The caring face of young fundraisers

Thousands of pounds worth of computers are being sent to Africa, thanks to the fund-raising efforts of Norfolk students.

Thousands of pounds worth of computers are being sent to Africa, thanks to the fund-raising efforts of Norfolk students.

While many young people take IT skills for granted, in remote Tanzania, those hoping to go university have to make do with out-of-date software and machines constantly breaking down - and that's when the electricity is working.

Now students at the Kiteto Christian College in Kibaya will have six brand new laptops and 25 reconditioned machines to make use of.

And it is all thanks to students at Sprowston High School, who not only raised £2,608 during a fund-raising week but also helped staff to mend old machines and install new licensed software.

The pupils were inspired by English teacher Laura Bilston, who is travelling to Tanzania in August as a volunteer after reading about the plight of children in the drought-ravaged area during the EDP's Dying of Thirst appeal last year.

She said she was proud of the work of the sixth formers: “They have done so much, they have really got involved and I have had a lot of support.

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“James Wright, IT manager, and Malcolm Capel, IT co-ordinator, got the old machines out and some pupils helped to recondition them.”

The youngsters have also donated luxury items such as soap, computer discs and even two pairs of football boots which will be transported with the computers.

But the story does not end there; it looks as if a staff member will have to drive to Liverpool in the school minibus to deliver the goods which are being shipped by the Mediterranean Shipping Company, based in Ipswich, at a discounted price.

“We haven't managed to find a delivery company but one of the teachers has volunteered to drive the minibus up there which is great,” said Miss Bilston.

The EDP appeal raised more than £70,000 for children aged four to seven living through one of the worst droughts in living memory.

Neema Mbinhe, a teacher from one of the schools helped by EDP readers in Tanzania, will be at Sprowston High School on Saturday to say thank-you.

She will give a talk at 10.30am and show photographs of how the money has helped people in her remote land.