Students and staff make warm gesture

Published: 9 June 2014 at 10:00

Anglia Ruskin hoodies to be sent out across the globe as part of missions

About 850 sports hoodies will be donated to people in Europe and Africa facing hardship thanks to links built up by students and staff at Anglia Ruskin University.

The International Community Experience team at Anglia Ruskin runs missions across two continents in order for staff and students to take part in projects which help provide much-needed support for local people as well as enrich their own personal development.

As part of the ongoing links forged by these projects, staff within Anglia Ruskin’s Sport and Active Anglia team this week sent about 500 hoodies to Serbia, 200 to orphanages in Ukraine, 100 to Botswana and 50 to Kenya. As well as supplying an item of clothing for people who have very little, it is hoped these small gifts will provide a sense of solidarity with the recipients, many of whom face unimaginable hardship.  

Next week, a group from Anglia Ruskin are taking part in Mission Ukraine, visiting the Cherniv Medical Centre, or Revival as it is better known, thanks to links forged through Aid UK. The centre carries out complex medical and social rehabilitation for children with problems of the central nervous system, learning difficulties and other conditions that lead to social exclusion.

Revival also supports people in their own homes, and Mission Ukraine will see Anglia Ruskin’s team help decorate and carry out repairs for people who do not have the money or the physical ability to improve their living environment themselves.

Mission Botswana works at the Resource Centre for the Blind in the small town of Mochudi. Working in conjunction with Rotary, Anglia Ruskin staff and students have been involved in constructing a vegetable garden to help teach children how to grow their own food, developing sensory education aids and helping plan a new, purpose-built centre on a new site. Hoodies will be given to some of the children, aged between three and 16, that attend the centre.

In January, Mission Maasai sent students and staff to the poverty-stricken Rift Valley to help refurbish a primary school for the Namuncha community. The school had been short of desks, and concrete floors were badly in need of resurfacing. The project has also been involved in setting up a secondary school, and hoodies have been sent out for some of its students.

Hoodies are also being sent out to Serbia following a request by a student, who approached Anglia Ruskin to see if anything could be done to help victims of the catastrophic flooding that has recently taken place in the country.  The garments will be sent to the Serbian Embassy, who will redistribute them to those deemed most in need.

University Chaplain, Tony Cant, said:

“It is great that Anglia Ruskin is able to quickly respond to vulnerable people in need at this time, particularly in poorer communities overseas.
“The projects we are working with enable a mutual enriching of relationships between the institutions – but that really means human relationships. We know these people, they know and trust us, they value our friendship, as we do theirs. In working with them our students are enriched in the expansion of their world-views, they appreciate what we have in this country, and want to do what they can in practical ways to support their neighbours in other countries.
“Giving these hoodies is more than just giving ‘things’, it’s about saying we see their predicament, we can do something about it, and we are with them in solidarity together.”