First project for Matamata College Interact aims to get books for children in Pakistan

The newly-formed Matamata College Interact club, with co-presidents Brooke Dunbar and Patrick Roskam is seeking books to ...
Rexine Hawes

The newly-formed Matamata College Interact club, with co-presidents Brooke Dunbar and Patrick Roskam is seeking books to send to a school in Pakistan.

Your unwanted children's books could make a difference to students in Pakistan and other developing countries.

A book drive is the first international project for the newly-formed Matamata College Interact club.

Interact (International Action) is sponsored by Matamata Rotary aimed at students aged 12-18.

Matamata College students Patrick Roskam and Brooke Dunbar are co-presidents, in the group which has 12 active members.

It is overseen by members of Matamata Rotary, including immediate past president Michelle Tanner, who attracted the attention of the two seniors at a talk she gave at the college.

Brooke says she saw the potential it could have in the world and instantly wanted to be involved.

"I want to be part of a group that aims to make a difference.

"I want to make an impact but it's hard when you aren't in a group.

"It's (the book drive) an easy thing to start, but will make a big impact.

"Everyone has books, I know I have ones that I will never use again."

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They are seeking the generosity of the community to donate reading books, journals and text books.

The book drive idea is part of a global wide Rotary project to help build and develop a literacy centre in Jhang, near Lahore, Pakistan.

Matamata Rotarian's partnered with with other clubs in Dehli and San Deigo - along with independent financial contributors.

Tanner visited the school, which is under development, in 2014.

It has 171 students of varying ages, with literacy levels of 10-11-year-olds.

At that stage it had two classrooms, with a covered area outside.

The students sat on mats and worked from slates.

She said she saw one book, which the students were very proud to have.

"That was my motivation," she said of Matamata's commitment to the project when she was president from 2016-2017.

Tanner will be returning to the school in October once it's complete with a computer laboratory, library and resources.

She hopes to take some of the donated books with her to present to the students.

Matamata businesses have already got behind the project, acting as drop off centres.

These include Jones Howden, Matamata Dental Centre, Tainui Press, Magill Earl, Paper Plus and Guthrie Bowron.

 - Stuff

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