Sidmouth College walk to aid Buturi school build

Budleigh charity evening for Tanzanian school

A SIDMOUTH shopkeeper is getting the backing of Exmouth Rotarians and Sidmouth College students for a project to build an eight classroom school in her home village in Tanzania.

Judith Smith, who runs Sanaa House, High Street, is urging people to support a charity evening of music and dance at Budleigh Salterton’s public hall, on Saturday, November 26 at 7pm.

She is the brains behind the Buturi Makongoro School Project, and builder Mick Rose; whose wife runs Mia in Church Street, and engineering student Joe Fallow, are planning to return to Tanzania next month to start work on building.

They, with help from Judith and her daughter, Alicia, helped lay foundations earlier this summer.

The school was designed by Exmouth architect Malcolm Gigg who has now drawn up new plans for a separate toilet block, following inspections on site.

Mick hopes to complete four of the rooms up to window level with the 15,000 bricks that have already been ordered, at a cost of around �2,400, including transport costs.

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The total of the next phase of the school build is estimated at around �7,500 - �8,000.

Each year Exmouth Rotary supports an international charity and this year it has thrown its weight behind the Buturi project.

The music and dance evening will feature the celebrated all string ceilidh dance band Spinach for Norman, with caller Pam Hayes.

Judith said: “I am very, very grateful, to the Rotary Club for its support.

“The Buturi Academy is one of a kind; children who go to most schools in Tanzania don’t start their education until they are nine and it’s not long after that there is pressure for the girls to get married and they are forced to stop their education.

“This school will take children from age three, giving dozens of children an early start and a real chance.

“We are going back in four weeks and the architects and builders are local, so it is really bringing home the project.”

Tickets are �10, which includes a ploughman’s supper with a glass of wine or soft drink, and are available in Sidmouth from Judith at Sanaa House, (01395) 513311 or Tourist Information Centres at Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton and Joe Segal Books, Topsham.

Meanwhile, Sidmouth College held a sponsored charity walk yesterday, Thursday, and some of the money raised will go towards the Buturi project.

A visit to the African village by 10 college students and two staff is being planned for next summer.

This visit will cost around �15,000 and some of the money will have to be raised by the school and parents of the children involved.