During our assessments and planning with customers we often discuss ‘the future’ at some length, perhaps even as far as 3-5 years ahead for some programmes. But extrapolating this planning outside the business, into world issues, can sometimes incorporate planning even for the next generation.

Such was the case when we first heard about the needs of the children of Ngoli, a small village, deep in the bush in Zambia, southern Africa. The village services a vast catchment area with many children travelling as much as two hours each morning and then a further two hours each afternoon simply to attend their classes.

Four hours of walking; every day…

Last year, one of our directors was involved in raising the funds to build a house for one of the new teachers at the school. The immediate effect was that because of the increase in man-power the children could spend longer each day at their lessons. Ultimately they were gaining higher reward for the effort of all that walking.

That project is complete – the new house was built, the teacher in post and the learning rate per pupil increased substantially.

But that was just the beginning of the story. Some children live so far from the school that walking is not an option. Picture in your mind, a child of thirteen or fourteen years of age walking in excess of three, four maybe five hours to get to school; doing their lessons, and then walking home again. These children can only be educated in one way in this environment – they need to be boarded in a secure place at the school.

The cost to board one child, pay for their books and education for one year is approximately £550.00

I am pleased to say that we have committed to supporting a child at Ngoli for the term of their education, which is expected to be three years.

If you would like to help in any way then please review the charity fund raising details here mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/mickjames

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