TWOAT News – August 2020

TWOAT recently launched an appeal to raise funds to support The Little Sapphires School. It is run by the Mothers’ Union in Madagascar and has about 55 nursery and primary age children. Unfortunately due to the virus and other local issues many of the parents can no longer earn enough to contribute the £3.65 per month that they were previously paying towards the school’s running costs. TWOAT is already donating £2,300 per year to support the school and we could not add to that from our available funds as there are other projects also needing our help. Our aim is to raise an additional £1,000 to cover the shortfall in contributions and at the time of writing we still have a few hundred pounds to go.

The school sent us some details supplied by one of the pupils called Dallilah – she is 9 years old and has two sisters but only she can currently attend the school. This is an extract from what she said:

“I love my village but I hate corona virus. Because of corona virus in our village my sisters must stay at home, they don’t go to school now with me . They eat cold food with mum.

My dad works very far in the forest and digs sapphires. He lives there and comes to see us after a week.

The food is good at the school and the headmistress is very kind to me. I started school here when I was 3 years old. My mum takes me to school. She has never been to school and says school is important for girls. My dad too has never been to school…”

Unfortunately even after the COVID crisis is over, Dallilah’s father’s job has no real future as the government is banning the sort of dangerous wildcat sapphire mining in which he and many of the other parents are involved. It is really important that the children of the village can continue their education as that will give them other opportunities to find work. This is why TWOAT has launched its appeal to cover the costs for those parents who can no longer contribute.

Donations to the appeal can be made online via WWW.TWOAT.org alternatively please post cheques to TWOAT’s Treasurer Antony Hawker at The Holt, Alcocks Lane, KT20 6BB.

TWOAT is hoping that further easing of the lock down rules might make it possible for us to organise our two John Allinson Memorial Sponsored Walks in late September and early October. Please watch our web site or contact Mike Fox on 01737 350452 for the latest news on that.

Further information about TWOAT projects and details of how to donate to us can be found here www.TWOAT.org or contact Mike Fox on 01737 350452.

Regards

Mike Fox

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