Years in the Making

From a little girl's hope to raise $500, to an entire school's involvement to raise awareness, this is how Child Haven was brought to Meadowridge School.

Established in 1985 by Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino, Child Haven International is an organization dedicated to the wellbeing of children and women in the developing world. Then just eleven years old, Shivani Gandesha '18 learned that $500 could cover provisions for one of the Child Haven Homes in India. What started as a class project became an entire primary school movement; together, students started a "Pennies per Page" fundraiser. Students collected pledges for each page of reading they did during a one-week period and were able to raise over $2,200 for Child Haven. Getting the chance to hand-deliver that cheque to a Child Haven Home in India was life changing for the Gandesha family.

Seven years later, Shivani brought Child Haven back to Meadowridge School for her Grade 12 year. She and a group of students organized a fundraising dinner for their CAS Project.

Now this year, her brother Tejas G. (Grade 11) is keeping that movement going. Tejas, along with Denise Z., Noah W., and Kayla M. worked hard to plan and execute another successful fundraiser that raised over $30,000.

There were so many highlights of the event - from the collaboration of a group of passionate students, to the unwavering support of selfless parents. So many teachers and staff were in attendance, supporting our students and learning about the cause. For Tejas, one of the best moments of the night was when a teacher told him that he was going to incorporate Child Haven as a topic in his class. Spreading awareness of the Child Haven cause means more than anything to Tejas, which is why he felt it was so important to continue bringing Child Haven to our local community.

So what's next? Tejas wants to keep hosting Child Haven events here at the school for as long as the school allows it. Eventually, his goal is to bring Meadowridge to Child Haven. We've already brought Child Haven to Meadowridge, but Tejas dreams of a day where he can create a school service trip to a Child Haven Home in India, bringing Meadowridge to Child Haven.