Retirement? Not for charitable Graham, 70
- Credit: Archant
A grandfather-of-five is appealing for £50,000 so he can continue his charity’s good work in Africa – because he has no plans to retire any time soon.
Graham Green, 70, decided to put his army training to good use when he lost his job and joined a church mission to Tanzania.
He got a taste for projects - ranging from water harvesting to designing a school - and set up the Foundation for East African Development and Education (FEADE), and now he needs the five-figure sum to build a centre for children with special educational needs.
“I don’t feel 70 – retirement isn’t in the plan,” said the Connaught Road resident.
Graham spent 22 years in the Royal Engineers and, after losing his job as a manager when the firm he worked for folded, wanted to make good use of his skills.
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He joined a Youth With a Mission project in Tanzania, helping the Maasai people to harvest water and mapping out a six-square-miles that has since been used to grow crops and fruit.
With his wife Ros, a nursery manager, he has since been back to help in an orphanage for children, some of whose parents died from AIDS.
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The next project, in the Tanzanian town to Bagamoyo, is set to start next year. It will benefit youngsters with special educational needs and mental illnesses – who Graham said are often hidden or shunned by their communities.
The £50,000 centre will have five classrooms, a kitchen and a farm, so the children can gain hands-on experience and have a source of income. An on-site clinic would give trainee doctors the chance to gain vocational skills.
“It needs to be able to create an income,” said Graham.
“One thing I don’t do is give over money. I go out, buy the materials and get local labourers to build it.”
All the volunteers who work for FEADE are self-funded so all the money raised goes directly into the projects.
Graham was recently joined as a director by accomplished artist Graham Watson, 65. He has a background in music and plans to reconnect with the bands he knew in the 1970s and 1980s to raise funds.
To support FEADE, or to enquire about becoming a trustee, visit feade.org. Cheques should be made payable to FEADE, endorsed on the reverse with ‘The Bagamoyo Project’ and sent to 2 Connaught Road, Sidmouth, EX10 8TT.