Wacky Hair Fun Run In Aid of ACE!

Last week, we were invited into Rainford C of E Primary School and presented with a cheque for an amazing £933 which the children had raised for our ACE “Buy a Block” appeal!

Following a presentation that we did to them a while ago about the work of ACE and Arise School, the Rainford School Council came up with the idea of the Wacky Hair Fun Run. At the end of last term, the children came to school with all sorts of weird and wonderful hairdos. 

They had a wonderful time running laps of the school field. Some of the children managed over 100 laps! Everyone did their best and put so much effort into raising money for ACE.   

We would like to say a huge “thank you” to all the children. Your efforts were awesome! Also, thank you to the Headteacher and staff who supported the event and to the children’s families and friends who sponsored them.  

The money we received is so timely. It will go towards completing classroom no. 8 ready for use in January. It will enable Arise School to provide another 40 children with the chance of an education.


“Mr Nick” Boosts Technology at Arise!

It was only in January this year that electricity was finally installed at the school. Immediately following that, two of our ACE volunteers spent time there installing the first couple of laptops and beginning to train the teachers in computer skills. Since then, two local volunteers have done a brilliant job continuing to train the staff and develop the school’s use of technology.  

Now, Arise School has a visitor from the UK who is using his experience and skills to develop this even further. As well as taking out more laptops – the school currently has five – “Mr. Nick”, as he has become known to the children, has undertaken further work with the teachers to develop their use of the computer. Training sessions have ranged from basic computer skills to using formula within Excel spreadsheets. The staff now have the skills they need to prepare their lessons on the laptop.  

In addition, “Mr. Nick” has set up a local WiFi network in the school. It is hoped that this will join up all the classrooms in order that the teachers and students can share documents and communicate more effectively. New spreadsheets and documents have been created to help record and keep track of information. The school’s printer is also part of the network enabling the teachers to print off documents remotely as they need them. 

From a position this time last year when the school did not even have electricity, Arise School has made a huge leap forward. Thank you “Mr Nick” for all your efforts to make this possible. We hope you are enjoying your time at Arise and, in particular, meeting the little girl you and your wife sponsor.  

The “Feel Good Factor”!

In just under three weeks we will be back at Arise School. This time, it will be for a very special occasion. When school finishes at the end of November, Arise School will have been open for five full years. The time has flown!

In order to mark this, on Saturday 28th October, a celebration will be held at the school. Preparations are underway. As well as the more formal bits, the Arise pupils are learning new songs and dances to perform. We hope it will be a joyous occasion and a true celebration – one that gives everyone in the local community that “feel good” factor about what has been achieved in the last five years.

One thing we know from our visits to the school, and from looking back at all the photos and videos we have taken over the years, is that being with the children and seeing how much they enjoy school, always gives us the “feel good” factor. We hope watching this video will give you that same feeling.

Cronton Primary School Comes Up Trumps Again!

In the last three years, the children of Cronton C of E Primary School have done a fantastic job of raising money for ACE. This week we were invited back into school and, by way of an update, told the children “Hemed’s Story” about one of the poorest families to benefit from the ACE Sponsorship Scheme*. The Cronton pupils listened intently.

We also received the proceeds from their last fundraising venture, a Coffee Morning held in aid of the charity at the end of the summer term. It was extremely well supported and raised a massive £625.65! In addition, a number of the children have been taking individual initiatives to raise money. In particular, two sisters, Jessica and Katy, held their own raffle which raised £41. A brilliant effort!

As well as fundraising, the Cronton children have also helped us in very different ways. In 2016, they brought into school the football shorts, tops and boots that they had outgrown. There were so many of them! Now, 5,000 miles away, the pupils at Arise enjoy wearing them for their sports lessons so much. They wear them so proudly!

This year, on the final day of the summer term, the Cronton pupils came into school in their trainers. When they went home, they left their school shoes on their desk. These school shoes are still in good condition but would be too small for their owners by the start of the new school year and would need to be replaced. Again, there were so many pairs. The Cronton children have certainly come up trumps again! As for us, we are now working on our next challenge – how to get them all out to Arise!

A huge thank you to all the Cronton School children, their parents and friends for their ongoing and tremendous support of ACE in the last three years.

