Deniliquin's Tom Edwards and Hannah Nisbet are raising funds locally for a Ghana School of Excellence, where they both spent time in 2012 teaching local children.By Tyla Harrington
Tom Edwards and Hannah Nisbet travelled to Ghana, Africa to work with less fortunate children last year, and now they’re raising money to build the children new classrooms.
In only four months the Deniliquin pair have raised $1700, but still need more help from the Deniliquin community.
With their help, children will be taught in classrooms instead of under a mango tree outside.
Located on the west coast of Africa, together they worked with a charity called United through Sports.
The charity recently set up a school called the School of Excellence.
Hannah said the experience was ‘‘awesome’’, especially teaching extra curriculum to someone her own age (19 years-old).
‘‘It was very much (rewarding), the boys I was teaching were like my brothers,’’ she said.
The children are extremely talented soccer players and from very poor backgrounds, she said.
‘‘They were being taught outside just under a mango tree, so it’s a pretty big step,’’ Tom said of the Ghana experience.
‘‘The thing behind it is that we want to teach them that education is more important than football.
‘‘So we used sport as a reward in the afternoons after they have been learning during the day.
‘‘The kids are extremely talented football players, a couple of them are in the process of receiving scholarships.
‘‘We were basically the first people at the school.
‘‘Hannah set up the school curriculum and we started to build new classrooms, which aren’t finished yet but it’s getting closer and closer.’’
Tom and Hannah looked after about 60 children between the ages of four and 19 years-old.
Tom stayed for three months and Hannah for five months, both starting in June last year.
Originally the pair were going to travel elsewhere, but when plans fell through they looked to volunteering in Africa. And they are glad they did.
Tom will travel back to Ghana in August this year and said he ‘‘definitely’’ recommends becoming involved in the rewarding experience.
Hannah will also be returning and has already started saving. She is yet to confirm a date.
In the meantime, she plans to attend Catholic University in Melbourne this year to study International Development.
Back home, Tom and Hannah still want to do what they can to help their new friends in Ghana.
They have distributed collection tins throughout the town for anyone who may like to donate.
They are at Deniliquin Pharmacy, Hair Desir, Wired Entertainment and Cobb Highway Roadhouse.
Tom and Hannah said ‘‘100 per cent’’ of the donations raised go directly to the school in Ghana, and they thanked the Deniliquin community and businesses for their support so far.
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