Musselburgh pupils quiz MP on Burma issues

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Pupils at Campie Primary School in Musselburgh welcomed local MP Fiona O’Donnell to their school on Monday to hear more about her recent visit to Burma with the House of Commons’ International Development Committee.

The school, which has developed its own link with Child Development Centre (CDC) a school for Burmese refugee children in Thailand, invited Ms O’Donnell to speak to them about the trip and give them some insight into what she learnt about the latest developments in Burma.

After Ms O’Donnell’s presentation, pupils asked questions, wanting to know why Burmese soldiers have killed their own people, why the Burmese government locked pro-democracy leader Ang San Suu Kyi up in her own home, and why the MP cares about what happens in Burma.

Eleven Campie pupils visited Westminster last year to highlight the school’s link with the CDC, which was under threat after the UK Government decided to stop funding for the Global Schools Partnership (GSP).

Thanks to the campaigning and hard work of pupils and staff the school has secured funding from the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Trust for Health and Education to continue the link.

Speaking after her visit, Fiona O’Donnell MP said: “Campie Primary School has a wonderful record of encouraging its pupils to broaden their knowledge of different faiths and cultures beyond our shores.

“Its link with CDC refugee school in Thailand is a first class example of engaging children in global issues and I was so pleased when they secured the funding to continue the link last year.”

“The Campie pupils listened attentively while I told them about the lives of some of the children I met in Burma. While things are slowly improving for some of them, their lives are still a world away from what most of us are used to here. They asked some really interesting and thoughtful questions which showed how carefully they have considered the issues.

“They talk about out of the mouths of babes. I was asked some really tough questions. It can be really difficult to explain to young children why we human beings treat each other so badly at times.

“I want to congratulate Head Teacher Debbie Beveridge and Parent Council Chair Gaynor Allen, as well as all the staff and parents at the school for the hard work they have put into Campie’s links with Burma.”

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