Burnley sends aid to schools in Gambia and Kenya

Containers with school furniture being loaded which are heading to Gambia.
Containers with school furniture being loaded which are heading to Gambia.

Generous Burnley residents have helped to send two containers full of vital equipment to schoolchildren in Africa.

Desks, chairs, blackboards and computers along with clothes, toys, baby equipment, medical supplies and other essential items are on their way to youngsters in Gambia and Kenya thanks to charity Furniture For Education Worldwide.

The Express reported last month how the charity’s warehouse was raided by heartless thieves who stole 24 mattresses which had been donated by Silentnight.

But since then the organisation, which managed to recover four of the stolen items, has been inundated with donations.

The charity’s chairman, Mr Terry Burns, said: “At the moment these children are sat on the floor of a soiled room with nothing. Often they have walked miles to get to school because they want to learn.

“You can see in their faces what a difference having this equipment makes.”

The cargo, which will be unloaded at its destination by trustees of Furniture For Education Worldwide, will take between four and five weeks to arrive in Africa where it will be distributed to the schools and local communities.

The charity was set up in 2007 to help hand out equipment from Burnley’s old secondary schools following the £250m. Building Schools for the Future programme.

Mr Burns added: “We’ve had tonnes of stuff donated to us. We offer it to people in this country first and if they don’t want it we send it to Africa. They really appreciate it, they have nothing. They think it’s fantastic to have chairs, tables and filing cabinets in their classrooms.”