African school hall fund-raising boost

A hall which will be used by children at an African school is taking shape thanks to the fund-raising efforts of Derby High School

Students and staff at the school, in Hillsway, Littleover, raised more than £25,000 to help pay for the hall at the Woodard Langalanga Senior School in Kenya.

It is being built by the Kariandusi Trust, which was founded by Colonel Harry Vialou Clark, a retired Army officer, and his wife Alison.

Colonel Vialou Clark has emailed Derby High School with photos and a progress update on the building work in Africa, which he described as a “dream come true”.

He said: “There remains just one major building to construct which will be called the Derby High Hall. The name is to commemorate the extraordinary generosity of parents, children and supporters of Derby High School who have raised the major share for this central, biggest, essential and most imposing building in the whole school.

“The Derby High Hall is about 60 per cent complete. By mid-September the roof should be on and work inside will then start. By January 2015 it should be completed. It will then be ready for use as a dining hall, a chapel, theatre and assembly hall. It will also be used for table tennis competitions and for badminton.

“Derby High School’s girls stitched a most impressive wall hanging which has been framed and will hang in the hall when the builders move out. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone involved in helping to make our dream come true.”

Colonel Vialou Clark said that there were 360 pupils currently attending the school and he expected it to be full with 480 pupils by February 2015.

Students and staff at Derby High held dozens of fund-raising events to raise the cash.

These included primary school teacher Jane Swainston agreeing to be gunged after raising more than £500 by completing a series of madcap challenges, while pupils from the primary department collected more than £600 by taking part in a sponsored curiosity challenge.

Another innovative fund-raiser involved each senior school student being asked to see if they could use their talents and entrepreneurial spirit to “grow” £2 into a larger sum of money.  

An Arabian-themed night raised more money and artistic students put their talents to good use by selling their artwork, raising £543 for the appeal.

Denise Gould, headteacher at Derby High School, said the school was thrilled to see the hall taking shape.

She said: “We are delighted that construction of the hall is well underway and we look forward to seeing the finished building which we hope will make a real difference to the children who attend the school.”


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