On Tuesday April 16th a group of representatives from The United States Fund (US Fund) for United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) visited Holy Cross Anglican School and the San Mateo Sub Division in San Pedro. The purpose of this visit was to see ways in which US Fund for UNICEF can advocate on issues affecting the school and the San Mateo area.

The three representatives, Mateo Bane, Susan Littleseal and Tiffany Ortiz (wife of Boston Red Sox player David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz), along with Councilor Kenrick Brackett, Education Officer Miriam Codd, UNICEF Ambassador Christine Norton, and Early Childhood Development and Education Officer at UNCIEF Denise Robateau, visited the Holy Cross Anglican School and spoke to principal Grace Williams on the major issues that the school faces. Principal Williams stated that limited spacing is actually the most major problem affecting the school. Holy Cross Anglican School was built in the entrance of San Mateo to provide education to the children of a rapidly developing area north of the bridge. The school itself is built on a mangrove swamp and before any construction can take place the land must first be filled; the landfill needed can be very costly. Williams explained that with the constantly growing population of the area, the school is lacking much needed classrooms and play areas to accommodate the 440 students currently enrolled. The school is also seeking funds to construct a multipurpose sports court for the upper level students.

After a short tour of the school, the representatives of US Fund for UNICEF toured various areas of San Mateo. Councilor Brackett explained how San Mateo came about, and also spoke of the lack of basic utilities in the community. “Many persons in San Mateo live without running water, electricity and other amenities that others take for granted, we have done a lot of work here but there is still a long way to go. We are working along with UNICEF to help continue the beautification project of the area. The two major problems we want to tackle are making running water available to the people and to fill their land.”

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