It is now over seven years since we started fundraising for Building Schools for Africa – and we have enjoyed far greater success than we had ever imagined. We saw our first school built in 2007 and filled with enthusiastic pupils who were eager to learn: by the end of 2013 we will have funded the construction of 180 classrooms at 53 schools plus the refurbishment of three small medical centres, the construction of a new wind-powered water supply for an entire village, and a dormitory to accommodate more than 20 disabled students.
We are thrilled with the support we have received for these projects, and heartfelt thanks go to all our supporters over the past three years.
Three Peaks Challenge
Not content with climbing Mount Everest (!) last year, the intrepid folks at Market Makers this year undertook the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for us... and they polished off the summer fundraising season with a charity football match. They are obviously a lot fitter than we are!! Two of our trustees decided to take part in the (slightly) more sedate winter fundraiser - a black tie 'do' and auction .... that's probably more our style!!
More fundraising efforts by generous children
Olly Gompels raised over £300 for us by selling t-shirts at his school sports day - such enterprise!
Amelie Hindle and her little brother Fraser really went the extra mile for us! They undertook a challenging sponsored walk which was supposed to be 6 miles but ended up being nearer 10!! They raised an amazing £700 which will go towards extra benches, text books, football kit and drums at CBC Kishiy - the school that their family helped us to rebuild this year.
Huge thanks are due to Kate and Sam Cambridge, who asked for donations to BSFA instead of wedding presents. Generous friends and family raised over £2000 which went towards the construction of GS Mfe Mback-Mbock.
Another Big Run
Thanks also to Kathy Marriott who ran this year's Great South Run (10 miles) for us - raising £300. Well done, Kathy.
Alex Jones - super cake maker!
Alex Jones is nearly six years old and he is a pupil at Quinta Primary School in Chesshire. He may be just a little boy, but he has a big heart and has recently raised £30.60 for BSFA by making and selling cakes at his school. He even publicised the sale by making a megaphone out of rolled-up wallpaper! Alex would like his donation to be spent on providing clean drinking water for the children in Cameroon - and that is exactly what will happen. Thank you Alex - it is so lovely for us to have the support of children like you.
Market Makers climb Mount Everest!
A team from this Portsmouth based company likes to work hard and play hard. In 2011, they decided to make an attempt to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest ... on a climbing wall ... as part of their fundraising campaign to reach the target of £48K in one year. They also sang their hearts out with Rockeoke at a fundraising ball and had a dressing up day at work. Great to have you on board - and thanks very much indeed for all your efforts. Their fundraising for 2012 has included a Triathlon event where they swam across the Solent, then cycled and finally ran.
Carmine de Grandis, a teacher from Norfolk, has been running extreme marathons to raise money for us. In August he completed the Alpine Marathon in Switzerland and followed this with High Peak Challenge - 40 miles off road!! He is super fit ... and a super supporter! Mille grazie, Carmine!
Harry Ford climbed Kilimanjaro.
"I had always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro, but never thought I would be able to do it. I decided to raise money for Building Schools for Africa, so I trained hard and received an incredible amount of support which led me to raise £2,466 for BSFA.
The climb up was tough but by far the best experience of my life. I would like to thank the team at BSFA for their support and I would encourage anyone else who can, to give Kilimanjaro a go!!"
Carmine, Harry and some of the Market Makers team created their fundraising pages through Just Giving.
If you are organising a fundraising event for us, you might like to create your own fundraising page through JustGiving. Your supporters could use this page to send money directly, and securely, through to Building Schools for Africa. Please go to
and follow the simple steps for setting up your own fundraising page.
Who else has been raising funds for us?
These are just some of the fundraising events that have taken place over the past few years. Maybe they will inspire you to raise some money for us to build yet more schools in remote African villages.
Boxing for Africa
The most amazing night of amateur boxing was held in October 2009 at a prestigeous hotel in the City of London. The event was a huge success and funded the construction of TWO primary schools in Cameroon.
Please watch the film clip below, made by Justin Addleton - the brains behind the Boxing for Africa fundraiser! The film shows what a real difference is made to the lives and the prospects of children when they have a dry and hygienic school building in which to study.
