TWO years ago nursery teacher Dawn Farrell was attending a business conference when she saw photos of an African school washed away by flash flooding.
Now, after raising £3,500 since October 2012 to help improve the lot of children in Tanzania, her pupils are raising another £5,000 to pay for a new school.
Mother-of-one Mrs Farrell is the founder of The Oxford Nursery, which runs schools at the Oxford Science Park, Littlemore Park, Eynsham, Summertown and Chalgrove.
She said: “Whenever I looked at what our children have compared to children in Africa I just really wanted to give something back.
“We’re renovating our school in Summertown and I just thought it would be such a small gift to raise money at the same time to build a new school in Tanzania.”
Pupils and their parents are taking part in pie throwing, cake sales, sponsored walks and obstacle courses among other events over the course of this week to raise money. Every £2 donated buys the equivalent of one brick for the new building for Quentin’s Junior Academy, near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Donors get a paper brick with their name on it to represent their contribution to the project.
The Oxford Nursery’s fundraising is run in conjunction with charity the African Children’s Fund, which helps children overseas in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Social media and events coordinator Tamsyn Wymer said: “We want to give African children a better chance in life and education is a great way to help them out.
“For example some of the money we raise goes towards giving African children porridge when they go to school every morning.
“If there was no porridge their parents wouldn’t let them go so it’s a way of getting kids to school and improving their life chances.”
Mrs Farrell said she and her pupils love to see the evidence of their fundraising efforts. She explained: “Sometimes when you give to charity it can be a bit faceless and you don’t know where your pound is going.
“Here we saw the money we donated a while back go to a young boy called Yassiri who had an adult wheelchair and couldn’t go to school as a result.
“We were sent photos of him in his new proper children’s wheelchair and it showed us our efforts are really worthwhile.”
To donate visit justgiving.com/africanchildrensfund