Article by Rosy Holt
Back to school after 50
Just the other side of fifty Rosy went back to school (well college really) and studied a full time for a year doing a City and Guild Certificate in floristry, she joined The Athena Network in 2008, when she was looking at networking opportunities to promote a business she only has time to dapple in these days, (event floristry), although The Athena Network fitted the bill, she did not join a group, she bought the franchise!
Not content with running four Athena Business Networking groups in South East Herts and Enfield, Rosy is now off to Tanzania in September to help renovate a primary school at the foot of Kilimanjaro close to the Kenya and Tanzania border and has set herself the task of raising a lot of money before she sets off.
The 232 pupils at the Mawanda Primary School have been complaining of respiratory problems caused by inhaling dust due to poor classroom state, so the objective of the trip is to help renovate three classrooms, construct 14 toilet holes and start the construction of a safe clean kitchen at the primary school, not much to ask for by today’s standards.
The project is organised by Childreach International a UK registered charity who believe that every child has a right to:
– Enough food, clean water and shelter
– A good education
– A reliable health service
– A right to live in a loving environment without fear of abuse or violence
It is mixed group of about fourteen that will travel out in late September to the picture perfect, location where children dream of having pens, pencils, clean water and food rather than a Nintendo DS in their rooms.
Getting involved with Childreach
Rosy got involved in the project when she got talking to someone at a networking event and feeling that it was something she wanted to be involved in, she signed up almost immediately and has since encouraged many others to follow suit. Those that she can’t persuade to travel to Africa with her she involves in fundraising events and there are many already planned and many others still on the drawing board. I suppose everyone has a reason to do something like the Tanzania trip she says, hers was to do something that helped children and to give something back to society, she was once involved with an orphanage in Brazil but following that experience feels the backing of a registered charity is a wiser option and an organised project for her seems the best solution.
Together with other Athena business women, who have heartily embraced the project even if their own commitments don’t allow them to make the trip, the fundraising has begun
Accommodation on the project is camping on site, Rosy remembers her one and only camping expedition, she was at primary, or was it secondary school, a few years ago anyway and not an experience she ever imaged repeating, but she is looking forward to seeing the stars in the Tanzanian sky and breathing the fresh air. The highlight however must be the campsite which is the heart of evening’s social life where the group will be joined by locals, teachers and children, Tanzanian culture is very heart warming I understand.
The low point I suppose if there is one and the part of the trip that Rosy finds a little challenging is the camping, the actually sleeping on the ground with a mosquitoes net and the toilet holes, but stepping out of the comfort zone doesn’t hurt once in a while and brings rewards that can not be imagined she tells me. “The cause is after all so worth wise worth while and the experience will I am sure change the outlook of all those that travel”, I am confidently told, she says she can almost picture the joy on all the children’s faces, something you don’t see every day, there are still places on the trip if anyone wants to go!