Good turnout plea to support African water fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 11:18 18 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 10 June 2010

THE future health and education of a whole African village could hinge on a good turnout to a spectacular concert involving half-a-dozen Exmouth schools.

THE future health and education of a whole African village could hinge on a good turnout to a spectacular concert involving half-a-dozen Exmouth schools.

Thirty children from St. Josephs RC Primary School were in fine voice this week, practising for 'Jambo Tanzania' at the Pavilion next month, to fund clean water to an African village.

Judith Smith and her husband Tony have lived in Gussiford Lane, Exmouth for 21 years; a far cry from her origins in a small village in northern Tanzania, called Buturi.

And with 2008 being the International Year of Sanitation, the Smith's, who run the Fair Trade shop in Sidmouth, were determined to raise the £15,000 needed to sink a bore hole in her home village and provide education facilities by enlisting school children.

The fundraising concerts - one in Exmouth and one in Sidmouth - on December 1, features local schools Marpool Primary, St. Josephs, Withycombe Raleigh, St Peters in Budleigh Salterton, South West Ballet School, and Exmouth Community College.

They need to raise the money by December and Judith said: "I would say through various coffee mornings and things like that we have raised about a quarter of the money (about £4,000).

"It is a very important project that will affect the lives of everyone in the village - everyone should have access to clean running water.

"We want as many people and businesses to turn out as possible."

Production organiser Deidre Dee said she was optimistic that the two productions would raise the remainder of the money: "Some of the children are making fantastic 3D animal masks. The show is a mix of African song, dance, poetry and stories."

Headteacher Vincent McCloskey in the 1970s was a volunteer teacher in Malawi - and his son also works in Africa.

He said: "The school has a record of supporting projects in Africa over many years.

"We support a project in a school, St Edwards, in the Gambia as well as a project in Malawi."

The concert is on December 1, at Exmouth Pavilion, from 7.30pm.

Tickets are £10.50 each and available from the schools, Exmouth Pavilion and the Village Collection Shop, Sidmouth.

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