After raising a spectacular £6,787, a group of Stonar School sixth formers recently travelled to Romania to work alongside Trowbridge-based charity, People Against Poverty, in their work in poor rural communities there.

The pupils joined a project begun with fellow Stonar pupils two years ago to establish a farm which supports destitute Romanian families in Uncesti where the farming communes have collapsed following the revolution. The farm benefits 150 families in the area, lifting the community into a position where they have the means to work, produce, trade, sell and earn.

Pupils discovered skills they didn’t know they had, as they sawed, hammered and planed to construct a 17 metre poly-tunnel on the site, which they finished in good time. The girls then turned their hands to assisting with the building of a house and making doors for a mill building. As pupils had raised such a large amount, they were able contribute financially to the mill project which will enable all the families in the area to grind maize and help the farm become more self-sufficient. This was the second poly-tunnel on the site which also includes a crop area and livestock.

A community centre nearby run by the charity provides children with a hot meal every week. Pupils joined children in the community centre for an afternoon entertaining the children, teaching them songs, making loom band bracelets, mask-making and games.

“It was an amazing and eye-opening experience and we all enjoyed working together towards such an important cause,” said Amy, one of the pupils. Issa, another pupil, added, “Each girl worked extremely hard and I can speak on behalf of the whole team when I say that this amazing experience has allowed us to develop personally in different ways.”