Retirement? Not for charitable Graham, 70

Graham Green and Graham Watson

Graham Green and Graham Watson - 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 replacing some piping at school in Arusha

Graham Green replacing some piping at school in Arusha - Credit: Archant

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.

Graham Watson with some of the children from the school

Graham Watson with some of the children from the school - Credit: Archant

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 Cheques should be made payable to FEADE, endorsed on the reverse with ‘The Bagamoyo Project’ and sent to 2 Connaught Road, Sidmouth, EX10 8TT.

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