The entire contents of a former prep school in north Yorkshire is being shipped out to a school in Africa.

Furniture, books and a billiard table are among the items donated by the independent school, which closed in the summer but wants to remain anonymous.

The 40ft (12m) shipping container is being sent out to pupils in Lawra in Ghana by Wiltshire based charity, Action Through Enterprise (ATE).

Sarah Gardner, from ATE, said: “We’ve been given everything – it’s amazing.”

ATE, which was set up by Ms Gardner, runs a number of schemes in the rural upper west region of Ghana.
One of its support programs includes giving free school meals to 450 children at Karbo Primary School in Lawra, in a bid to boost attendance.

But it was the charity’s search for wheelchairs that put them in contact with Peter Thompson at North Yorkshire-based charity, PhysioNet.

“It was a bit unusual for us to have an entire school being donated, we normally provide special needs equipment,” said Mr Thompson.

“But Sarah had mentioned that they were building a kindergarten and were looking for school equipment.

“And I had come across a prep school that had closed down in the summer, that was happy for us to take the lot.”

In three “very big lorries”, volunteers at Physionet not only collected the entire contents of the school but also its library of textbooks, the school piano and its playground equipment.

‘Never seen books’

“I found out a few weeks ago and was absolutely overjoyed,” said Ms Gardner.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. We’ve been given everything – furnishings, desks, chairs, a full library with boxes and boxes of books.

“[The school] has nothing so everything will be used.”

In the run up to Christmas, volunteers from both charities filled a vast shipping container “to the brim” with the contents of the school which is due to arrive in Ghana at the beginning of January.

“We’re building a kindergarten unit for 96 because they’re learning in a cupboard at the moment,” said Ms Gardner.

“It’s a really exciting project because these children have never seen books before and now they’re going to have a whole library.”

Text & Image Credit: BBC

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