The Great Rucksack Giveaway from DCSZ

Students at Dulwich College Suzhou have delivered more than four hundred rucksacks to a nearby migrant school. It was part of Operation Rucksack – a charitable programme run by students to help children who are less fortunate, through gift filled rucksacks. The project started in September 2013 as a House and Year Group competition in the Junior School, initiated and organised by Junior School teachers Sarah Smith and Emma Ventham. The chosen school was the Ming Xing School – for children of migrant workers in the Ping Juang area of downtown Suzhou. A group of Dulwich students visited the school and asked the pupils and teachers what they needed most. It was then decided by the group to put pencil cases full of stationary, colouring pencils, notebooks, a geometry set, a water bottle, a Chinese shuttlecock and a skipping rope in each rucksack.

In the end Dulwich College Suzhou gave away 439 rucksacks in total, each valued at 150RMB, making a total value of 65,850RMB. On Tuesday 25th February, the rucksacks were handed over to the school by 23 Junior School students. John Todd, Headmaster of Dulwich College Suzhou, said “This is a project that makes a real difference. Seeing the children's faces when they received their rucksacks was magical, a very valuable learning experience for our own students.”

Elli, DCSZ Head Girl, said: "A small gift can make such a big difference. The children lit up when they received the rucksack. We take things for granted." Michelle Cheng, ICT Teacher at The College, was the main contact with the Ming Xing School throughout the project and arranged the handover of the rucksacks. She said “Dulwich College Suzhou has been working to support Ming Xing School for a number of years, mainly in service projects like building maintenance and school fees. The school was chosen because it’s easily accessible to our Junior School students, so they could help first hand.” This programme was helped and sponsored by the Expat Association of Suzhou, Crowne Plaza and ACAMIS (The Association of China and Mongolia International Schools).