Education charity spreads its wings with Africa donation

Frederick Longino with some of the surplus educational materials heading from Scotland to Tanzania courtesy of the charity set up by Bute resident David Hanschell.
Frederick Longino with some of the surplus educational materials heading from Scotland to Tanzania courtesy of the charity set up by Bute resident David Hanschell.

A CHARITY set up on Bute by a former teacher at one of the island’s primary schools has spread its wings by arranging for the transport of surplus schoolbooks from Scotland to Tanzania.

Rothesay resident David Hanschell, the founder of the Surplus Educational Supplies Foundation, presented a donation of textbooks and library books recently to Frederick Longino, a student from Dar es Salaam who is completing a PhD at Edinburgh University.

The books are destined for the Ngulla Community Secondary School in the east African country, of which Frederick is a patron.

“It was very humbling to see just how excited Frederick was to receive all the materials,” David told The Buteman.

The Foundation – which has also received financial help in the form of recent donations from the East Ayrshire and East Dunbartonshire branches of the EIS teachers’ union - recently prepared 226 boxes of textbooks, sourced from Inverclyde Council, to send to schools in Liberia in west Africa.

The charity was established after David and his P3/4 pupils at North Bute Primary in Port Bannatyne gathered up educational material such as books, pencils, rulers and jotters to send to the Caribbean island of Grenada in 2005 as part of a class project after the country was devastated by the effects of Hurricane Ivan.

The Foundation has been so successful in persuading local authorities all over Scotland to donate unwanted books and other materials – many from schools being replaced by new public-private partnership facilities – to communities in Africa and the Caribbean ravaged by poverty and natural disaster that it now has storage units in the Granton area of Edinburgh and in Greenock, as well as a bookshop in the Inverclyde town.