Another Brick In The School

children-at-kooki-schoolLyn Long, the owner of Shambhala Studios will be cycling 1000 kilometres across Uganda this winter with her friend, Imogen, climbing the Rwenzori Mountains to a height of 2,500 metres and crossing the equator. The journey will began on 14 January 2012 and is expected to take three weeks.

They are undertaking this self funded challenge to raise £50,000 to build a permanent school for 171 children at Kooki, Masindi and to allow an additional 300 children to go to school.

Their charity is called Another Brick In The School.

Here’s what inspired Lyn:

Bethany Fenton is my inspiration for raising money to build Kooki school. A beautiful 5 year old girl who fulfilled her dream of singing Twinkle Twinkle little star for Simon Cowell, but sadly died from her brain tumour days later, on the same day my consultant told me I remained cancer free, four years after my own battle.

I first experienced ‘survivor guilt’ when my young nephew’s friend lost her Mum to breast cancer. It seemed inexplicable to me that such a young woman should die and leave a devastated husband and two small children, when I had survived and no one needed me in the same way. My whole family was then devastated by the loss of my wonderful Aunty Gwen to cancer. She left behind an enormous void in so many lives. Her friends, her husband, her three older sisters and brother, her four children, her five grandchildren and great-grandson all still needed her in their lives. So when I read Bethany’s story it hit me like a sledge hammer. This tiny young girl, with her whole life ahead of her, had also been taken too early and I was left behind with even more questions about ‘why’. Why was I well? Why was I still here, when they weren’t?

At the same time, my very special friend Imogen volunteered to help out at the Build Africa charity in Tunbridge Wells. We were often talking about ways we could raise money for this amazing organisation and our plans became more and more outlandish; so we met up with James and Helen from the charity’s office, hoping they would bring us down to earth. In fact, we all talked ourselves into an even bigger project. We are now hoping to build a WHOLE school and raise enough money to support it until the local community can take over the responsibility. To persuade people to donate as much as possible we are cycling about 1,000 kilometres around a large part of Uganda, over the Mountains of the Moon, to hand deliver the first of 20,000 bricks that will become Kooki School in Masindi!

So, rather dramatically, having looked for something to celebrate my ‘cancer survivor’ status in May this year, to celebrate my 50th birthday in August and to justify my very existence, this amazing adventure ticks all the boxes. I hope that creating a legacy for hundreds, hopefully thousands, of children to improve their lives through education will help the families of Liz, Gwen and Bethany to know their loved ones helped make that happen. So … just the small matter of £50,000 and getting fit stand in our way………..
Lyn x

To find out more or to make a donation, however small, please visit Another Brick In The School

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