Sarah Gardner spoke on Action Through Enterprise. The school filed in and sat quietly , with Fallow class singing “Big Blue Planet”.
Mrs Turner lit the 3 candles,and asked which 3 Christian values are being thought about this term . Thankfulness , courage and love.
Sarah introduced herself and told us that she originally trained as a teacher, but after a few years decided that she wanted to go on an adventure.She asked how many of the children wanted to do that too.Many hands shot up.
She went as a volunteer (, who knew what that meant?)and went to Ghana. She showed the children a map of Africa,and asked what they thought conditions might be like there…Very hot , lack of water,poverty and little food.
After 18 hours on a bus from the airport she arrived at a little brick house,but her neighbours lived in mud houses with grass roofs. After no rain for 6 months they had nothing.
At first Sarah was very lonely.Her 1st friend was a 12 year old girl called Nancy,who came to ask if she was O.K.Brave Nancy killed a scorpion in Sarah’s house,and helped to deal with a termite invasion.She loved singing and dancing,but had to help her family,cooking for 3 to 4 hours a day,as well as going to the market.Neither she nor her siblings went to the free school,because they had to work.Only adults had shoes,and most people had only one meal a day.
Sarah asked the audience why it is important to go to school.
Answers.To learn , be educated in order to get a job.Otherwise there is no money.No support in Ghana from the government for the unemployed , or sick.
Sarah found children eating her rubbish.This made her cross , and guilty that she had so much.Sarah and her family decided to set up a charity to help those children who were not going to school and not eating properly.She asked how that could work?By paying them to go to school and give them food there.So cooks are employed and free school lunches are given , All the children in the area go to the school and get education and food.
Sarah asked how much lunch at Chilton Foliat costs(£2.50).In Ghana it costs 20p.
Now the charity is feeding more than 1,000 children every day.429 are at Nancy’s school
Sarah had intended to return to teaching after her ‘adventure’,but she has carried on her work for ATE.The children asked whether Nancy speaks English, Yes whether the children wear uniform?Yes , provided by the charity.
After 7 years there is further education or a job prospect for pupils. Now there are 7 schools.How can we help?By collecting money.
Mrs Turner then asked the children where they had heard examples of Thankfulness,Courage and Love in Sarah’s talk.
Sarah integrated very well with the children,and held their attention, asking questions and asking them to discuss among themselves aspects of her story
Afterwards one child described it as inspirational.
The charity has no connection with any church or religious foundation.