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Social Enterprise Helps Establish Wainui Beach School Fun

Press Release – Sunrise Foundation

What started as a chance meeting by Wainui Beach School (WBS) ex-Board of Trustees Chair Ailsa Cuthbert in Vietnam has led to the establishment of the WBS endowment fund at Sunrise. Ailsa, who travels to Vietnam regularly for work, met Hien Nguyen …

What started as a chance meeting by Wainui Beach School (WBS) ex-Board of Trustees Chair Ailsa Cuthbert in Vietnam has led to the establishment of the WBS endowment fund at Sunrise.

Ailsa, who travels to Vietnam regularly for work, met Hien Nguyen in a shop next to her office in Ho Chi Minh City. Hien not only sells bags but teaches other women how to make them, which they do mainly at home at night, as a second income when their children are asleep.

Ailsa says she popped in to look at the brightly coloured bags and ended up forming a friendship with Hien. Over time Ailsa has learnt about her life and family and was keen to support her work and the social enterprise initiative which helps women in impoverished circumstances by giving them a way earn extra money.

Having brought a back a few bags back to Gisborne for gifts it became clear there was a market for the them and close friend Dianne Renolds suggested they sell them as a fundraiser for WBS.

Ailsa says “schools always need to raise extra funds, and there’s only so many sausage sizzles fundraisers you can do! The bags were hugely successful, fit into the Gisborne lifestyle of the family trips to the beach, farmers market or bach. We sold 600 and used the money to seed the WBS fund at Sunrise.”

“The bags are very strong, last for years and are a useful way to get rid of single-use plastic, at the same time creating benefit in the community where they were made and now for WBS. I love the circularity of this project”.

Nolian Andrew, WBS principal, says “there is a perception that schools like WBS are well funded”.

“But the reality is, the higher decile the school is, the less government funding they receive. This means we rely on a lot of support from our community to raise the funds we need to run our school.”

“There is also a natural bias when applying for grants, we don’t appear to need funding as much as lower decile schools, but this is a not true.”

Government funding is calculated per child, and there is a huge difference, sometimes up to $700 or more, per child depending on which end of the decile scale a school sits. Extrapolated over a school’s population and that’s a significant difference in government funding.

Ailsa hopes the WBS community will support the new fund and help create change for the school in perpetuity.

“It is important the fund grows as it has the potential to offer opportunities for all children at WBS in the future”.

“Often whanau want to give back to WBS and suggest offering a trophy for year-end prizegiving. But there is only so much silver wear you can polish! A donation to the WBS Sunrise fund will keep on supporting the school forever, what could be better than that?.”

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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