Gainford is pleased to be back on the island accompanied by her mother, grandmother and a friend: “It’s good to be here and see that the books and donations have arrived,” she says.
The idea for this project Raising for Raro Kids, came about when Gainford was visiting the island two years ago.
Shelley Berry (now the principal of St Joseph’s school) met Gainford during that first trip.
“Gainford fell in love with the island and the people, she especially loved the children here and asked me how she could help.
“I informed her that books are sometimes in limited supply and that in order to improve literacy, a love for reading would be the key,” said Berry.
“Since that time until now, she worked tirelessly to gather books and stationery to help St Joseph’s School.
“Mid way through term 1 of this year, five large pallets of books and stationery, including a few toys arrived on our door step, all courtesy of Louise’s fundraising efforts.”
Gainford managed to raise $5000 through the Mazda Foundation and Warehouse Stationery.
Berry says: “I believe this is a remarkable achievement for a young girl, she has proven that one person can make a difference.
“The books will go to our library and various learning places. Some of the donated goods have been dispersed to Early Childhood Centres (ECE) such as: Island Bubs, Tyrone’s and a centre in Aitutaki.”
To show their appreciation for the kind donation, Gainford and her family were given a “turou” (welcome) by the school and treated to a special lunch yesterday afternoon.