HARTLEPOOL COLLEGE has gone international in its pledge to encourage education by supporting a ground-breaking project in East Africa.
Students at the College have been raising money for the Meserani Project, an initiative that aims to bring together young people from Africa and Teesside, whilst improving the standards of education in the developing areas of Tanzania and Kenya.
Headed up by Construction Lecturer Graeme Fallowfield, students have raised money through various raffles, enterprise schemes and sales to reach a grand total of £500.
The money has already gone towards a water tank in Tanzania, schoolbooks and even a safe for a newly built school in a village to be able to store exam papers.
Graeme, who is currently aiding with enrolment for construction, joinery and bricklaying courses at the College, headed over to Tanzania himself this summer along with his wife and brother to help with building projects and meet the students.
He said: “Going across there for the first time in 2014 was a massive eye opener, one of my first tasks was to put up shelving in a school as they had been keeping all their books on the floor.
“Because the school was so far out of the road our transport could only go so far meaning we had to walk for 45 minutes carrying timber and tools.
“This year, a school has been built in the actual village as flooding stopped pupils from being able to travel across to the other.”
The Meserani Project was originally set up by the pupils, staff and parents at Acklam Grange School in Middlesbrough and was introduced to Graeme through a friend and Deputy Head at the schoo,l Peter Swan.
The registered charity has built and furnished ten classrooms, in three different primary schools and 116 pupils from these schools are currently being sponsored to attend primary school.
Graeme added: “We wanted to show our students they had really achieved something amazing with their fundraising for the project, so when we went across we had the Hartlepool College logo sprayed on the water tank and stamped in the school books.
“It really is great to see the impact a small change can make, even putting up a few shelves. It also goes to show how transferrable and useful joinery and building skills are.”
Hartlepool College is still open to enrolments on all courses. Any 16-18 year olds are encouraged to visit its on-site career advisors, call 01429 295111 or visit www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk
To find out more about the Meserani Project visit: http://meseraniproject.co.uk