Oundle School Charity Afternoon Tea Concert
20th October 2014

On Sunday 28 September, Oundle School pupil, Annabelle Lee (17) organised a ‘Charity Afternoon Tea Concert’ to raise money for the charity ‘Supporting Dalit Children’.


Members of the 60 strong sell-out audience enjoyed homemade cakes and scones whilst drinking tea and listening to a variety of performers who played pieces from composers such as Bach and Vivaldi as well as songs from Coldplay and Queen.


The Dalits, also known as the 'untouchables', are the lowest caste in the traditional Indian caste system; a system which is now against the law in India. Dinah Findlay, mother of two former pupils (Old Oundelians,) Lally and Patrick, set up the charity in 2008 after a family holiday to India in 2007. In India, Dinah met Father Eric and Father Maxim, two Indian Jesuit priests, who had founded Xavier School in 2004. ‘Supporting Dalit Children’ now supports this school and Loyola School which it helped set up in 2011. Both schools support and provide educational opportunities for Dalit children.

Earlier in the Quarter, Oundle welcomed Peter and Dinah Findlay to the Sixth Form Lecture series to speak about the charity, Supporting Dalit Children. After meeting Dalit children, Mrs Findlay was persuaded to find a way to help the so-called ‘untouchables’ who are excluded from good jobs, healthcare and education. Mr and Mrs Findlay shared stories about some of the conditions and the desperate inequality that the Dalit are forced to live with. One young boy was thirsty, and yet could not drink from the same water canister as someone from a higher caste, stigmatised for being thought of as dirty and unclean.

Annabelle commented, “It was deeply moving to hear about a woman who simply prayed for strength and gave thanks to God for her children, because many people can simply not afford to have them. The Dalits expect little and ask for little, even though they have nothing, while others in their community can afford food, have access to running water and even a bed.

Learning about the difference in culture was eye-opening, and it was uncomfortable to think about what we take for granted when others live with so little.”

Over the Christmas holidays a group of Oundle pupils and staff will be visiting Loyola School to work alongside the Dalit children.


Annabelle concluded, “These schools receive no government funding and are dependent upon the charity and the support we can offer. This is why I decided to organise a concert to raise money for the charity before going out to India in a few months’ time to meet the Dalits for myself.


Although my target was to raise £200, I am thrilled to say that the total raised was £500.50.  I am extremely grateful for everyone’s hard work and donations.”


Spanish teacher and Trip Leader, Richard Charters commented, “The concert was a huge success. I am delighted that all Annabelle’s hard work and superb organisation paid off and was so well appreciated by the public. Every single pound that Annabelle has raised will go straight to the children in India. Raising this money will make the experience of going to India so much more meaningful for Annabelle.”




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