How Kenilworth pupils have helped raise more than £80,000 across 16 years for Tanzania project
The charity was started in 2004
Over the last 16 years pupils and staff at Kenilworth School have worked together to help raise more than £80,000 in support of people in Tanzania.
Urban Sounds for Uyogo, known as USU, is a charity which hosts an annual set of events, organised and participated in by Kenilworth School and Sixth Form pupils.
It was founded by Mr Nahal, a religious studies teacher, in 2004 and it has since been managed by Miss Billington, a psychology teacher and Mr Ovenden, who teaches religious studies.
The charity began with the vision of supporting people in Uyogo, Tanzania and developing friendships between Uyogo and Kenilworth.
Mr Ovenden, who has managed the charity for the past three years, said: "It was started by teachers who were passionate about using the talents of the Kenilworth pupils to raise money through talent shows, cake sales and other fundraising initiatives.
"USU stands for ‘Urban Sounds for Uyogo' - urban relating to popular dance music and performing arts, which are paramount to our talent shows.
"Each year pupils perform music, dance, comedy or other talent in our annual talent show as part of our annual celebration of ‘Africa Week’ in February.
"USU is run by sixth form students. With my guidance and mentorship, they manage and lead all charity events.
"Each year over 100 pupils are involved in various ways.
"Whether that be performing in talent shows, managing back stage and lighting, running cake sales, selling programmes / other items, photographing or recording events, producing art work for the shows, and more."
Over the past 16 years, the school have managed to raise more than £80,000.
Mr Ovenden said: "We have raised over £80,000 which has been spent on new classrooms, new water boreholes and facilities, and improving medical care.
"Normally our main source of income is through ticket sales and revenue from our talent shows.
"We also have other fundraisers such as a Quiz Night, a Tombola at the Kenilworth Christmas market, an 18+ event of music and dance among other things."
"We work very closely with the local charity Kenilworth Uyogo Friendship Link to help us build closer links with Uyogo and best know how to use our money.
"We also partner with Elephants for Africa, who aim to increase knowledge and understanding of elephants, as well as tolerance for wildlife in Botswana and Water Aid, through our connection with Geoff Litterick, a local volunteer for Water Aid."
This year the charity has started a penpal project between pupils at the Kenilworth school and pupils at a school in Uyogo.
"We have initiated the project whereby pupils from Kenilworth School and Umiki Secondary School in Uyogo share videos," said Mr Ovenden. "Our pupils have recorded and sent videos about Christmas, life in Kenilworth and lockdown learning.
"We have also created an online talent show involving Kenilworth pupils which we hope to broadcast on our website in the coming months.
"We are also about to initiate a cycling project to help raise money to buy bikes for pupils in Uyogo.
"I have been so inspired by the pupils using their talents to help raise money for the Uyogo community.
"It is amazing to see pupils realise the difference they are and can make to those less fortunate. It also allows pupils to see how lucky and privileged many of us are to have access to all we do in the UK."
To find out more about USU or to donate go to: https://www.usukenilworth.com/