CHILDREN at a Bolton primary school are celebrating after a young Burmese girl they sponsor was found alive and well in the aftermath of a deadly cyclone.

For the last five years, Edgworth Primary School has been supporting Thandar Min, a nine-year-old who lives in the Hlaing Thar Yar region of Burma.

They lost contact with Thandar when Cyclone Nargis hit the country on May 2, causing widespread death and destruction.

The cyclone affected up to 2.5 million people, and the country’s latest official figures say 138,000 are dead or missing. Staff and children at Edgworth feared the worst when World Vision, the charity through which they support Thandar, said the area she lived in had been “severely affected”.

Now the school’s 200 pupils are smiling once again after the charity brought them the news they had been waiting to hear — that Thandar survived the cyclone and is safe.

Teacher Rachel Beck said she was delighted to hear the news.

She said: “It was horrific, the damage that had been done, and when we saw it on the news we really just didn’t know what had happened to Thandar. When the children came into school they wanted to know what was going on. Everyone was very worried and concerned.

“It was a great relief when we heard that she was alive and well.”

The children were told the news in yesterday’s assembly.

The school sends money to World Vision to pay for basic equipment, as well as sending Thandar Christmas and birthday presents.

The charity said Thandar’s family home was damaged in the cyclone and the school is now raising money to help with repairs.

World Vision is providing families with tarpaulin, bamboo, nails and wires so they can rebuild their devastated villages. Many businesses and crops were destroyed by the cyclone, but Thandar’s family was lucky that their source of income was not affected.

Thandar is now studying at school and wants to be a teacher. Edgworth’s donations paid for her fees, books and stationery.

The school’s next charity collection for Thandar will be during the Harvest Festival on October 3.