Advancing the Education, Training & Life Skills of the Young People of Mozambique
Thomas Marshall was a bright, lively and giving teenager from Orford who tragically died in a road accident on the outskirts of the village in the summer of 2009 just before his A level exam results arrived that would have seen him going on to University. His tragic death became the catalyst to set up the Thomas Marshall Education Fund to support secondary and tertiary education in Mozambique..
Originally formed as part of the Vila Maninga charity the Thomas Marshall Education Fund has now been set up independently under the trusteeship of Thomas’s parents and a small team of friends. Fundraising activities are organised throughout the year to generate income which is passed directly to Mozambique to support the aims of the fund. All trustees are unpaid volunteers and no expenses are taken from the fundraising.
The Thomas Marshall Education Fund aims to advance the education, training and life skills of the young people of Mozambique to enable them to make a sustainable living and provide active support within their communities. This will be achieved by the provision of suitable premises and equipment to enable the State of Mozambique Educators to achieve their task. The fund will also assist the poorest students to access these facilities. The welfare and safety of the young people of Mozambique is a primary consideration of this charity in all its activities.
Without money, school uniforms and bags for books, the poorest are prevented from accessing education. the Thomas Marshall Education Fund assists in the purchase of basic necessities to support learning and training.
Thomas's fund was set up initially to help the young of Mozambique to be able to access further education once they had left secondary school. Out in Mozambique the government provide education, schools and the teachers but only up to Grade 6 - equivalent to GCSE level. The students can be any age by the time they get to Grade 6 as their education can be very hit and miss depending on their family situation. There is no provision for books or uniform - all pupils have to wear uniform which in an area where the only things the family possesses are a few pots and pans is completely ridiculous. There is no provision for transport to get the children to school - they have to walk miles in some cases. For some the secondary school is so far away that they need to be accommodated in boarding lodges, again not provided by the state. TMEF has helped with uniforms, books, equipment & accommodation and also helped pay for enrolment on courses in Beira University and other colleges.
The area where Vila Maninga operates is sadly lacking in the provision of further education and so the idea of building a Technical school is now our latest project. This will be able to provide locally a range of useful courses and training which in turn will benefit the lives of the families in the district. It is a huge undertaking - building costs are not cheap as materials etc need to be brought in from S.Africa. Where possible the construction will be carried out using the skills of the local builders, plumbers, electricians. carpenters etc. The plan is to build in phases as & when we have sufficient funds. First on the list are the lecture halls.
This project is temporarily on hold because of political difficulties in the area but we are monitoring the situation and hope to restart in the near future.