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Nimrod's Visit


Following the successful Face-to-Face events held last June, a Hampshire primary school has linked up with a school in Uganda.

Nimrod Wambatte, a Ugandan teacher and coffee farmer, was amongst the group of Fairtrade producers who visited Southampton last year as part of the special Young Co-operatives event held at Upper Shirley High School. There he met pupils and teachers from Beaulieu Village Primary School who were so interested in what they heard about life in Uganda that they decided to set up the link.

Nimrod visited the UK again recently and spent time at Beaulieu school where the students were fascinated to hear about the life of children in another country and the contrasts in facilities and opportunities available to them.

1200 pupils attend Fairway School in Eastern Uganda where the 33 teachers have classes of 120 – more than the number of pupils in the whole of Beaulieu School! Beaulieu School pupils and their parents were shocked to hear that although it only costs £7 for a term’s school lunches, 80% of Fairway’s pupils have their only meal of the day in the evening.

School attendance on market days is often halved as both pupils and teachers take produce like bananas, yams, cabbages and animals to sell before going to school, and 90% of pupils walk barefoot up to 8km through hilly terrain to school and back every day.

Nimrod is also the chairman of a coffee producing co-operative and explained how Fairtrade helps people to help themselves. After hearing that if their parents cannot afford pencils many children can only sit and listen, Beaulieu’s pupils were keen to help too and hunted out lots of spare pencils from home. They also raised over £200 and after being entertained with English traditional singing and dancing Mr Wambette was presented with a wide range of essential school equipment to take back to his teachers and pupils, with the promise from headteacher, Mrs Jane Noble, that this is just the start.