27 March, 2008

Looking at Lesotho

Yesterday, we met up with Andy Uglow, who is leading efforts to establish a secondary school in Ha Fusi, a remote village in Lesotho.  The school has been built and is functioning, but not very successfully.  Parents are not willing to pay fees unless their children are taught by qualified teachers … and the school cannot afford qualified teachers unless the parents pay the fees.  Catch 22!

 This is where Elizabeth comes in.  It is hoped that her presence and qualifications, along with a teacher paid for by Andy’s fund raising at the school where he teaches, will inspire confidence in the quality of education on offer and help the school to become viable.

 Andy is visiting Lesotho in July with a party of sixth formers.  It is hoped that we might visit at the same time to meet the local people and discuss arrangements and terms in more detail.  There is clearly a lot of scope for initiative, and there would probably be plenty of opportunities for David to use his business skills, both with the school and with local craft cooperatives.

 It does seem as though everything is falling into place.

10 March, 2008

Looking at Africa

For a long time, Elizabeth has wanted to spend the last couple of years of her career working in Africa. The die is now cast: she has handed in her notice, her replacement has been appointed, and the last day at work will be the eleventh of July. But what then?

After being accepted as a volunteer by VSO, we find that there are no suitable jobs. Their attention has suddenly switched to establishing universal primary education throughout the world, and so there is no budget for secondary school teachers.

So we are looking for other ways to volunteer. Perhaps you have contacts in Africa and can put us in touch with opportunities?

At the moment we are exploring a link with a school in Lesotho. Our contact is Andy Uglow and we are meeting up with him on 26th March. So there should be an update after then.