Tanzanian parents are carrying their children four kilometres each way so they can attend school.
The Bandari School in Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania, opened mid-year. It was founded by Port Fairy’s Seif Sakate and Catherine Ryan and constructed by south-west volunteers.
Ms Ryan said parents were supportive and realised the importance of an education.
“It’s going really well,” Ms Ryan said. “The children are having a ball. They have been going to school and we’ve had very positive feedback”
“We’ve had some really lovely stories. One guy walks three to four kilometres and carries his four-year-old to school and then comes back to pick her up."
Warrnambool residents Martin and Karen Dunstan have volunteered at the school for the past month, working in the classroom and painting.
They have helped establish a women’s program at the Bandari School building and fitted out a chook shed and a vegetable garden, which three village women will operate.
The eggs will be sold at a local market and the vegetables will be sold to accommodation lodges.
Ms Ryan said the women were very disadvantaged single mothers with very little education.
“We have started a small program to help them. The more work they put into it, the more money they’ll make.”
The women will be taught skills in an area of interest such as tailoring, tourism or business operation.
Once they have mastered the necessary skills and ability to run a business, they will graduate and another disadvantaged woman will join the program.
Ms Ryan said the next fundraiser, which would fund building the school’s second classroom, is the inaugural Bandari Fest at Crossley on October 29.
The Borderers will headline the event, which includes street food by Port Fairy caterer Fiona McQuie.
A return bus will run from Port Fairy. To book go to trybooking.com/221237 or for more information contact Sheree on 0439 338 036.
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