Helen hopes to inspire others after her trip to Tanzania

Helen at St Michaels with the four students sponsored by Billinghurst Rotarians
Helen at St Michaels with the four students sponsored by Billinghurst Rotarians

A Rotarian is encouraging people to get involved with an educational project in Tanzania after her visit to the country

Helen Abbott, who is a member of the Billinghurst and District Rotary Club, visited the Kilolo District of the country, to explore the culture and understand what conditions are like for residents.

One main focus of her visit was to meet pupils at a school which was built to offer an education to a wider range of youngsters from both privileged and disadvantaged youngsters.

Mrs Abbott said the communities were more stable than expected. She said: “The trip has giving me the insight I wanted. There is so much good out there - but education is an area where people can support and I have seen just this.

“The school I visited was built by volunteers and there was a group of Australians there too, so it continues to get help.

“I am so proud of what has been done to support numerous young people. The condition in Tanzania is pretty poor but they are stable. They are proud to be who they are.”

The income for the St Michael’s School Kilolo is reliant on the sponsorship of students and profits made from private students studying there.

The education institution is formed of both girls and boys.

Helen, who turns 80-years-old in January, said it was a worthwhile experience and encourages people to get involved.

She said: “The people are very hospitable. They are warm and exceptionally friendly. To see people support and provide for these children is truly encouraging.”

The school was opened in 2005 and was part of a project initiated by David Tilley with the charity Soapbox.

Inspiration was from Bishop Donald Mtetemela, first Bishop of Ruaha in Tanzania, who had a vision for a secondary school which get youngsters set for their future.

The building provides eight classrooms, two for each of the four academic years up to GCSE level. Future developments will double the current capacity providing education up to A level.

Accommodation will also be available for those who may need it.

The David Tilley Children’s Foundation work with the school to ensure the positive developments continue.

They also pour cash into the project maximising the impact it has on young Tanzanian children.