My African adventure: Musa, Well.Fare and EAP

by Sam Blackledge

THE project at the BMK School in Budoma has had to overcome all sorts of problems in recent weeks – illness, injury, shortage of equipment and bad weather have pushed the timetable to its limit – but the team are on track to unveil the playground during a special ceremony tomorrow (Friday).

Within just a few days of my arrival it was clear how much the school has benefitted from its links with Dorking. Well.Fare, a charity run by Ted and Jane Bellingham from the United Reformed Church in West Street, has vastly improved the facilities in recent years.

In 2006 the charity donated a water pump so the school could have fresh running water for the first time, and it has also helped out by providing solar power for lighting and resources such as books and classrooms.

There are signs dotted throughout the site thanking Mr and Mrs Bellingham, but founder Banerya Musa Kasoone – the ‘BMK’ of the school’s name – says conditions are still difficult and more needs to be done.

“I can see a university here,” he said. “I want to make the school into a university because that is the highest level of education. When you have reached that point you know you have done your level best.

“But we require better structures, better furniture. There is no funding coming from the Government, they don’t even help with books or paying our teachers.

Banerya Musa Kasoone and his wife Nantale Madina

“So it’s people like Ted and Jane and Tom and Carla who have come in to ensure that we have what we require to grow.”

Musa and his wife, Nantale Madina, were both orphaned themselves as children, and he says he wants to give children who are suffering a chance to succeed.

“They lack uniforms, books and pencils, they are not eating a balanced diet at home,” he said. “They are happy because they are used to the environment, but every time we put in something new they will grow stronger.”

This is an extract from a piece published in today’s Dorking Advertiser.

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