At the end of July, I visited the Bala Children’s Centre to assess the latest situation and work out the best use of the money raised at Cotswold Fayre Summer Ball and other fund-raising throughout the previous year. Usually visiting at least once a year it was my first trip since our Summer Ball in 2018 due to Covid and publishing a book in 2019, which postponed my trip that year.
It was good to see three new classrooms and an admin block had been built since my last visit, largely with money raised over the past few years. If you remember the previous admin block had been blown down in a hurricane and several of you made contributions to its re-building – thank you! The children and workers there were in extremely good spirits despite the difficulties of Covid and ongoing issues with malaria.
The main requirement remains to continuing to renovate both the schools as the older classrooms are in a terribly state of repair and I also put some of the money towards building a new dormitory for the boys at the secondary school, who were sleeping in terribly cramped conditions. Whilst there I also implemented an up-to-date Safeguarding Policy (the existing one was out-of-date) and ensured that everyone on site was fully aware of best practice in this area.
Next trip will be either Spring or Summer 2023.