A Banbury businessman who has spent ten years supporting projects in Sierra Leone is heading back to the country following the ebola outbreak.
Alan Wolstencroft owns Fashion Fabrics in Parsons Street and is also a Rotarian. He flies out to the capital Freetown at the end of the month to see work at the Christian Hope School in Kissy and the Liverpool Community School in Waterloo.
A two-classroom building at Christian Hope has now been completed and a new toilet block has been built at Liverpool Community, with work now starting to refurbish its original classroom block.
Mr Wolstencroft said: “The ebola situation in the country is now much improved but the economic effect on the people is still ongoing, as the cost of living has gone up and many people in the communities I support are already living in poverty and struggling to provide for their families.
“The situation for the schools is very difficult because although the staff are very keen to get all the children back to school they only get paid their salary from the income generated by the parents paying fees.”
Schools in the country re-opened on April 14 after seven months, but the numbers during the first week at Mr Wolstencroft’s three schools was only at 20 per cent.
Banbury businesses have been busy supporting his projects, with Westminster Group PLC sending two 40- foot sea freight containers with humanitarian aid
Independent shop Books and Ink in White Lion Walk raised £165 from a book sale, which will see a further 17 children return to school.
Mr Wolstencroft is also asking any football teams in the area to donate any old boots or kits now the domestic season is drawing to a close.
He added: “Football is really popular in Sierra Leone but often in this very poor country, basic items are difficult to buy.”
For details call Mr Wolstencroft on 01295 266728 or visit www.alanwooly.co.uk