Seven-year-old Chadwell Heath girl inspires schoolmates to give to the needy this Christmas

A seven-year-old Chadwell Heath girl has brought out the caring side in her fellow pupils at Christmas time by holding inspirational school assemblies.

At a time of year when we traditionally give to others, Tiharna Vaja-Barthram, of Eccleston Crescent, has set a good example by bravely standing in front of 600 school mates to tell them about poor children around the world.

The thoughtful youngster was moved by television adverts for global children’s charity Plan.

She gave the second of two assemblies last week at her school, Barley Lane Primary in Huxley Drive, Chadwell Heath, to ask pupils to support the cause.

She has also convinced her mum, Kay Vaja, 44, to donate �40 a month to the charity to sponsor two children rather than put the money in an account for Tiharna’s own university education.

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Headteacher Hilary Papworth said: “The caring side of the children is coming through, she’s really touched their hearts with her innocence and the interest she’s given, it’s not like an adult telling them.”

Tiharna’s talks have made an instant impact.

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A group who were making origami models to sell for charity but who were undecided on which cause to support have pledged to back Plan, raising �50 already.

Two girls will now bake cakes over the Christmas holiday and bring them in to sell in the New Year.

A non-uniform Christmas lunch to be held today, in which each pupil paid �1, was set to raise �700 for Plan and the youngster has asked the school to hold regular non-uniform days to raise more money.

Tiharna, who wants to go into other Redbridge schools to make her presentation, said: “I thought ‘we have water and food and they don’t have clean water or food’.

“My friends said they wanted to do it with me and they’re really happy that I’m doing it.”

Her mum said: “She kept asking [to donate] every day. “She cornered me and I couldn’t go backwards with it, I had to listen to her. She’s so passionate about it. I’m really proud of her.”

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