A FITNESS instructor has realised his dreams after three years of charity fundraising to build a primary school in a village near his Sierra Leone birthplace.
Alhaji Momodu Alpha Bah, known as Bee Jacks, who lives in Hungerford and works at several local leisure centres, including in Newbury, spearheaded the fundraising for a new school building in Wallai Tombo.
In 2013, he set up a charitable trust – the Beejacks Tombo Foundation – in aid of the school, now named Beejacks Wallai Primary School in his honour. It is situated in a coastal fishing village about 30 miles from the capital of Freetown, where he was born.
Since then, a total of £20,000 raised for the charity has funded two classrooms and a toilet block, which are up and running, plus foundations laid for two more classrooms.
“My dream has come true,” said Bee Jacks.
“I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone in Hungerford, Newbury and the surrounding villages, who have on many occasions donated to our small charity, to help build this school.
“The first phase is now complete with two classes of 30 children in each and we have two full-time teachers.”
“This poor, small village of Tombo now has 60 children who will receive an education thanks to you all. I am truly humbled.”
Fundraising activities included quiz nights with food, Zumba evenings with raffles or tombolas, an annual walk and sponsored swims at local leisure centres and gyms.
Fundraising efforts go on as phase two of the project continues to provide the further two classrooms, pay for school running costs and provide furnishings and fittings.
Next up is a 70s/80s disco with DJ on Saturday, February 11, at 7.30pm at Hungerford Royal British Legion.
Tickets cost £10 and are available from Bee Jacks’ fitness classes or telephone 07795 154808.
For more details visit www.beejacks.co.uk or the Beejacks Tombo Foundation on Facebook.