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Northwich and Winsford vicars return from African mission

A VOLUNTEER group of Mid Cheshire men led by two vicars has returned from an African odyssey.

A VOLUNTEER group of Mid Cheshire men led by two vicars has returned from an African odyssey.

The 21-strong entourage spent two weeks in Butere in south west Kenya and created an IT room at Shiatsala Secondary School, which has been twinned with Hartford High School since 2003.

The Revs Tim Hanson and Mike Smith helped convert a concrete and timber shell into a fully functioning computer suite.

The room was wired and decorated, with benches constructed around the walls and 23 reconditioned laptop computers installed.

Headteacher Fredrick Otando said: “This is now the best equipped facility at any school in western Kenya. Our pupils and the wider community will benefit enormously from this work.”

During their ‘mission of mercy’ the team also visited the Eshimuli Guest House, which accommodates development workers in the area. They constructed six new bedrooms, redecorated the property and refurbished the electrical and plumbing systems.

Wharton vicar Tim Hanson said: “This guesthouse is now well placed to serve the community and offer accommodation for development workers and other visitors.”

In the past six years pupils from both schools have regularly exchanged letters. And youngsters at Hartford have helped raise money for projects to help their African friends, including the construction of the Hartford Library – the building which now contains the computer suite.

Mike Smith, vicar of Hartford and Greenbank, said: “It has been a huge privilege to see the partnership develop between Hartford High and Shiatsala Secondary.

“My hope is that this friendship will continue to broaden the horizons of pupils in both schools, as well as giving further opportunities for us to make such a practical difference in such a poor part of the world.”

 

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