Children benefit from conference

editorial image

A charity for vulnerable orphans in South Africa recently received a surprise donation of schoolbags from a Stonehaven academic.

In August 2011, Professor Linda Lawton from Stonehaven, based at Robert Gordon University’s Institute for Innovation, Design & Sustainability Research (IDEAS), hosted the Ninth International Water Association Symposium which brought together international experts in the safety of drinking water and the aquatic environment.

Following the conference, which focused on sustainability and the environment, the team at IDEAS had surplus conference rucksacks left over and decided to donate them to an appropriate charity.

Professor Lawton explains why they chose the charity. She said: “My parents visit family in the South African town of Clarens every year and had heard about a charity that supports vulnerable children and orphans and we thought the rucksacks would make great schoolbags.”

‘Bana ba Hlokang’ (Children in Need) is an initiative of a network of churches in Clarens which cares for needy children. The charity’s main aims are to ensure that no child in the community goes hungry and to encourage hope, dignity and a sense of belonging to families in the area.

The scheme relies on weekly donations from people in the community, tourists, business and churches which provides milk, bread, fruit and other materials to local children.