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Catholic college donates hundreds of Christmas presents to Sierra Leone children

A child in Sierra Leone receives her shoebox (St Anselm’s College)

Students and families from a Catholic college on the Wirral have filled 800 shoeboxes with Christmas presents for children in Makeni, Sierra Leone.

St Anselm’s College in Birkenhead selected the country because it has been severely disrupted by the spread of the Ebola virus.

The first gifts of “Operation Makeni” arrived last weekend, with the air freight cots paid for by donors from the college and local community.

Headmaster Simon Duggan said: “We are responding to the pleas of our friends in Sierra Leone and reaching out to those so much less fortunate than ourselves. It is our Christian duty to provide this support and there has been a magnificent response from our College family and contacts.”

The college’s twin school is St Francis in Makeni, Sierra Leone and was founded by Christian brothers.

A statement released by the college said: “The College has already sent more than a tonne of essential medical supplies to Sierra Leone since September, in partnership with the local Wirral community and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust.

“They have provided gloves, surgical masks, suits, aprons, goggles, dental equipment, ibuprofen, paracetemol, mattresses and body bags. Plans are underway to send a shipping container in the New Year, which will also contain items required for re-construction in Makeni, once the necessary funds have been raised.”