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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
School jumper journeys to Iraq
Iraqi boy
The sweatshirt found its way to an Iraqi boy
A sweatshirt given to charity by a primary school in Swansea has resurfaced - being worn by an Iraqi boy 2,500 miles away.

Staff and pupils at Ysgol Gynradd Bryn Y Mor were amazed to see a picture from war-torn Iraq of a young boy wearing one of their school jumpers.

It probably found its way to the Gulf after being misplaced at school and being donated to charity as part of a lost property bundle.

The boy was photographed in the sweatshirt as he received aid from coalition troops in the town of Umm Qasr.

Now the Welsh-medium school is hoping to try and trace the boy to form contacts between him and its pupils.

We'd like to know a bit more and build a relationship between him and some of our children
Janet Greig

Head teacher Janet Greig said the children were "very excited" about the photograph.

"It's made [Iraq] seem very much closer. We feel almost that we are there and we know this child.

"We'd like to know a bit more and build a relationship between him and some of our children.

"It would be lovely if that were possible," she said.

"He's got such a smile on his face. Amongst all this kind of unhappiness to do with the war, this boy is smiling wearing our school jumper.

"We feel glad we were able to do our bit."

Mrs Greig thought the jumper was part of a collection of lost property from the school donated to Oxfam, which she organises about twice a year.

Charities in Wales are also getting their preparations underway to cope with the consequences of war in Iraq.

Leesa Harwood, marketing manager for Save the Children in Wales, said that although the charity no longer sent items directly out to countries, anything donated could be sold in its shops here to raise money.

I think it's important people realise Iraq could be a major humanitarian crisis, but there are other people on other continents who also require our support
Richard Jones, Oxfam Cymru
"We decided to have a hold on that policy" she told BBC News Online.

"Our volunteers and collectors raise money and we use it to go and source new goods in the area they are going to be used.

"It helps the local economy, and people often prefer to get new things anyway, as old ones don't always last very long.

"Also, the cost of transporting goods to an area can be very high," she added.

The charity has just launched an appeal for children in Iraq - almost half the population there is under the age of 14.

"We also have Save the Children week coming up at the end of April, and collections like that are what we call "free" money, with no ties about where it is spent," Ms Harwood explained.

"So we have got money there if we need it to go straight out to somewhere like Iraq.

"We've had quite a few people ringing already saying can they give money for Iraq, and people are able to do that and be assured the money will go specifically to Iraq."

Supplies

Oxfam Cymru spokesman Richard Jones said financial donations were very important for the charity because of the specialist aid it could provide to Iraq.

"We have an emergency warehouse near Oxford and what we're doing is shipping out emergency equipment to refugee camps in neighbouring countries, and when it's safe, into Iraq.

"We provide essentially clean water and emergency medical supplies," he explained.

Money donations enable the charity to buy the correct supplies needed, he added.

However, he stressed it was important not to forget other people in need at this time, as providing emergency relief could affect work in the 80 other counties where the charity works.

"I think it's important people realise Iraq could be a major humanitarian crisis, but there are other people on other continents who also require our support," he said.

"For example, the famine in southern Africa doesn't stop because there's a war on."




SEE ALSO:
Welsh troops help deliver aid
28 Mar 03  |  Wales
Humanitarian alert in Iraq
28 Mar 03  |  Middle East
How aid agencies are gearing up
27 Mar 03  |  Politics
Relief aid drive for Iraq
25 Mar 03  |  Wales
Iraq's children suffer as war looms
01 Oct 02  |  Middle East


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