Budleigh charity evening for Tanzanian school

Budleigh Salterton’s generous residents are being urged to turn out to a charity event that could save the lives of dozens of African school children.

The public hall is the venue of charity music and dance evening, fundraising to turn an open air classroom into the only school in Buturi in Tanzania.

The Buturi Makongoro School Project is the brainchild of Exmouth businesswoman Judith Smith, of Gussiford Lane, owner of the Sanaa House shop in Sidmouth.

Earlier this year, Judith, who comes from the village of Buturi, her daughter, Alicia, and engineering student Joe Fallow flew out to Africa to lay the foundations for the school which will have eight classrooms.

Malcolm Gigg, an Exmouth architect, drew up plans and local builders Mick Rose and Joe Fallow are set to start building soon.

Now the Exmouth Rotary Club has thrown its weight behind the project and have organised the evening; every year the club supports an international project and, this year, its mission is help pay for the only school in the area.

The event is on Saturday, November 26, at 7pm, and is a music and dance evening with the celebrated all string ceilidh dance band ‘Spinach for Norman’ with caller Pam Hayes.

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Ian Winks, of Exmouth Rotary, urged the community to turn out in force to support the event: “Even those that can’t dance will be on the floor having a wonderful time!”

Judith said: “I am very, very grateful, to the Rotary Club for its support.

“The Buturi Academy is one of a kind; children who go to most schools in Tanzania don’t start their education until they are nine and it’s not long after that there is pressure for the girls to get married and they are forced to stop their education.

“This school will take children from age three, giving dozens of children an early start and a real chance.

“We are going back in four weeks and the architects and builders are local, so it is really bringing home the project.”

Tickets are �10, which includes a ploughman’s supper with a glass of wine or soft drink.

Tickets are available from Judith at Sanaa House, High Street, Sidmouth, (01395) 513311 or Tourist Information Centres on Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton, Joe Segal Books, Topsham and The Rotary Club of Exmouth.