I’m (nervously) excited to share I’m hiking the southern route of the South West Coast Path to fund raise for the Buturi project
Visiting Buturi with Will Smith in Oct 2019, it was so tremendously special to see the school and children learning there, realizing this had been made possible through mum AND all the people who contributed as donors and volunteers with the charity. But it was also sad to see how the school is currently little more than bricks, cement and corrugated iron… a skeleton for a school. Not a nurturing or inspiring learning environment for the preschool and primary aged children who study there. Worst still, flood damage had caused a crack in two walls, destabilizing the structure.
We’ve been gathering advice and quotes to finish the building and do the repairs which are over £20k. I’m setting a target to fundraise £3k walking over 300 miles so we can renovate damage to the school (cracked walls) and complete the main building construction. In the future, we hope to do things like build accommodation for the teacher, Karoline, who boards with a family in Buturi rather than having her own space with her children; she’s a single mother with physical disability.
This walk is driven by a hope to commission work over this summer, ready for the start of the next academic year in September.
Mum would often create social gatherings (coffee mornings and gala dinners) as a way to bring people together to enjoy conversation about Tanzania and the charity. We really hope to hold a gathering for friends of Buturi when Covid numbers decline.
Mum made every effort to link her community of choice, with her community of origin. For example, working with schools across Devon to incorporate Tanzania into their curriculum such as Petroc college setting a study project to design eco-friendly dorms using local materials with students studying architecture, and by providing certificates of volunteering to secondary school children applying to university in need of experience for their CV. In this way, mum did all she could to make people feel part of the charity and celebrate how their contributions were making a difference. I recently spoke to a woman in Exmouth who said her daughter had been in a ballet performance at one of mum’s events and how much they enjoyed it.
If anyone would like to join me during the walk please do get in contact, whether to grab a coffee, walk for a section or meet in the evening. For me, this adventure is about celebrating the home mum enjoyed and her love of walking. I’ve never walked so many consecutive days so it is going to be a massive challenge. I’m so grateful for all the well wishes I’ve received and help already. Especially from Claire, the friends who are meeting me at points with care packages of food so I don’t live off pasties, those offering me a warm shower/bed on route, Martin’s help in preparing and everyone keeping me company along the way by message.
We’ve faced many challenges with the charity in working internationally but also from loss including my grandmother (who lead the implementation work in Buturi) as well as David, one of our trustees and good friends. We’re determined to see the school flourish in honour of all the work these truly special individuals did to get the charity off the ground – with the fantastic help of people like Malcom Gigg (Architect, Ara Architecture) and Michael Rose (Builder).
There are many important charitable causes nationally and internationally. It’s a hard time for many people but any donation is appreciated, no matter how small.
At mum’s funeral, we played the song ‘this little light of mine’ (version by Ladysmith Black Mambazo) and lit candles to represent how our tiny acts of love can make such a difference together. Mum taught me that, I’ll be forever grateful for her wisdom
Thanks for reading!