AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND (Auckland Stuff) - An enthusiastic sewing class is thinking outside the box and dreaming up its next project to help those living in extreme poverty half a world away.
Lynfield College's year 9 and 10 sewing class have been putting their talents to good use and sending handmade quilts to villages in Niger and Cambodia.
The most recent quilt, gifted to an African village in Niger, has been received by a drama group.
Soft materials technology teacher Claire Tagaloa asked her class to consider different countries and the students were able to spend time researching them.
"We looked at the flags and symbols for each of them."
Each student had to design a square for the quilt with a message of hope."
Ms Tagaloa says the sewing class also had a visit from World Vision where a representative spoke to them about the work the organisation carries out.
She says the class settled on Africa because of the extreme poverty there.
"We had to design it and find fabrics. We wanted to make something that could be educational or used by the whole community. It also needed to be lightweight so it was easy to transport. It's nice to be able to do something worthwhile and give back."
The second quilt, now complete, will be given to a community group in Cambodia when World Vision country manager Rob Vos next travels there.
Student Monique Pace says the prospect of sewing was a bit daunting at first.
"Now we don't even think about it. It's at the back of your head. We've gotten used to sewing."
She says the design stage is trickier than the sewing itself.
World Vision spokesman Dylan Quinnell says the organisation's 40 Hour Famine is coming up in May.
"We had a team visit Niger in West Africa, a focus country along with Mali, to see what the current situation with their serious food crisis is and to gather photos and video footage.
"They took with them a bit of New Zealand in the form of a great quilt made by year 9 and 10 sewing classes at Lynfield College. The teacher in charge has done it for a few years running and donated them to World Vision to give to a poorer community."
An estimated 13 million people are at risk of extreme hunger in Africa and this number is rising by the day – nine million in Niger, more than a million in Mali and more than two million in Mauritania, Chad and Senegal.
World Vision staff say food stocks are dwindling to dangerously low levels and some families have no food
James East, the organisation's communications director in humanitarian and emergency affairs, says the fathers and the mothers of children in these countries know what is coming.
"We have a short window of opportunity to prepare. We need to raise awareness and funds to be able to save lives."
Go to worldvision.org.nz if you'd like to donate.
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Updated 1822 days ago Article ID# 1522055