Forest Gate teen off to India after raising cash for school

Mark Kawesa handed over the cheque to FLt Lt Chris Booty

Mark Kawesa handed over the cheque to FLt Lt Chris Booty - Credit: Archant

A sixth former who devised a variety of different ways to raise money will soon be setting off for India on a charity trip.

Mark Kawesa, 16, who is a student at St Angela’s and St Bonaventure’s Sixth Form, in Forest Gate is also known as Sgt Kawesa at 282 Squadron Air Training Corps (East Ham).

He came up with various ideas to help raise enough funds to take him and a group of Air Cadets from his squadron to Western India this autumn on an expedition to help build a school for children born into poverty.

From ice cream sales during the scorching summer term to non-uniform day events, tempting doughnut stalls at various high profile occasions to home cake bake sales, Mark, who is former head boy at St Bons, became expert at utilising his entrepreneurial skills to ensure the funds kept swelling.

Paul Halliwell, St Bons headteacher, said: “Many of our Sixth Form students will be going to India with the squadron later this month to help build the school so it’s a cause close to our hearts. When Mark said he wanted to donate his money to the India trek fund, I wasn’t surprised. Mark is a very generous and humble young man who always thinks of others before himself.”

As a result of his fund raising efforts Jack was named the first Jack Petchey Award winner of the year and was given a £200 prize. Mark presented the £200 cheque to Flight Lieutenant Chris Booty at 282 Squadron Air Training Corps (East Ham) on October 4.

He will be leaving for India in two weeks and although his donation has certainly helped, the fundraising hasn’t stopped as the cadets still need to raise £2,000 to help cover costs.

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Anyone wishing to help out should contact Flight Lieutenant Booty at the 282 (East Ham) Air Cadets at Cornwell VC Cadet Centre, in Vicarage Lane on 020 8470 8422.