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Latest News from Waterloo Schools Charity

STOP PRESS

Summer Concert      Saturday 2nd July      Tickets now on sale!!

LISTEN TO ‘´TARANTARA’’ MIXED VOICE CHOIR

We hope that we will see you all again on 2nd July at St Peter’s Church, Inkberrow. Tarantara Choir have sung to raise money for Waterloo Schools before and you are guaranteed a great summer’s  evening with music and wine and another opportunity to help the children of Waterloo.  Further details are on the Events Page of this website and Tarantara Choir website www.tarantara.org.uk. Tickets are £10 to include interval drink.  Please contact Richard Savage: 01386 792791 or Sue Read : 01386 553891.  Proceeds to St. Peter’s Fabric Fund and Waterloo Schools Charity.

Thanks to your huge generosity, the sell out Quiz and Fish n’ chip supper at Dormston Village Hall on 8th April made a resounding £1,007 for the children of Waterloo Schools. Sincere thanks to all those who supported the event and made it such a fun evening. We had some fantastic raffle prizes and donations from friends who could not be there.

The Trustees recently received a post Ebola report from Kenneth Kromanty who is now our eyes and ears on the ground in Waterloo. You may already know the story of how he was a pupil of Laurie Read back in the 1960’s.

In his report Kenneth said:

After taking a close look at the school buildings and challenges as well as having discussions with the heads and the contractor Mr Augustine Moiba, what stood out clearly is that the Ebola epidemic which hit the country recently further compounded the already existing challenges the schools are facing. Thousands of the citizens died among whom are students and parents of both schools.

During this period the country virtually came to a standstill, the schools were closed, as well as some government offices and the economy took a downward spiral. Many lives were lost as a result of the Ebola virus as well as other diseases.

People had to make do with the little food they had to feed their families. Among those affected are the students attending these schools, as some were orphaned. The schools lost property and suffered damage as they were temporarily used by security, medical and non-governmental organizations to quarantine communities and treat affected patients.

In the Peninsula Secondary school twenty five students were orphaned. The wives of two teachers died and one of the husbands was infected by the virus. He luckily survived because he got prompt medical attention.

Pupils lost almost two school years due to the Ebola. As such there is a lot of catching up to do in their academic work. Some left the Waterloo township for relatively safe areas in the country as Waterloo (especially the outskirts of the town) was a hotspot for the virus.

So what can we do now?

We are currently refurbishing and replacing to an amount of £ 8,400 at the schools, including having 50 desks, out of a requirement of 100, made in Waterloo township. The Charity will continue to fund the 25 Charity scholarships currently in place, as well as continue to support Ebola victims.

Click here to see two wonderful letters from families who have benefitted from your help.

In addition three Dr. Read Bursaries will be awarded to students of the secondary school who are studying for degrees at Fourah Bay University, Freetown.

At Easter Neil Morland visited Sierra Leone and kindly took a commemorative plaque to the Peninsula Secondary School. The photograph below shows left to right Lamin Murray, school caretaker, Kenneth and Abigail Kromanty, Ibrahim Fornah, teacher, and Alfred Bangura, acting principal. We feel that it is fitting that Laurie’s name should be remembered in this way.

Fundraising is key to the future of this Charity and we need your help. You have made such a difference in your loyal support. Would you think about holding say a coffee morning or a fun run in your town to raise funds for Waterloo Schools Charity and help us to help the children? Please let us know any ideas that you may have.

Please help us to help themselves by donating, click here »

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Welcome to Waterloo Schools Charity

Forty years ago Laurie Read, founder of the Charity, worked as a teacher in Sierra Leone before returning to the UK to take up medicine. His love for this little African country never left him. At that time, newly independent Sierra Leone was developing and full of promise for the future.

However, the subsequent years of dictatorship and civil war brought the country to its knees and made it difficult for Laurie to keep in touch. Upon retiring from the NHS in 2005 he and his wife, Sue, made a visit to Sierra Leone to see whether he could work there as a surgeon. It also gave Laurie a chance to visit the Peninsula Secondary School where he had been principal and had taught science so many years earlier. He was horrified by what he found. As a direct result of that visit Waterloo Schools Charity was founded in 2005 and its aim is to co-operate with the people of Waterloo in restoring and developing nursery, primary and secondary school education.

Sadly, Laurie Read passed away in 2014 but his legacy lives on through the efforts of a committed group of trustees, here and in Sierra Leone, and ably led by Sue Read.  Thanks also go to our dedicated and hardworking team of fundraisers and all our donors who give so generously.

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