Containers of town's donated resources arrive in the Congo
PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 May 2018
Containers of resources including sewing machines, tables, and toys have arrived at a school in Africa after being donated by people across Beccles.
The School For Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo was founded by late Beccles residents Anne Bauers and her brother Ian in 2000 and opened in September 2005.
It now has nearly 1,000 pupils aged three to 18 and helps provide an education to youngsters who otherwise could not afford the school fees.
The container left Antwerp on December 4, 2017, and arrived safely in Lubumbashi on March 1 following a four month voyage across the sea.
Items donated include ten sewing machines, electric tools, five woodworking machines, knitted items, wheelchairs, crutches, and a medical skeleton donated by a medical graduate for use in the medical school.
Beccles’ twin town in France, Petit-Couronne, also donated books written in French for the school.
Sister Euphrasie from the school, who has visited Beccles in the past, said: “Please thank everybody who participated in sending all the things we have received! I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”
Mary Ellwood, who is leading the fundraising effort, said: “There are now 995 children at the school and the whole of the secondary school is now in operation.
“We managed to get the playground paved last year. One hundred children are being sponsored, many of them by people from Beccles, but many more sponsors are needed.”
She added: “We have sent a variety of instruments that people were no longer using such as trumpets, clarinets, a violin and two keyboards.
“In the past they have just used drums but they have heard about these western instruments so it is going to change their musical culture.
“They are just such a musical nation and they can’t wait to get going with these western instruments so they are going to be very excited.”
More fundraising is planned for the school, with the next aim to build a library to house the books which were sent in the containers.
Mrs Ellwood added: “At the moment we are trying to get enough money to build a library. We were really lucky for the generosity of people.