A Dad who gave up his holiday to help build a a school for children with special educational needs in Uganda has written a blog so local pupils who sponsored him can read all about it.
Ian Richardson, who lives in Treales near Kikham, was part of a team headed up by British charity Mission Direct working in Rukungiri, where Kitazigurukwa School is located.
The edtech innovator runs schools digital company Schudio Ltd in Blackpool and was supported by staff and pupils at Wesham CE Primary.
They donated items like pencils, notebooks and other essential items. All cash raised goes directly to the project.
His young son, Arran, who has Down’s Syndrome was the inspiration behind his trip.
Ian said: “ The SEN facility has been built next to the mainstream school. Children with special needs are usually shut away but the staff have been out looking for the children and have set up dormitories as well.”
“I had wanted to go to Uganda since I was a teenager but it never happened. Then my wife mentioned the idea to me without even knowing the history and the first thing that came up was this project for the SEN school, which was fantastic.”
In his first blog Ian said: “ From the Chilli Children’s Life Skills Clinic to brick-laying at Kitazigurukwa Primary School in rural, south-western Uganda my journey has taught me an awful lot about the difference we can make and how easy it is to completely transform an individual’s life.”
Ian said the experience had a profound affect on him and adds: “ While the scenery is wonderful, the circumstances in which the people of Uganda often find themselves are hard.
“I’m back home now and sometimes, when I turn on a tap I think of all the people I saw carrying 20kg ‘jerry-cans’ full or water from a bore-hole or well to their homes. Sometimes they were carrying 2 or more. Sometimes they walked 4 or 5 miles.
“I get emails all the time about sales at my favourite shops and I remember all the children with holes in their clothes.
“I remember the care that our family has had from the NHS when we have needed it and I think about how difficult it is for families in Uganda to get medical treatment.”
n For more of Ian’s experiences see next week’s LEPEducation