PONTELAND High School has reached its fund-raising target to give a Kenyan village a much-needed new building.
It has organised visits to the African country since 1996 and it has recently moved its focus to southern areas.
Earlier this year, more than 30 students aged between 15 and 18, as well as five staff, went on a trip to Kenya that was organised in partnership with John Blissett of Stamfordham, who runs a small safari company.
Labentera, a small village in the Maasai lands, was one of the locations. Mr Blissett had explained that the nearest school is a five-mile trek each day for the tribe’s children, which is impossible for the infants to complete.
Ponteland High set about collecting £8,000 so a nursery can be built in the village and this money has now been raised.
Some of the funds have already been spent, including the installation of the walls and roof, and work on the toilets and furniture has started. Everything should be complete by the end of the year.
Headteacher Kieran McGrane said: “We must say a very big thank you to everyone involved, particularly those who gained sponsorship through running the Great North Run, completing the London Triathlon, organising and supporting coffee mornings and meals at Ponteland’s Rendezvous restaurant.
“We’re grateful to local businesses for providing donations and sponsorship and the congregation of St Mark’s Church in Amble, who donated £500 in exchange for Ponteland staff giving a presentation about their experiences in Kenya.
“In July, we held three major events which raised over £4,500 between them.
“Thank you to all who supported the Promise Auction in any way, year 12 students and their tutors who organised very successful stalls at the end of term barbecue and to everyone, including students from Ponteland Middle School, who brought in their old uniform, unwanted items, shoes etc on the last two days of term before the summer holidays. More than two tonnes of clothing was donated.”
Mr Blissett showed his appreciation for what Ponteland High achieved on his Facebook page.
He said: “A big thank you (asante sanna) from all of us and the Maasai community near Ngoswani.”