Christel House visit inspires Perse pupil to raise further funds

Rhea Sehgal (Year 11) plans to raise more funds to support Christel House having been inspired by spending time at the charity’s school in India.

She made £120 for Christel House through a bake sale at the start of the summer holidays and visited their school in Bangalore earlier this month while in the country.

As a member of The Perse’s Christel House Club, Rhea was already aware of the work carried out by the charity, which runs learning centres for children in some of the world’s most deprived communities.

“Christel House is a charity that I’ve always been passionate about and I’m very proud the school supports this charity,” she said.

“It has always recognised that helping those in poverty is about dealing with the root causes of it, rather than its impacts, which I think is particularly important. Christel House has always showcased this by providing those who are disadvantaged with access to a good education and the best possible chance of them succeeding in the future, breaking the poverty cycle.

“I decided to support the school in Bangalore with a bake sale as I visit India each year and can sometimes see the extreme poverty some people face. With this personal connection, it felt right for all the money raised to go to them.”

Perse Head of Computing & Digital Strategy Paul Baker, who co-ordinates the Christel House Club, helped arrange the visit for Rhea.

She took with her 100 copies of The Chatty Tortoise story booklet, put together by club members to support literacy learning at Christel House schools.

Rhea was given a tour of the Bangalore school and saw a whole-school assembly, which included every child singing the national anthem.

She spent time in lessons, watching younger pupils learning art, maths, English and local language Kannada, as well as chatting to some students over breakfast and helping the school librarian log some books.

Having been keen to see the work of Christel House, Rhea was pleased to see how funds raised by The Perse were helping make a difference.

“A particularly strong highlight for me was the people there – the students and the teachers,” she said. “They were very welcoming and friendly, with many students saying hello to me or high fiving me in the corridor.

“The younger students I sat with at breakfast were talking to me like I was their best friend which I thought was particularly special.

“Most importantly, you could tell very clearly that every child was very happy and to me, this reflected well on the work of Christel House and made it a much more rewarding experience.”

Rhea said she was surprised at the size of the Bangalore school and the high level of its facilities, but was also struck by how colourful it was, along with a huge sense of community among the pupils.

She added: “The biggest highlight for me was when every student was singing the national anthem of India together during assembly as it really reflected their love for each other, their country and their school.

“The experience has made me even more determined to support Christel House. It has allowed me to see the impact of the charity, driving me to make even more of an effort to fundraise in the future.”


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