                                                             * “Hemed’s Story” was based on our blog of 14th August 2017

ACE Well Appeal Launched!

Arise School will shortly be celebrating its fifth anniversary. From the point in 2012 when we decided to try and raise enough money to build one classroom, the school has grown beyond our wildest dreams. We still have some way to go to raise enough money to completely finish and furnish the last three classrooms and to build another toilet block to meet the ever growing number of children. Yet, at the same time, we need to look beyond this to the longer term future.  

If the dream is to be fully realised, Arise School has to become self sustaining. It is “their school, for their children and their community”. It needs to become independent of ACE. True success will mean that, eventually, we will be able to close the charity.

Last Saturday evening saw the beginning of the next phase – the launch of our ACE Well Appeal and the start of the school’s journey towards sustaining itself. From discussions with them and a feasibility study that was carried out last year, the single most important factor in achieving self sustainability, will be the construction of a well, along with the purchase of an irrigation system.

The appeal was launched at a dinner dance organised by Keith Morris of Debonaires Dance Club, St. Helens. Keith, a former professional dancer with successes at both World and UK levels, has been one of our very longstanding supporters since we first went to Tanzania as volunteers almost 10 years ago.

Seventy two people sat down to an extremely enjoyable meal. In between courses, Eleanor, our Young Ambassador for ACE who has done so much over the last few years to raise money for the charity, helped to sell raffle tickets. The highlight of the evening followed – a brilliant demonstration by Sarah Bod and Christopher Leadbetter, up and coming rising stars of the dance world.   

The evening raised an amazing total of £759.50! What a fantastic start to the ACE Well Appeal. A huge “Thank You” to Keith for all his hard work to organise the event and for so generously donating the proceeds to ACE. Thank you, too, to Sarah and Christopher for such inspirational dance and their interest and empathy for our work. Not least, thank you to everyone who came along on the night and helped to make it such a success.

 If you would like to support the Well Appeal and ensure Arise School becomes self sustainable, please donate online now. Thank you.

The Last Three Classrooms Go Up!

It doesn’t seem possible that just five years ago the first classroom for Arise School was still under construction. It opened in January 2013 with 11 children. By January this year, there were seven completed classrooms and over 270 children!

Only a few months ago, with donations of building materials and labour from the local community, the foundations for the last three classrooms were laid. Then the walls started to go up. Once again, builders in the local community donated cement.  

At the beginning of this month, we had managed to raise enough through ACE to send out money for work on the roof to be started. This week, the timber for the roof supports was delivered.  

When the roof is on, the aim will be to fully complete one of the three classrooms – plastering, doors, windows, painting, fittings and, finally, desks and chairs for 40 children – ready for the start of the new school year in January 2018.  

The progress in the last five years has been tremendous. A field has been transformed into a thriving school. Whilst there is still much fundraising to be done to fully complete these last three classrooms, we are now entering the next stage – the school’s longer term development. To find out what this will look like, don’t forget to read next week’s blog!

              Please help us to complete Arise School by donating online now. All money raised goes directly to the school.

From Three Staff to a Team of Twenty Five!

When Arise School first opened in January 2013 there were just three members of staff. Last Friday, the school broke up for two weeks half term holiday. As in most schools, not only were the children looking forward to the break but, also, the team of twenty five – members of staff, regular volunteers and trainee teachers – who now all play a vital role in making Arise School a safe, healthy and caring learning environment for the children.

Not only has the number of teachers increased from one to nine, the number of support workers has grown considerably to keep up with the ever increasing number of pupils. Imagine the difference – cooking porridge for 11 children when school first opened compared with now providing breakfast and lunch everyday for 275 children! So much more food to be purchased, so many more meals to be prepared and cooked everyday, so many more dishes to be washed.

Whether a member of the teaching or support staff, a volunteer or a trainee teacher on placement, everyone has an individual role to play and an individual contribution to make. They also work closely as a team to set the culture and evidence the school’s philosophy. Everyone plays their part and works together to make Arise School the sort of place where children want to learn and to make the most of their education – a positive work environment for both children and adults.

From the start, Arise School has not only been concerned to offer a quality education, it has sought to take a wholistic view of the child. The school team is to be congratulated on its approach and investment in the children. We hope they enjoy these two weeks and return feeling refreshed for the last half term of the school year.