponsored child.

The scheme was launched with a Compassion ‘graduate’, Eliezer Haguma, who only survived the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s thanks to being sponsored through Compassion, visiting BFA to keep pupils spellbound as he led assemblies for the whole school and told his very personal story. Eliezer explained to the BFA pupils how the letters and cards he received from his sponsors brought life and hope to his very dark situation.

The scheme leader, Rev Stuart Gregg (BFA’s Chaplain), commented “It’s a win-win. Our young people get connected to the real life of another young person and find out what it’s like to live without any of the things we can so easily take for granted. The generosity and hard work of our pupils means another young person’s life is transformed. Each form is given a week of the school year to raise funds to sponsor their year’s child. Pupils plan and run the fundraising activities with the help of the willing and supportive BFA staff. Pupils have run an ice pop stall, paid to throw wet sponges at staff and fellow pupils, collected loose change and taken penalty shoots at Bradford City’s mascot, Billy Bantam. One pupil even offered to stay silent for a whole day, if sponsored by staff!”

BFA’s Principal, Wendy Adeniji stated “We are so proud of our amazing pupils and delighted to not only further their awareness of global issues of poverty and injustice but to give them a way to make a real difference.”

(Pictured: Declan, Charles, Rachel and Emily-Jo show their respective year’s Compassion children)

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