District 1090's association with GAGA began when Banbury Rotarian Alan Wolstencroft was invited to be a trustee by this small charity based in neighbouring Warwickshire after Banbury Rotary helped organise the 2007 Banbury Young Zulu Warriors concert.
At District Conference 2005 Alan had been inspired by a presentation from Mercy Ships and responded to the challenge to 'spend 11 days in Sierra Leone and make a real difference'. The 11 days quickly led to further involvement - 3 Mercy Ship Projects and his personal development of 2 schools near Freetown.
Alan has embraced GAGA with his customary energy and enthusiasm. With the 2 school extensions in Sierra Leone under his belt, Alan was soon back in Africa 'making a real difference' in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa.
At the District Conference 2012, it was Alan's turn to inspire others with a presentation on his Work in Africa. Several clubs in D1090, along with schools, scouting groups and local businesses, are already supporting GAGA, and Alan has set up a liaison with the Rotary Club of Hillcrest, in the area near Durban where GAGA are working.
'Before' and 'After' pics of the girls' dormitory at Ithembalihle Orphanage
Find out more at www.gaga-uk.org/
Sierra Leone was far from forgotten as further building development at the Christian Hope School, Freetown was undertaken as a short-term project of GAGA. A further project was started at Liverpool Community School, Waterloo on the outskirts of Freetown and despite hold-ups through the Ebola crisis continued apace and the refurbished toilet blocks are now complete. With support from Reading Matins Rotary Club a rainwater water harvesting project at Liverpool has also been completed, greatly enhancing the health of the children.
most recent undertaking is in the nearby Good News Pentecostal community
where 100 primary school children share a small hall that doubles up as
a church. Not an ideal learning environment! Following a meeting with the village elders, extra land was
aquired and two classroom blocks are now being built, using local materials and labour. This will be followed by a
toilet block. The project is supported by funds raised at Banbury Rotary Club's Children Singing for Children and a generous donation from the 100 club of Woodstock and Kidlington Rotary Club. Alan has also attracted a new corporate sponsor in Bretherton's Solicitors who will be supporting this project through their Corporate Social Responsibility programme
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