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Over 580 current and former Senior and Prep School pupils and families walked 35 kilometres yesterday, raising thousands of pounds to support our partnership community in Kawama, Zambia. The money will be used to build a bakery franchise, creating employment opportunities and skills training for local people when they leave education.  Cranleigh already supports a primary school in Kawama, via the national charity Beyond Ourselves, and has a long-term commitment to provide quality education for its pupils. Pupils, staff and parents at Cranleigh sponsor children at the school, where young pupils receive a meal, basic medical care and uniforms along with their studies.

This year’s walk was especially designed to help the community to build a bakery franchise project, creating employment for the community and allowing a number of families to have a sustainable income. Kawama currently has a high rate of unemployment so it’s vital that social enterprises also help beyond school, in a sustainable way.

Headmaster, Mr Martin Reader, said: “We are wholly committed to our partner community in Kawama and this walk sends a very important message. As a family we are giving up our family day for our other family. It’s too easy for people to put £20 in an envelope and events like this, where our schools draw together, tells them that we genuinely care.”

The sponsored walk, organised and managed with expert military precision by Head of Outdoor Education, Dr Simon Young, followed a circular route from the School via Peaslake, St Martha’s and Chinthurst. Walkers ranged in age from seven to 84 years.

“No amount of planning can prepare for great British weather; happily we were blessed with the perfect day for a long walk in the Surrey Hills. Seeing so many families walking together for our partner community made all the months of planning worthwhile,” said Dr Young.

Mr Reader added: “We aim to raise £25,000 for the bakery project over the course of the next academic year. The walk has given us a great start and donations are still coming in all the time. Beyond Ourselves is a fantastic charity that does great work with developing sustainable communities in Zambia. It’s very important in a community like ours that we teach our pupils to think beyond themselves.”

Anyone who wishes to support the fundraising can do so via: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CranleighWalk                                                                   

For more information on Cranleigh and Kawama Community School visit: http://www.cranleigh.org

For more information on Beyond Ourselves visit: http://www.beyondourselves.co.uk/