Fundraising mission feeds the 5,000
Just 20p is enough to provide one school meal at Karbo Primary School, in Lawra, since Ramsbury-based charity Action Through Enterprise (ATE) launched its feeding programme there in 2012.
The charity was launched by former Winchcombe School teacher Sarah Gardner after she travelled to the African country on a sabbatical and was shocked with the extent of poverty there, meaning children were left searching for food rather than going to school.
Despite suffering numerous bouts of malaria, which at one point left her unable to move her limbs, Miss Gardner continued in her mission to improve the lives of these starving children, which has since seen attendance rise to 96 per cent.
Miss Barker said she was so inspired when she learned of the plight of these children, and the commitment of Miss Gardner, that she was desperate to help.
“I felt like I had to do something,” she said. “For us, 20p doesn’t seem a lot, but for these children it can make the difference between gaining an education or not.”
In September she organised a family fun evening in Aldermaston, with a target to raise £1,000 – enough for 5,000 school meals – for ATE.
She added thanks to all of those who helped her to put together the event, from the entertainment by Michael Otton to all those who donated raffle and auction prizes, including local companies Gelato Joe’s, Sharisse Hair Fashions and the Newbury Corn Exchange, and to everyone who donated.
On the total, Miss Gardner said: “This money is going to make a fantastic difference to the work that ATE is doing in Lawra.
“ATE's projects have a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of children who would otherwise be living lives of poverty and hardship.
“Without donations and fundraising efforts from our supporters, we would not be able to change the lives of these vulnerable children.
“We are so grateful to Ellis and everybody who worked so hard to help her to raise this incredible amount of money.
“I speak on behalf of the children of Lawra, when I say, thank you.”