Thetford teacher helps African children

A busy teacher and mother forwent the usual chocolate eggs during her Easter break for a volunteer trip to Africa.

Fiona Barnett travelled to Kabubbu, a rural area in south east Uganda, where she entertained orphans with puppetry, script writing and prop-making, worked with families in need and visited children she and her family sponsor.

Mrs Barnett, 48, a part time music teacher at Admirals Junior School, from Cunningham Close, Thetford, who took the trip with her husband Simon and two of her four children, Emma, 17, and Michelle, 23, also worked with one woman and her family in particular to make their home watertight, buy much-needed food and a mattress, and pay the 68p needed to buy antibiotics for her son’s ear infection.

“It was all quite new for me and my girls but I think we went out there knowing what to expect,” Mrs Barnett said.

“The thing that stuck in my mind though was the mother of one of the children we sponsor who said I had written to her and said we would come out in April, and she said we had kept our word.”

The family sponsor four children in Kabubbu, two in high school and two in primary school, and travelled with the Quicken Trust, a charity which supports those in need in Uganda, and of which Mr Barnett is a trustee.

During the past 10 years Kabubbu has seen many changes including fresh water, a surgery, AIDS clinic and laboratory, maternity suite, middle and secondary schools, a library, vocational training and community farming and social projects.

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Mrs Barnett added: “I think the work that’s taken place out there in the last 10 years is amazing.

“They have what they have and they get on as best they can but the charity provides them with hope that people are interested and that people will go out of their way to do what they can.

“It gives ideas and helps pupils aim high for a better future.”