PMHS Interact Club collects supplies for schools in Philippines and Sri Lanka


Students of Rahala East Junior School in Sri Lanka.

An improved future lies ahead for the children of Nelintap Elementary School in the Philippines and Rahala East Junior School in Sri Lanka because Pelham Memorial High School’s Interact Club has adopted the two schools with the goal of helping give them a new beginning.

“Partnered with the Rotary Club, who guide us in our projects, Interact is collecting school supplies such as pencils, calculators and books, as well as water bottles and shoes,” said club founder and President Jamie Burke.

With Vice President Nevan Malwana, the club’s 33 members brainstormed and conducted a plan to give back in these dire times. Burke said the club “wanted to have this donation to help the schools because they are in need, but especially because of Covid. Interact was partly formed to combat the pandemic as well.” 

With familial connections to both schools through Burke and Malwana, the club members were able to easily come in contact and approve the project. The newly created fundraiser just kicked-off and so far has collected 20 books, but members are expecting plenty more to be donated.

Lists of appropriate supplies were created after messaging with the schools regarding exactly what they needed, and donation bins were positioned outside of the PMHS auditorium as well as another bin outside of Burke’s house.

Once the fundraiser for school supplies has concluded, the Interact Club intends to raise enough money to provide a library to one of the schools with its first computer.

“The Don Onofre S. Diaz Library, it is a children’s library associated with the Nelintap Elementary School in the Philippines, open to both the children and general public for use,” said Burke.

If enough money is collected, the club will provide a brand photocopying machine to the school in Sri Lanka.

With the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on schools that may have already been struggling, any form of assistance is helpful in all ways, and it is now more than ever important to take action, Burke said. The club is looking for continued support to progress in their fundraising and offer relief to people in need.