A Wild Affair
A hugely successful lunch party with plenty of excellent food and wine, a bumper raffle and a silent auction, accompanied by swing bands, brass bands and jazz bands, was held in September 2009 in Gloucestershire. The aim was to raise the money for one school but they excelled themselves and raised enough for two schools, two wells and the completion of another drinking-water supply!! Our very grateful thanks to Nicky Colwyn and her team for all their hard work to put on this fabulous event.
Fundraising Dinner Party
Two of our supporters generously opened up their house to friends for a dinner party - and charged them for the pleasure of the evening. It was such a simple idea - but it raised just over £750 - so you can imagine, the food was delicious!
Singing for Schools (again and again!)
So many people on the Isle of Wight seem to enjoy singing - and supporting our charity. Thanks to everyone who has taken pat.
Perhaps other enthusiastic singers would like to organise a 'Turn up and Sing' event to raise money for us. It is such good fun!
Following on from the success of the Heriot Watt Rag Week students Hairy Haggis run, another intrepid team entered this terrific 'relay' marathon in Edinburgh in 2009 and raised close on £1000 for us. Huge thanks to Geoff, Frank, Ita and their other team mates for making this considerable effort for us. I think they won't mind my saying that they aren't quite in the same age bracket as the team of university students!
Cycle the Wight 2008, 2009, 2010
A group of around 20 enthusiastic cyclists of all ages join in the annual Wayfarers Cycle the Wight on the May bank holiday weekend for three years running. Our trustees provided them with a slap up lunch after their ordeal. It was a great way to keep fit and raise money.
Schools who support us
Many schools in both the UK and the USA have undertaken a variety of fundraising activities to raise money for us. Baking cakes to sell is always popular!
Lambeth Academy held an amazing Comedy Night featuring Jo Brand, Mark Thomas and many other comedians. They also ran a Kareoke night featuring the Rockeoke Band and some members of staff still had the energy to take part in the Three Peaks Race. This was a mamoth fundraising appeal, over a period of two years, and raised sufficient funds to construct 6 classrooms, a Headteacher's office, a new toilet block and a drinking water supply at IPS Bamali.
Amherst Regional High School, Mass, USA have raised almost $30,000 over the past couple of years to fund the construction of 3 classrooms and a toilet block at the village of Ber and a much-needed water supply in the extremely remote village of Nkanchi. They have been really inventive in their activities, which included a talent show, a duck race and a Man Pageant (a spoof on Miss America!)
Albany Science College, Lancs undertook to devise, design and set up some very special Christmas Games stalls to raise money for us at a school fayre.
Dixie Heights High School, Kentucky USA ran a couple of talent shows which raised almost $2,000 for us which was used to provide more benches for the school at IPS Bamali.
Norwood Green Infants and Nursery School proved that even the youngest of schoolchildren want to help the children of Africa. They sent us the funds they raised one summer at their International Picnic. We were so touched by their generosity.
Many, many other schools have chosen Building Schools for Africa to benefit from their fundraising activities - and we would like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts.
A full list of our School Supporters is on our Building Schools page and each school is featured in our News column on the Home Page when their funds come through to us. We try, in every case, to let the school involved know exactly what their donation has been spent on.
Some other fundraising events held during over the past few years
Illustrated talks given to a variety of organisations on the Isle of Wight.
A Bingo night in Brook Village Hall.
A Carol Concert (Carols for Cameroon) at Northcourt, Isle of Wight
Significant donations have been made to Building Schools for Africa from the following companies.
Clymac Ltd. Loughborough
Liz Earle Beauty Company, Isle of Wight
Carisbrooke Shipping, Isle of Wight
Percol Coffee - an award-winning company which champions Fairtrade Coffee
Market Makers, Portsmouth
Pageant Media, London
Vitol Charitable Foundation, London
We have also received a large donation from a foundation which prefers to remain anonymous.
We are hugely grateful for these donations which have allowed us to increase the number of schools we have helped to rebuild from our initial dream of just one …. to fifty-one*!!
*Schools funded by July 2013