St. John's, Gourock , Scotland
We are in partnership with Vhutshilo School in Venda, Republic of South Africa. We are hoping to join the World Without Walls partnership. This is where it all came from.
A few years ago a young lad from Greenock went out to Venda for a “year-out” experience and when he came home he shared with one of his teachers how he met a lady who was doing inspiring work amongst the orphans of Venda. Susie had opened her home, a caravan, up to children between the ages of 3-6 (pre-school) and she began to teach them and feed them from her own home every day, collecting them in her old transit van and taking them back home at the end of the day. Most of these children were orphans and some were HIV positive or had full-blown Aids.
The young lad, Fraser McNeill, from Greenock, had a real heart for Susie, her work and especially the children, and so it was decided that the Presbytery of Greenock would start fund-raising through the committee Jill Clancy was convenor of at the time and we would get enough money for Susie to get a proper school built.
And so Greenock Presbytery raised more than £23,000 and in April 2005, Jill went over to Venda with two colleagues to the official opening of the school. It was an inspiring six-day trip.
The school might be built now, but they still need support and funding to enable the children to go to the school and to be fed each day and for the school to flourish. Therefore we are sponsoring children and keeping the link that way.
Also, one of the local primary schools in Gourock – Moorfoot – where Jill is chaplain, have sponsored a child and continue to fund-raise for Vhutshilo, which is great, and the link is also there. This summer some of the Moorfoot Primary teachers may be going out to help and to give football tops to the school for them to use and to sell to raise funds!
We are expecting that linking in with World Without Walls will enhance our partnership.
We have not yet started just wait !