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Ulster Teachers’ Union

Making a difference - UTU support of the Ray of Hope Initiative

6th Nov 2015
Making a difference - UTU support of the Ray of Hope Initiative

A varied collection of initiatives has been attempted and completed since the last edition of the Ulster Teachers’ Union News. There are always many needy causes requiring our focus, and if it was not for the Ulster Teachers’ Union much less would be our efforts. The support from the Union over many years is greatly appreciated and invaluable.

At a time when many organisations are looked on with suspicion regarding what percentage of funds arrives with the children overseas, A Ray of Hope is totally unique – no salaries, expenses, remuneration of any kind or flights etc, are funded either in the United Kingdom or overseas. Our boast is that in many cases we can increase the value of the donation rather than diminish it. For example, the total cost of The Gambia’s five computer systems, aftercare maintenance and teacher training was £396. Following the earthquake, clothes that we required for an orphanage and children in the tentage area of Kathmandu were manufactured in Nepal. The managing director of the clothing company is a member of A Ray of Hope. The clothes were half the price that they would have been if purchased in Northern Ireland – and a further 30% discount was given. It can be amazing the value of £1 if spent with due diligence.

The photographs give an indication of the variety of projects assisted over the last 6 months:

Belarus : Focusing on art and music schools, also sports’ complexes. ( 4 groups ) 

Brazil : Environmental field trip – “the importance of bees”. ( 1 group) 

The Gambia : computer systems, classroom and computer suite furniture ( 2 schools) 

India : Henny Penny Library No. 36 also school uniforms, library and resource centre , Kashmir. (2 groups )

Nepal  : Clothing for an orphanage, field trip for Renu’s class and computer systems for a rural resource centre. ( 3 organisations)

Nigeria : Educational field trip to nature park and photographic museum – also text books for an orphanage. ( 3 organisations)

Philippines : Cultural fieldtrip and inter school activities ( 1 school)

Uganda : Parent’s open day, examination papers and miscellaneous items, schoolbags for an orphanage also text books. ( 2 groups) The importance of education maybe can be measured on the dress of the guardians as they appeared on parents’ day – all those who came, live in wattle huts.

Again our sincere thanks,

Don McBurney, Ray of Hope