Even though one food parcel could feed as many as ten men, children from Horizon School in Jumeirah felt each construction worker should be given their own parcel. The target of 175 parcels was reached and surpassed with the end tally being 280. Image Credit: By Helen Clifford, Gulf News Reader

Last year, students from Horizon School in Jumeirah collected and delivered over 300 ‘shoeboxes', containing everyday essentials, to construction workers in Sharjah. Having proved such an enormous and worthwhile success, the children wanted to help again — this time collecting food. The food parcels' effort was fully supported by Marion Sinclair, head teacher, who felt that it complemented the school's ethos of respect and understanding towards others.

Horizon School children from as young as four and up to the age of 12, all contributed to the appeal. It was agreed that each food parcel should contain rice, lentils and a jar of pickles. The children were amazed to learn that just one parcel could feed as many as ten men, but felt that each construction worker should be given their own. Therefore, a target of 175 was set.

Thanks to extremely generous children and parents, the food parcels began arriving at a considerable rate. Very quickly the target of 175 was reached and surpassed. The School Council members checked and counted every parcel and were astounded at the final total of 280.

Students, parents and staff from Horizon School made the journey to Sharjah to deliver the parcels to the workers. Around 175 men from the Sonapur area were there to meet and greet their visitors. Life for them in the workers' accommodation is not easy, yet there were smiles of joy on every face. The volunteers were treated to songs from the workers and words of gratitude and thanks. The workers were particularly happy to see Horizon's children, some having not seen their own families for over five years.

It was the children themselves who handed out each parcel. This proved a rather humbling and emotional experience for all involved. Before leaving, the youngest pupil, four-year-old Rehan Sengupta, melted everyone's heart by singing Jana Gana Mana, the Indian national anthem. A touching moment which I'm sure will stay in the minds of all who were there.

 — The reader is the assistant deputy head of Horizon School in Dubai

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