A COLAC district boy will use a family overseas trip to improve school life for Fijian children.
Stonyford’s Indi Lammin-Turley, 11, leaves tomorrow for a week in Fiji with his mothers Holly Kercheval and Kristen Turley, and brother Jarahkai Turley-Kercheval, 2.
Indi will pack 1761 pencils, 210 crayons, 11 exercise books, 10 erasers, 12 sharpeners and 13 sticker sheets in his bags to take to disadvantaged children at a school on the outskirts of Nadi, the third-largest town in Fiji.
“It’s to give them a better education because if they have more pencils, they have more of a chance in life,” Indi said.
Home-schooled Indi started collecting school supplies two months ago while preparing for his trip.
He recalled his mothers’ tales of a previous trip to Fiji and the impoverished situation of Fijian schools stood out.
“We told him when he was six, we told him about some families we had met who had small houses and different lifestyles, and some children had only one pencil to share in the class,” Ms Turley said.
She said Indi came up with the idea to collect pencil donations from his community.
“He didn’t want textas or pens because they have a plastic casing and he didn’t think Fiji would have the infrastructure to recycle them; he only wanted pencils that can be worn down and you can throw the remnants in the fire,” Ms Turley said.
“He attends Camperdown College for keyboard and science once a week and decided to put a message in the school newsletter to explain what he was doing,” she said.
Ms Turley said Indi’s message on the Geelong home education network’s Facebook page also prompted school stationery donations.
“Indi was very overwhelmed by the support and he is looking forward to delivering the pencils,” Ms Turley said.
“He is planning to spend some time in the classroom and getting to know the children there, and hopefully make a few penpals out of the experience,” she said.