Operation Christmas Child

17th December 2013

Inspired by her ICS placement in India over the Summer, Chloe wanted to raise awareness of development issues in the UK and is now involved in the world's largest children's Christmas project.

Upon her return from India, Chloe delivered a series of presentation to year 1,2 and 4 classes at a local primary school to share her experience of what life was like on ICS. She focused on water related issues and showed that without electricity and water life is very different.

“I think it is important for children to learn about different cultures around the world and realise how fortunate they are to have the lifestyle they lead.” In fact, it was quite an eye opening experience for the primary school students as shown by the response from this student:

“Do school children really walk 5km to school every day without shoes when I have my brand new shoes on and get dropped off every day?” Archie, aged 7.

Now a Raleigh Alumnus, Chloe was keen to continue her awareness raising which she decided to do by getting her university involved in Operation Christmas Child. Run by the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s Christmas project; sending gift-filled shoeboxes all over the world since 1990.

Every year, children and adults from across the UK wrap, pack and fill over one million shoeboxes with gifts, which are then sent to disadvantaged children from around the world. Chloe organised an event to raise awareness of the cause and encouraged students to donate presents.

“When I was in India I saw how grateful the children were from the smallest of presents. I also realised that children barely had anything to play with so I wanted to raise awareness particularly amongst the sports societies at university.”

Chloe advertised the appeal throughout the university and set up a competition to get teams involved. Despite a slow start, the response was fantastic and the event was a great success. “This year we received the highest number of boxes that the university has ever had, a grand total of 219. Even people who were not part of any sort of sport or society donated boxes because they wanted to support the cause.”

“I hope that these boxes will provide some joy to children who are less fortunate around the world this Christmas.”

Raising awareness as an active global citizen is a long-lasting commitment to your community, society and the world. Have you continued to stay active in your local community after becoming Raleigh Alumnus? Tell us more about it:

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