NO security, dirty water and surrounded by life- threatening disease.
This is what children at Mulenga Compound in Kitwe, Zambia, have to face on a daily basis.
So when four teachers from Bolton visited the school, they were so touched by the positivity of the pupils they decided to go on a fundraising drive to raise money to make their environment safe.
Debs Brooks, who works at Bury College, along with Louise Boardman and Angela Caswell, who teach at Mytham Primary School in Little Lever, and Abbie Lee, a youth worker from the Farnworth and Worsley Methodist Circuit, visited the school, thanks to help from Connecting Classroom Funding.
They were shocked to see the conditions that the 120-pupil classroom had to contend with on a daily basis, including disease and poverty.
But despite this, they were welcomed with warmth and respect from the pupils and teaching staff. Mrs Brooks, who lives in Churchill Drive, Little Lever, described the trip as “life-changing”.
The group now aims to raise money to make the school safe by building a fence, creating a supply of clean water and decorating the classrooms. Mrs Brooks, aged 42, said: “The children there were wonderful. We were treated like queens throughout the trip.
“They all wanted to shake our hands and say hello.
“The welcome we received was like nothing we have ever seen before.
“At one stage we were teaching them how to make loom bands, which they all loved.
“You watch the clips on TV, but until you stand there with then you don’t ever really understand. It was a life-changing experience.”
The teachers want to create a safe environment for the children at Mulenga by building the fence.
Mrs Brooks said: “The fence will cost £22,000 and we will be fundraising for that next month.
“That will at least make the building secure, and then we can look at the permanent clean water supply and then decorating the classrooms.
“We take things like this for granted in this country. Whilst we were there we lived in a Christian hotel, which was a bit like a Travelodge.
“It was awful knowing that we were enjoying clean water there whilst down the road the locals were drinking potentially dangerous water.
“It was very humbling.”
Source : The Bolton News