School in a Bag is an initiative run by the UK registered charity the Piers Simon Appeal. The concept of School in a Bag was born in late 2009 following a collaboration project to send SchoolBags to orphan children in Swaziland, Africa.
The charity was set up by Luke Simon after losing his brother Piers to the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. Luke was teaching in Thailand and was on the island of Koh Phi Phi (it’s pronounced Pee Pee) when his brother had come to visit him for Christmas. On December 26th 2004, the brothers were having breakfast together when the wave hit, Luke survived but unfortunately Piers did not. Luke set up the charity in memory of his brother.
What they do
School in a Bag is a simple solution created to help poor, orphan, vulnerable and disaster affected children throughout the world. The charity provides filled rucksacks for these children so that they can get a better education.
Each SchoolBag contains stationery, learning resources and eating utensils that will enable a child to write, draw, colour, calculate, express themselves and above all learn. So far they have distributed over 74,000 rucksacks, providing education to children in disaster recovery areas and areas of poverty.
An education for these children could be their passport to a life out of hardship and poverty.
Why they do it
Globally, there are millions of underprivileged children deprived of the essential resources to help them learn due to poverty and disasters. According to UNICEF figures, 20% of the world’s child population will never attend school.
For these children, an opportunity to learn and gain an education could be their lifeline to a future out of poverty. On a world scale, educating the future generation is a key force towards human development and global stability.
In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, displaced children are often faced with trauma, grief and shock. Following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, many children were unable to talk about their experience, but could express their feelings in writing or by drawing. The contents of a SchoolBag can therefore play an important role in the emotional rehabilitation process for children following a disaster.
Many children who survive disasters in third world countries often end up living in Refugee or Internally Displaced Person camps. A key factor these children need is routine in the form of schooling. The contents of a SchoolBag are fundamentally important in this situation as they can help give these children the tools to learn, whilst also potentially assisting in the set-up of temporary schools to give these children a sense of normality.
What they want to do
School in a Bag recognises that the need to help the underprivileged and vulnerable is endless. The charity aims to be renowned on a national level whilst encouraging schools, clubs and other organisations to get involved. The ultimate goal is to have instant stock stored at its headquarters allowing them to send the bags to surviving children in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and to increase the funds raised so that more School Bags can be put together via the ‘In Country’ method whereby SchoolBags are sourced, packed and distributed by their international partners on the ground using money wired to them by School in a Bag.
How we feel
OfficeTeam is committed to fulfilling our Corporate and Social responsibilities. We are passionate about providing customers with excellent value without compromising our social and sustainable values. Our commitment to this is embedded into our everyday businesses activity though our values.
We are partnered with some exciting and important initiatives and, with the help of Area Sales Manager, Iain Johnson, School in a Bag is a charity we are passionate about. We supply all of the products (except the LunchBox) that go inside the bag, including stationery, which is vital for a child’s education. When possible, we also work hard to provide branded rucksacks for the initiative.
We are very proud to announce we recently made a donation of £1,989.80, which funds 99 SchoolBags which are going to the underprivileged in Greece (we know this because School in a Bag provides a handy little tool where you can track the bag you have funded).
We intend to continue to support School in a Bag, and with the help from you, help them achieve their goals and give the gift of education and hope to future children.