Burnley-based charity Furniture for Education Worldwide has been on the move again – with a musical twist – as it rescues school equipment to send abroad.
This month FEW loaded its 73rd container of school furniture, this one destined for West Africa with previous shipments made to Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia, Ghana, India, Kenya and Egypt.
Most of the equipment we send would have ended up on land fill sites or been incinerated and now it is helping some of the most desperate children in the world get a chance of a better education while helping to save our environment in LancashireCoun. Terry Burns
The furniture would otherwise be sent to land fill and, as well as schools throughout Lancashire, the charity has received donations from as far afield as Suffolk.
And, in their latest shipment, there were violins, drums and trumpets so the poorest children in the world can now learn to play an instrument.
The charity, based on Oakwood Close, has a focused project in The Gambia where, through the shipment of 10 containers, it has refurbished a school and nursery in the village of Bijilo, with the charity’s trustees also building a playground there which was donated.
And the Bijilo school have a scout band called ‘Burns Musical Stars’ named after the charity’s chairman, County Councillor Terry Burns MBE, who donated several instruments to the band.
Coun. Terry Burns said: “I am proud of what we have achieved.
“Most of the equipment we send would have ended up on land fill sites or been incinerated and now it is helping some of the most desperate children in the world get a chance of a better education while helping to save our environment in Lancashire.”
The charity is currenlty in the process of refurbishing another school near Bijilo.
To date two containers have been shipped to this school and the third will include another nursery playground.
A number of the trustees will again fly out to erect the playground next month so they can see the effects its shipments makes to schools in the developing world.
As well as school equipment, last year the charity donated mine clearing equipment to Cambodia to help stop the children who play in the forests being maimed or killed by land mines left from the Second World War.
In a letter of appreciation to FEW, Major General Ken Sosavoeun, Deputy Director General of the mine clearance forces of Cambodia, said: “I am delighted to inform you that your contributions have saved and improved many Cambodian lives. You have played an amazing role in making Cambodia a safer place for all Cambodians.”
Coun. Burns added: “When we first had the idea about setting up a charity we never would have thought that we would be actually saving children’s lives.
“I believe the charity has been so successful is down to the support from Lancashire County Council, the support from the members of Unite The Union, the help of many people wanting to support and help vulnerable children but most of all the tireless work of our trustees in fundraising.”