The latest news from the bet365 charitable foundation is that a donation of £230,000 has been made to help a school in Trent Vale set up a project for vulnerable children in Sierra Leone.
St. Joseph’s College has had a long running partnership with Sierra Leone, and since 2007 has been sending groups of teachers and students to help schools there. Bet365 CEO, Denise Coates, pledged her support after she witnessed a presentation on the school’s work in the country. This particular project has the aim of helping street children in Bo, Sierra Leone’s second city.
The donation will go towards supplying a well for fresh water, a generator, modern educational equipment and resources, new classrooms and a minibus at an existing school building which is owned by the Christian Brother Mission.
“The bet365 foundation has been impressed by the work of local students and teachers in Sierra Leone and knows the donation will enable St. Joseph’s to make a real difference to the lives of street children,” said Coates.
The country is recognised by the United Nations as one of the poorest on the planet. This is in part due to a brutal 10 year civil war which resulted in the deaths of 50,000 people.A former headteacher at St. Joseph’s, Edward Kerrigan, was amongst those killed whilst working as a missionary in Sierra Leone in 1995.
Current headteacher Roisin Maguire expressed her delight at the donation and noted that the school’s previous and ongoing work in the country was having a positive effect.
Ms.Maguire explained: “Over the last decade we have been making a difference, improving teaching methods and, with the help of our parents, raising more than £100,000 to fund our trips and improve our resources where we could.”
“However the bet365 Foundation’s will put an end to what was essentially a ‘sticking plaster’ approach and enable us – with the support of the Christian Brother Missionary and the teachers in Sierra Leone – to create a purpose built school fit for the 21st century.”
“This project means so much to the St. Joseph’s College community with so many of our young people having their eyes opened to the severity of the problems of other people.”
Stating how it was her belief that the trips had been ‘life-changing’ for the children at St. Joseph’s, she continued: “I am just thrilled that, thanks to Denise Coates and the bet365 Foundation, we can now give something truly tangible back in return.”