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Barack Obama gives his support to Essex family's campaign for African village
Updated 3:12pm Monday 28th October 2013 in News
THE family of a popular teacher who died have continued to raise money for a cause close to his heart.
Tony Bartlett, who taught at St Clere’s in Stanford-le-Hope for 20 years grew determined to support education in Kenya following a family holiday to the African country in 2007, before his untimely death aged 48 in 2010.
In his name, his wife Deborah Bartlett and their two children Sarah and Simon have been working on a project to build classrooms to benefit the poorest children in the Shanzu district of Mombassa.
The family have now raised more than £12,000 of the £22,000 needed to create four new classrooms.
US President Barack Obama, and the man behind the London Olympics, Lord Coe, have both offered letters of support for their work.
Mrs Bartlett, who works at the Port of Tilbury, has been working with a small UK charity, Better Life: Africa, the port and St Clere’s.
The Tony Bartlett Memorial Fund has been set up and companies and individuals have been donating.
The school the fund is supporting accommodates the poorest children and readies them for high school or to secure a job. The land it sits on currently is being taken back by the landlord and the school faces closure.
Behind the scenes, the Bartlett family are working tirelessly. Mrs Bartlett has been using her network of businesses to gain support.
Building firm Jewsons have offered to supply 40 per cent of the necessary building materials, while the Port of Tilbury and St Clere’s have made huge contributions.
Sarah, who has a masters in international PR and global communications from Cardiff University, has launched a strong social media campaign.
Mrs Bartlett said: “The children are wonderful and inspiring. Some don’t even have shoes on their feet, but they dream of being pilots, lawyers and doctors.”
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