The Bandari Project to host silent auction on July 30

Photographer Richard Crawley, and local artists including Kathryn Weatherly, James Chapman and Ben Fennessy are just some of the creatives who have donated their art to benefit a Tanzanian school.

The Bandari Project is hosting a silent auction at L’Edera in Port Fairy where patrons will enjoy slices of pizza and a wine while they mill around enjoying the art on display later this month. 

Generous: Ben Fennessy is one of the local artists who is exhibiting and selling his artwork at a silent auction in Port Fairy at the end of the month.

Generous: Ben Fennessy is one of the local artists who is exhibiting and selling his artwork at a silent auction in Port Fairy at the end of the month.

Project co-founder Catherine Ryan said she was grateful for the artists’ support and money raised would help fund the construction of another classroom at the Mto wa Mbu school.

Artists include Heather Wood, Jeannie Gleeson and Meg Finnigan. Framed Tanzanian paintings are also included in the July 30 event.

“They’ve donated their work,” Ms Ryan said. “It’s so amazing. We didn’t expect to get that many artists but once they heard about it they said ‘I’ll donate’.” 

Two classrooms have been built at the school which opened last year to provide education for the region's most disadvantaged children. Money raised will go towards constructing a third classroom.

“We’re trying to get registered as a school,” Ms Ryan said. “It’s a big process and we need to have a certain amount of building done (to qualify). To be registered we need more buildings so we need to get cracking on that.”

She said they would soon select the next round of children to begin kindergarten in January. School staff will liaise with social workers to visit and determine which families are supportive of education and suitable to attend. “The parents need to be on board otherwise it won’t work,” she said.  

Silent auction tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased from the Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre and Decked Out on Bank. Bookings close on July 26. For more information go to The Bandari Project Facebook page.