Cakes, leg waxing and a room full of pennies are just some of the elements local scouts are hoping will raise £1000 to bring Zambian teacher Mercy Sakala to St Andrews.
The 8th Fife (St Andrews) Explorer Scouts heard the story of Mercy, deputy head teacher at Kazemba Primary School, Zambia, and the work of Volunteer Zambia – a St Andrews University education project.
The project involves raising funds to help make improvements to the 300 strong school where the pupils’ ability to reach their potential is hampered by insufficient equipment and resources.
The University of St Andrews has worked with the people of Kazemba for five years now, and every summer a group of staff and students also live and work in the village for six weeks to help staff and for the first time St Andrews will become the host and welcome Mercy to Scotland.
The cost of the plane ticket is being met by the Explorer Scouts who have thrown themselves passionately into fundraising activities. ParkRun participants were the target on Saturday morning when the Scouts set up shop to sell cake and candy at Craigtoun Park, raising £200. Two enthusiastic and brave Scouts – Jack Parmar (17) and Craig Campbell (16) – will have their legs waxed in front of a large crowd on October 24 at 7.30pm at Beauty With Morna. Entry is £5 per person with all funds going towards efforts to bring Mercy to St Andrews.
“These Scouts found out about Volunteer Zambia and Mercy’s desire to visit St Andrews and since then have been a wall of enthusiasm since,” said Cat Wilson, deputy director and head of student development at the university’s Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development.
“We have also been supported by Lawhead Primary School who held a bake sale and pupils at Bell Baxter High School. “Mercy is absolutely passionate about education, and the opportunities that it brings for her students to better their lives and she says one of the things that make her proudest is when pupils from Kazemba progress to high school. She is very keen to visit Scotland and is busy applying for a tourist visa.”
Cat will fly to Zambia in early December and bring Mercy to St Andrews in time for a special Scout meeting on December 12. Volunteer Zambia is a partnership between the University of St Andrews and the Zambian Non-Government Organisation, Sport In Action.