One school shares three reasons to take part in Big Me! | ActionAid UK

Emma Radhanauth

Primary school teacher

Big Me week - running from 8-12 October - is ActionAid's easy fundraising day for primary schools. Children dream big, dress up as what they want to be when they grow up and raise money to change lives.

I'm a teacher at Mora Primary School in London and we took part in Big Me early to test it out. We had a fun-filled day learning about each other's dreams and children's lives around the world. Here's three great reasons to take part in Big Me.

A future doctor and a future chef dress up for Big Me!
A future doctor and a future chef dress up for Big Me!

1. It's simple and easy

Big Me was incredibly easy to organise. With the help and support of ActionAid, we ran an assembly to promote the day, and posters and resources were provided to put up around the school and support teachers with their lessons.

Even the parents found it easy and affordable and commented on how parent-friendly it was not having to buy an expensive costume. One mum said...

The whole day was a real success.

2. Pupils can explore their hopes for the future

My school were also taking part in a careers week last week, so Big Me fitted in perfectly with what we were trying to promote within our school; a belief that if you work hard enough, you can do whatever you want in life. We asked our pupils why they chose what they chose to dress up as, and their answers were really inspiring.

Ayah would like to be a doctor when she grows up.

Ayah chose to dress up as a doctor. "I chose to dress as a doctor because I like being kind and caring to other people. 

I want to help other people when I grow up.

"It would make me very happy to be able to cure people," she says. "I want to show people that I want to help other people when I grow up."

Kasim would like to be a pilot.

Kamin, who chose to dress up as a pilot, said: "I would love to fly planes! I want to show people what I aspire to be when I grow up."

I would love to fly planes!

"It is also really interesting seeing what other children would like to become," he said.

Geminii, aged 9, dressed up as a head teacher for Big Me!

Geminii dressed up as a head teacher. "I like to help teach people in school and I want to help others with their learning.

I want to help others with their learning.

I have enjoyed dressing up today because I like showing people what I would like to become."

3. You can change lives in the world's poorest places

As well as thinking about their own futures, Big Me is a chance for our pupils to think about the lives of other children around the world who aren't so fortunate, and fundraise to help them. On our Big Me day each child brought in £1 and they learnt about some of the children ActionAid works with, children like ten-year-old Margaret, from Kenya.

Before I joined school I was scavenging at the dump site all day. When I finish school I want to be a teacher.

Margaret is from a very poor family who live near a rubbish dumpsite in Mombassa. Her family couldn't afford to send her to school, which meant it would have been very hard for Margaret to ever build a better life for herself, but now thanks to ActionAid covering her school fees and uniform, she is getting an education, and with it - the chance of a brighter future.

She says, "Before I joined school I was scavenging at the dump site all day. I am very happy my mother brought me to school to learn, because I really like school. When I finish my education I want to be a teacher to teach children. I am not happy to be at the dumpsite. My dream is to leave it all behind and be able to buy a house for my mother and brothers far away."

Margaret, 10 years old, attends school near the Mwakirunge Dumpsite, Mombasa.

It's amazing to know that the money we raised will help other children around the world to achieve their dreams. Just £30 is enough to equip a classroom so children like Margaret can learn the skills they need to change their lives, for good.

Join schools across the UK and take part in this easy-peasy fundraising event. The official Big Me week is 8-12 October but, like me, you can choose to take part whenever you like. I can't recommend it enough!

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Photos: Mora Primary School, Kate Holt/ActionAid

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