Staff and students raise funds for International Development projects in Africa

The computer room at the SIDshare/KEDA Field Centre

Computer support provided for the SIDshare/KEDA Field Centre

Thanks to generous donations from University of Sheffield alumni and supporters, SIDshare has built a field centre, in collaboration with the NGO KEDA in Tanzania. This field centre is a joint social enterprise venture between KEDA and SIDshare.

Earlier in 2016 SIDshare was delighted to receive a donation of 6 computers to equip the field centre, ensuring that it can be used by visitors as well as the local community for IT training. A JustGiving page was set up to raise sufficient funds to ship the equipment to Tanzania, to furnish an IT room, provide printers, consumables and to help support internet access.

The NGO, KEDA and the local community surrounding the Field Centre near Himo Junction have limited access to computers. The NGO has also identified a need for IT training to build capacity among the local community especially among local women and children, and so a Field Centre manager was appointed with a background in IT. When the Field Centre is not in use by visiting groups, training courses are provided that will also be supported by student interns from the University of Sheffield's student NGO SIDshare.

Over £1,500 was raised, which funded the desks for the room, a wireless router, two printers and cartridges, as well as the cost of shipping the equipment to Tanzania.

The success of this fundraising means that plans to run IT classes and workshops for local people have become a reality and the Field Centre will also be able to host educational groups from within and outside of the University, provide tourism opportunities, and run a field class for alumni teachers in the future.

More information can be found at the Field Centre website and donations can still be made via the SIDshare JustGiving page.

Students and staff support Mbara pre-school in North-West Kenya, raising funds for a new classroom and vegetable plot

Mbara is a poor, remote village high in the Cherangani Hills in north-west Kenya, accessible only by a steep dirt track. Students from the University’s International Development Master’s programme have spent a week in Mbara every year recently, and have built strong links with the local community, who are always incredibly welcoming. Raising funds for the nursery school has become a way of giving something back.

In May 2016 a group of staff and students replicated walking up to the height of Mount Mtelo, which looms over Mbara at 3300m, by climbing Win Hill in the Peak District (462m) no fewer than seven times in one day! They battled with changeable weather and slippery rocks but a total of 10 students and staff successfully completed all seven ascents in a day.

Their efforts were rewarded by generous donations totalling £2,000, which will fund a second classroom as well as a new vegetable plot. The school’s only classroom holds 32 children, but there are already twice that number on the school roll. The new classroom has been fully costed and the foundations laid. It will be built by local workers using local materials. The vegetable plot will be tended by the children and teachers, and will provide fresh and nutritious food for school lunches.

The group were delighted to receive the following message from John Yoposiwa, one of the school’s founders:

“Please receive lots of thanks from the community and myself for the very amazing fundraising event. This leaves no doubt the school will achieve its goals, thus improving the current education standards. I'm also very delighted that the idea of a vegetable garden will be put to a reality. God bless all of you abundantly.”

Are you considering a fundraising event soon? Why not consider to raising funds for an area or project at the University? Find out more on our Fundraising web page or contact David Meadows at d.meadows@shef.ac.uk or Debbie Beaumont-Thomas at d.beaumont-thomas@shef.ac.uk.

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