Community rallies to send donations to help African schoolchildren
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Schools, businesses and individuals in the Beccles area have helped to fill a container full of education and medical supplies to be sent to a school in Africa.
The School For Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo was founded by late Beccles residents Anne Bauers and her brother Ian in 2000 and opened in September 2005. It now has over 900 pupils aged three to 18 and helps provide an education to youngsters who otherwise could not afford the school fees.
And for the first time this year, a container is being sent directly from the town filled with items to help pupils with their health and learning.
Among those helping with the donations is Glebeland Primary School, which has sponsored a child at the school for several years. Pupils have donated items to send over and Darren Williams, husband of the school's headteacher Clare Williams, has volunteered to drive one of the vans.
The container will be sent over at the end of the month and Norton Peskett solicitors have made a donation to pay for it to be transported to Antwerp in Belgium before being taken to the Congo.
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Mary Ellwood, secretary of the charity, said: 'It is the first time we have ever managed to get a container over there. It is being paid for by a Belgium charity, we just have to get all the donations from here to Antwerp.
'The political situation is very difficult in the Congo at the moment so the children are in even more need of help and sponsorship. These donations will mean an incredible amount to them.'
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Items have also been donated by Langley School, among other groups, and Colin and Nikki Childs of NCS Tool Supplies in Toft Monks have donated tools to be sent to a woodwork school which is run by the same sisters who run the School for Peace. It gives teenagers who never got the chance to go to school a place to learn new skills.
'I think it's so wonderful that people are so generous in this time of austerity when everyone's finances are tight and people have been so fantastically generous,' said Mrs Ellwood. 'It's really heartening.'
Mrs Ellwood also thanked Tim Basey-Fisher for his generosity in storing the items ahead of the trip. For more information visit www.schoolforpeace.org