An Aberdeen school has pledged thousands of books to African children, with help from the north-east business community.
Pupils at Hazlehead School are donating surplus books to Bunono Primary School in Uganda, East Africa – a school the pupils have supported for the past three years.
Established by Aberdeen businessman Bill Budge and his wife Lorraine, the Budge Trust is an active supporter of Bunono.
Since 2011, the charitable trust has spent in excess of £100,000 in supporting the school. The majority of this money has been used to fund the cost of two 100-bed dormitories, two water tanks, two classrooms and flattening the playground which was on a significant slope.
The Budge Trust has arranged with haulage firm ARR Craib Transport Ltd for the free transportation of school books from Hazlehead to Bunono.
The relationships between the two schools began in 2011 after a visit by Lorraine Budge, who explained the trust’s work in supporting the education of children in Africa.
She said: “The children at Hazlehead have shown a real eagerness to learn about the differences in lifestyle of children in Africa compared to those in the UK.
“They have been so enthusiastic in their efforts to raise money as well. One of their innovative fundraising efforts was going to school dressed in clothes representing the colours of the Ugandan flag.”
Since 2012 pupils at Hazlehead have sponsored an orphan’s annual school fees at Bunono, which amounts to £250 and covers education, clothing, food and boarding. They were keen to further support the school through donating books.
Thanks to the generosity of ARR Craib, which waived all costs relating to moving the books to Uganda, the consignment was shipped to Mombasa in Kenya before being transported overland by truck to Bunono, located in the rural south-west of Uganda. The boxes, containing the books, were donated by international removals business Clark & Rose.
Bill Budge said: “This represents a tremendous example of what collaboration among the business community can achieve. Effectively, we have a school in Aberdeen helping a school in Africa assisted by the generosity of local businesses.
“I’m certain that the additional resources will be of great benefit to the teachers and pupils of Bunono School.”
Eddie Anderson, chief executive officer of ARR Craib, said: “The Budge Trust approached us regarding the challenges faced in getting these surplus books to where they would be most needed and naturally we were delighted to be able to help in a practical way by using our expertise.”
Barbara Jones, head teacher at Hazlehead School, said: “We were delighted to donate these books, no longer required by the pupils at Hazlehead, to Bunono School where I’m sure they will make a tremendous difference to the children’s education.”
The Budge Trust was established in 2010. Bill and Lorraine Budge, who live in Aberdeen, decided they wished to support organisations whose focus relates to the wellbeing and or education of children, such projects being without geographic restriction.
In addition, projects which have a particular emphasis in sustaining the culture and traditions of Forres and the surrounding area in Moray, where Bill was born and raised, are viewed sympathetically for funding.