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/ 30 July 2015

ALMA ‘Tutudesk’ initiative launched at St Paul’s Cathedral

Bishop Mark Van Koevring thanking Sheenagh Burrell for Tutudesk project

ALMA, the diocesan partnership between the Anglican Church in Angola, London, and Mozambique, has officially launched its Tutudesk initiative, an innovative project offering an interim solution for African schoolchildren whose learning is impaired by the lack of desks in their schools.

The official launch of the ALMA Tutudesk initiative took place at the annual ALMA Sunday service at St Paul’s Cathedral and marks the expected delivery of 2,200 Tutudesks to schools in Mozambique.

The initiative, to which Archbishop Desmond Tutu lent his name, provides durable plastic lap desks to children in disadvantaged schools who do not have access to conventional classroom desks. They are made from a combination of virgin material and recycled high impact polystyrene – the same type of plastic used to make yoghurt tubs – and are sourced through a partnership with the Polystyrene Packaging Council (PSPC).

As well as providing a portable, flat surface on which to read and write, the Tutudesks include a number of learning aids, including the alphabet, a map of Africa, a clock, a ruler, a multiplication square, maths symbols, shapes and colours. These features were selected by pupils from Twyford Church of England High School and the Maciene School in Mozambique, which are linked through ALMA. The final design was developed pro bono by Paper Jam, a graphic design company that works with the Diocese of London.

ALMA Co-ordinator Sheenagh Burrell commented:

“This is an exciting and immensely practical project which we hope will further connect schools in London with schools in Angola and Mozambique.”

ALMA Sunday is an annual event that celebrates the diocesan partnership with the Anglican churches in Angola and Mozambique. It involves a number of events over the course of the day and climaxes at a service at St Paul’s Cathedral. This year’s event was particularly significant, seeing the official launch of the Tutudesk initiative as well as a farewell presentation of an ALMA Tutudesk to former Archdeacon of Hackney and now Bishop of Gloucester Rachel Treweek, who has been both deputy chair and chair of ALMA.

For more information on ALMA and updates see www.almalink.org.

Bishop of London trying out new ALMA Tutudesk
The Bishop of London tries out his new Tutudesk.

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