Selfless youngsters at Leicester school give up trip for Pakistan charity

    Friday, September 17, 2010
    This is Leicestershire


    Farhim Cassim, Aisha Daud, Leila Aziz, Huzaifa Yusuf, Adnan Masoor, Humaria Qadri and Muhammad Lafa, with Ebrahim Moosa and Mohammed Dadhiwala, of Ummah

    By Peter Warzynski

    Selfless children have donated their holiday fund to help flood victims in Pakistan.

    Youngsters at Uplands junior and infants schools, in Highfields, Leicester, abandoned plans to go to the seaside after learning of the devastation caused by floods in Pakistan.

    More than 1,000 pupils, some of whom have never been to the seaside, were due to visit Mablethorpe tomorrow after raising £3,200 for the trip.

    But after watching television footage of people losing their homes and livelihoods in Pakistan, the children gave up their holiday and sent the cash to Ummah Welfare Trust.

    Pupil Muhanned Lafa, 10, said: 'I was really looking forward to it, but as soon as this flood happened it changed my mind. I feel really sorry for them and I hope our money helps.'

    Aisha Daud, 10, said: 'It wasn't right for us to go when people are suffering because of the floods.

    'It makes me feel really sad because people are dying and their houses have been destroyed.'

    Huzaifa Yusuf, also 10, said: 'It makes me feel sad because they've got no water or food. I don't think it was right to go.'

    The youngsters would have been joined by their families, taking the total number of holiday-makers to more than 3,000.

    Maryann Davies, head teacher at Uplands Junior School, said: 'It was going to be massive – we were going to fill about 20 coaches.

    'It wasn't even my idea. I was having lunch with some of the children and they told me they shouldn't be going on holiday when all those people are suffering.

    'I'm really proud of them and I've told them that the trip is not cancelled, it's just postponed.'

    The school plans to make a trip to Mablethorpe next June.

    The money they have donated will go towards building shelters for thousands of homeless flood victims, as well as paying for medical supplies and food.

    *Leicester Mercury readers have given £10,000 to the Unicef aid effort in Pakistan since we joined forces with the charity just over a month ago.

    UWT Trustee Zakir Patel said: 'It's absolutely fantastic – the money will help a lot, but it's the thought behind it that I find amazing.

    'They've given up something which they were really looking forward to and given the money to people in a desperate situation. It's totally selfless.'

    UWT has distributed more than 2,000 tents and has set up nine camps in Pakistan.

    These provide cooked food, medical facilities, clean water and tents for about 5,000 flood victims every day.

    The charity does not take money for administration costs so every penny goes to help people in Pakistan.

    It has raised nearly £3 million so far.

    For more information about the charity, visit:

    www.uwt.org