West African school renamed in Banbury’s honour

Sierra Leone school children outside the school built with donations from Banbury Rotary Club

Sierra Leone school children outside the school built with donations from Banbury Rotary Club

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A community school providing much-needed education to children in Sierra Leone has been renamed in recognition of the funding efforts of the Banbury community’s charitable efforts.

Since 2005 Banbury Rotary Club has been supporting building and educational programs in the west African country of Sierra Leone through a variety of fundraising activities.

The teaching block at the Sierra Leone School NNL-160612-094241001

The teaching block at the Sierra Leone School NNL-160612-094241001

The Children Singing for Children annual choir event has been instrumental in raising the funds for the Sierra Leone projects and have paid for the construction of four classrooms and much-needed classroom equipment at one of the schools involved.

To recognise this significant partnership, the school helped by the local Rotarians has been re-named The Banbury International Community School.

It is the educational headquarters for 123 local children and provides the children with a dedicated learning centre, in stark contrast to the church hall they previously were taught in.

During the 11 years of support the Rotary Club has funded in total the building of 22 classrooms, three toilet blocks, a library, three staff rooms and offices, a multi-purpose open plan hall and a playground area and a compound security wall.

The new block of the Banbury International Community School under construction NNL-160612-093707001

The new block of the Banbury International Community School under construction NNL-160612-093707001

Funds have also been used for the refurbishment of a further 15 classrooms, a toilet block and a water well.

Two schools have also benefitted from the addition of water harvesting projects.

In addition the Rotary Club has been continuing its crusade to eradicate polio from the world with the Purple4Polio project, which has seen Banbury schools plant thousands of the purple flowers bulbs.

Last week Rotarians visited Banbury’s Spiceball Park to plant some of the 60,000 bulbs purchased by Cherwell District Council.

Cllr George Reynolds, Cherwell’s deputy leader, said: “We are proud to be supporting local Rotary clubs in the campaign to eradicate polio by taking part in the Purple4Polio initiative.

“Over the last few weeks tens of thousands of corms have been planted across Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington which will help to raise awareness of this campaign.”