Wanstead MP helps pack pencil cases for children in Africa to celebrate 10th anniversary of Mitzvah Day

Wanstead and Leyton MP John Cryer (centre) with with Mitzvah Day chair Laura Marks (left) and interf

Wanstead and Leyton MP John Cryer (centre) with with Mitzvah Day chair Laura Marks (left) and interfaith chair Daniela Pears (right). Photo: Yakir Zur - Credit: Yakir Zur

MPs and peers packed pencil cases with pens and stationary that will be sent to help children in Africa.

Wanstead MP John Cryer joined MPs and peers from across the political spectrum to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mitzvah Day.

Parliamentarians – including Labour shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable - packed pencil cases for School Aid - a charity that provides educational equipment for children in Africa.

The stationary sets packed by the MPs and peers are being sent to schools in Lesotho in Africa.

The launch event on Tuesday (October 16) marked the start of the month leading up to Mitzvah Day (Sunday, November 18), the UK’s biggest faith-based day of social action.

The event was organised with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Jews.

Over the last 10 years, Mitzvah Day has seen Jews, Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths, and none, come together in social action.

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The charity, which was established in 2008, asks people to give their time not their money to help those in need.

Starting in the UK, it has now expanded internationally with more than 30 countries taking part in 2018.

On Mitzvah Day 2018, more than 40,000 volunteers across the globe are expected to take part in projects to help the homeless, elderly, refugees and some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

Wanstead and Leyton MP John Cryer said: “Mitzvah Day has done incredible work bringing people together in Wanstead, Ilford, Chigwell and indeed all over the UK and the globe over the last 10 years.

“I am proud to play my own small role in the day, as one of 40,000 volunteers, as were my Parliamentary colleagues today.

“People of faith coming together is so important and shows that what unites us is much stronger than what divides.”

Mitzvah Day founder and chair Laura Marks OBE said: “Mitzvah Day not only sees all of Britain’s different faith groups come together in social action, but it also brings together civil society and government.

“Over the last 10 years we have seen politicians from all parties and all levels of government taking part in projects – from the Prime Minister and Mayor of London to local councillors across the length and breadth of the country.”