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Action Through Enterprise and PhysioNet charities send container load of old school equipment to Africa
The entire contents of a school that has closed have been acquired by a North Yorkshire charity to be used in deprived schools in Ghana.
Nineteen volunteers for PhysioNet helped load the vast 3,000 cubic ft shipping container at a farm where the equipment is stored in Lower Dunsforth, near York.
Desks, tables, chairs and text books from the school – which does not want to be named – were collected by the charity along with about 50 unwanted bicycles, mostly restored by prisoners in British jails.
Also loaded on to the container was a consignment of children’s physiotherapy equipment, wheelchairs and mobility items.
The huge container is being sent to the far north-west of Ghana. The arid area is one of the poorest in Africa – despite Ghana’s relative wealth – with high infant mortality rates, high levels of malnutrition and poor healthcare and education facilities. It is estimated that only a quarter of children in the region attend schools.
Sarah Gardner, operations director of the Action Through Enterprise charity that is sending the consignment in partnership with PhysioNet, said: “This material will make all the difference to school children in Lawra where there is a desperate shortage of even the most basic equipment.”
PhysioNet was set up by retired international agriculturalist Peter Thompson to provide special needs equipment including wheelchairs, mobility items and other equipment to people in developing countries.
Earlier this year, it was commended by a senior representative of the foreign office who described its work in sending thousands of items of equipment to the Fiji islands and Eastern and Central Europe this year as “inspirational”.
PhysioNet operates out of a huge barn in Lower Dunsforth which contains hundreds of wheelchairs, zimmer frames and other mobility equipment.
It is the only charity of its kind that specifically provides such equipment to children in developing countries.
Mr Thompson said he was motivated to start PhysioNet because his experience of working in Eastern and Central Europe had “revealed a significant unfulfilled demand for equipment which was otherwise being scrapped in UK”.
Anyone wanting to help PhysioNet raise much needed funds or help out in packing loading or driving the charity’s vehicles can contact Mr Thompson on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01423 322736.
The Action Through Enterprise website is ateghana.org
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