A young teacher’s legacy is helping thousands of vulnerable children across Tanzania gain an education.
Lara’s Foundation, set up as a legacy for Lara Jones, takes young women off the streets and helps put youngsters in classrooms.
The foundation, which was set up a month after her death in Cuba in March 2012, aims to provide English language education in impoverished communities around the world.
Four years on, the charity’s work is going from strength to strength.
Lara’s mum Carolyn Rayner has thanked everyone who has helped keep her name alive.
“It’s great that we’ve managed to keep her name going,” she said. “It’s amazing we’ve kept it going for four years and to raise so much money, mainly from Lara’s friends, has been brilliant. Every penny we raise goes to the cause. I fund myself for flights out there so the charity has no costs.
It’s great that we’ve managed to keep her name goingCarolyn Rayner
“We’ve spent £80,000 so far and to see Lara’s name on the buildings which are helping so many people is so good. Her name is being carried on and people will continue to remember her.”
The foundation’s work started in Ndala in 2013 and, in partnership with charities Save the Children and Raleigh International, it built a early development centre to give three-to-six year-olds classrooms, toilets and a kitchen.
In 2014, Lara’s Foundation helped fund Pippi House, which sought to bring education to the street girls of Arusha.
The charity offers the girls a safe home but crucially, the opportunity to return to education.
And now after months of building work, a £30,000 another early development centre is set to open in rural district of Didia.
Like Ndala, there was no pre-school and many of the children are orphans.
Children from the village had been taught by devoted teachers in a series of temporary shelters but will now move into their brand new, purpose built school.
Carolyn will travel out to the opening ceremony next month and is looking forward to seeing the plaque with her daughter’s name go on the building.
She said: “‘Lara’s Foundation’ will be on the side of the building and it’s great her name will live on and she will be remembered.”
The charity is now hoping to build another education centre in Kenya later this year and as of last week it has raised more than £130,000. The foundation is also holding a charity ball to raise funds, taking place at Dunkenhalgh Hotel on Blackburn Road in Clayton-Le-Moors. The event takes place on May 21 and includes a three course meal, live music as well as holidays to be won.
For tickets go to www.seasonscharityball.co.uk/