Above (left to right): Phil Miles, Mark Lindop, Josh Cherry and Freddie Bishop.

A North Kent College tutor and two former students have just returned from a life changing week transforming the lives of thousands of children in a South African Township.

Lecturer in Brickwork and Multitrades, Phil Miles, and two former bricklaying students, Freddie Bishop and Josh Cherry, joined more than 300 volunteers for Mellon Educate’s “Building Blitz” in Cape Town.

In the space of seven days, across two school sites in the Township of Khayelitsha, the volunteers built 20 classrooms, two playgrounds, four covered shelters and a kitchen.

The facilities are designed to give children living in the Township the best chance of escaping the poverty trap they have been born into.

The trip was made possible thanks to the sponsorship of local businessman Mark Lindop, who has provided financial support to enable staff and students to be part of this project since 2017. Phil, who was also part of the project in 2018, said:

“Once again a big thankyou to Mark Lindop who continues to give our students the chance to experience this chance to make a difference to people less fortunate than ourselves. Also a big well done to Mellon Educate who for 21 years has changed the lives of so many children in the Townships of South Africa.”

For Josh Cherry, who graduated from North Kent College this summer, it was a week he will never forget. He said:

“South Africa was an experience of a lifetime! To work as part of a team building a future and education for the children of South Africa is a privilege and a honour. To see how grateful the children, staff and people are of all the hard work is an amazing feeling.”

“I had the best time as well as making new friends for life. I got to experience a home visit and it really hits home how lucky we really are. If you ever get the opportunity to be part of this experience, grab it with both hands! This is a memory and experience that will stay with me for life.”

Read more about Mellon Educate, a charity founded in 2002 with the aim of bringing literacy to hundreds of thousands of children across South Africa.

By Ed

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