A generator that has been in the basement of a Bolton Council building for nearly 50 years will soon be powering a school in Sierra Leone.
The equipment has been lying unused in Howell Croft House, on Howell Croft North since the 1960s, when the building was a police station. It is now being taken to Africa by the International Aid Trust.
Several months ago the charity started sponsorship of the New Hope School in Lunghi, Sierra Leone, which 180 children aged three to 12 years old attend.
Prior to the charity’s intervention many of these children might not have got anything to eat at home and been forced onto the streets to sell what little they could, they now receive a good meal every day, and more and more young people are now attending school.
While the school is proving successful under the watch of the trust, the restored generator will make a huge difference.
As well as providing a crucial resource for young people in one of the most deprived countries in the world, the council will be able to save around £2,000 that would have been spent disposing of the generator.
The equipment’s long journey to Africa will begin this Friday (September 10) free of charge when HSS hire assist with removing the generator from the basement, before the International Aid Trust ships it to Sierra Leone next week.
Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council, said: “It is so gratifying to have found a way to dispose of our unwanted equipment and help these young people in Sierra Leone at the same time. What may be just an old generator to us can provide the school with vital power and make a real difference to the pupils’ lives.”
The International Aid Trust is a Christian organisation providing help and support to countries including Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and across Eastern Europe.
Rev Rtn Bernard, Founder & CEO of the International Aid Trust, said: “On behalf of the poor people we serve we would like to thank Bolton Council for this wonderful gift that will make a huge difference to the needy children and staff of New Hope School in Lunghi. Now they will be able to have lights and power for cooking – and perhaps even radio programmes and a powered keyboard!
“Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in Africa and sometimes classes cease so that the children can go out and look for water. Our Head Teacher there, Alice Fofanah, does not have electricity in her own home and has to travel about fifteen miles just to email reports to us.
“We are now looking for a laptop for Alice and musical instruments to further help our work around the world.
“Our feeding programme is already saving lives and we could so much more if other local authorities were as generous and thoughtful as Bolton Council have been.”