Donation of school furniture helps children in Ethiopia
Several years ago, the Lowestoft PBCC purchased a quantity of second-hand school furniture from the local primary school. Some of the furniture was restored and given to a community school but the remainder had been in storage ever since. The brethren finally decided to put it on an online auction site and had an offer from International Development Partnerships (www.idp-uk.org).
When we realised that he wanted this furniture for schools in Ethiopia, we offered to donate it, including free delivery.
Mr Chadwick of IDP told the PBCC “It is very kind of you to refund payment for the school furniture, which has now been received. We are immensely grateful for your generosity in offering to deliver it to us, also.”
On Saturday 12 April 2014, a local PBCC member took the furniture down to London in a single run with two of his teenage sons, by means of a 7 ½ tonne flat bed lorry, (kindly donated by a local PBCC business)
There were a total of 200 Chairs, 45 Tables, 2 Computer tables and 4 tray cabinets donated!
The trip from Lowestoft, Suffolk, to London, took four and a half hours. The PBCC were welcomed by Mr Chadwick and his wife outside their warehouse in London and spent about an hour unloading and palletising the goods. The furniture donated means that for the first time, children will be able to sit on chairs at certain Ethiopian schools rather than the floor as before. Mr Chadwick told the PBCC that some schools over there don’t even have glass in the windows.
Afterwards Mr Chadwick showed the PBCC around their establishment to see all that goes on behind the scenes at an organisation like this. IDP supply not only furniture, but schoolbooks, mobility equipment, IT equipment, and even drainage and paving slabs. They advised that it is very costly to get a shipping container from the UK to East Africa and since they started 15 years ago they have only ever managed to send around 10 containers. During the credit crunch no containers were sent, and they are still in the process of packing out their first container since then. Obviously the container always has to be packed up as tightly as possible, which is a time consuming business! They have previously provided a library container which serves 3 schools and are considering another which will be full of computer terminals, in order to help the children learn to read and use computers.
As well as donations of money and goods, they are always looking for help repairing items and loading the containers, and they were very appreciative of the support from the PBCC.
“Thank you so much for the tables and chairs which we received today. Peter and the boys have done a sterling job driving all the way from Lowestoft and offloading the furniture”