Shedding Light on Work out of Africa; COMMUNITY AWARDS

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), January 21, 2003 | Go to article overview

Shedding Light on Work out of Africa; COMMUNITY AWARDS


Byline: BARBARA GOULDEN

FIREMAN Nobby Clarke and tree surgeon Martyn Dalman are not community heroes in the strictest sense - the good they do is out in Africa not Coventry and Warwickshire.

But both men know they could not improve the life and education chances of towns in Uganda and South Sudan without the heroic fundraising support of their church congregations.

On Saturday, both men will be sharing their experience of overseas voluntary work with anyone who is interested in joining them or would be willing to lead local fundraising efforts.

They will be offering their perspective on the work at St James' Church, Fletchamstead, off Tile Hill Lane, Coventry, from 9.30am until 12.30pm.

Mr Clarke knows that the Voluntary Service Overseas organisation has announced how desperately short of volunteers they are thanks to the volatile world situation on terrorism.

But he hopes more people will be encouraged to support his and Mr Dalman's efforts after hearing not only from them but Ugandan student Robert Kibarengo who has agreed to join them.

He said: "There is still some suspicion about Christians going out to Africa to do voluntary work. People think we are pushing the Bible but in fact we are trying desperately to push education as a way out of poverty and health education as a way of staying alive.

"The top killers among the people in the Luweero clinic - built in Uganda with local money - are preventable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/Aids, even measles.

"As a Christian I have no problem going out to Africa to work with other Christians, Muslims and those of any other religious faith. But there is prejudice to overcome on both sides of the ocean."

Martyn recently accepted a pounds 7,000 donation from St Thomas Church, Keresley, for the work he has done in building a school in Kajo Keji in South Sudan. Over Christmas he raised money from chipping Christmas trees and last weekend hopes to have raised pounds 1,000 on a barn dance.

Local Heroes can work in this country or abroad but do need to have organised local events to support their voluntary efforts.

For more information about the morning course entitled: Sharing Our Experience, call 0787 649 3909.

PLEASE hurry to return nomination and application forms in the Local Hero, Brave Heart Hero and Sports Hero category. The last nomination forms for these categories appear tomorrow but can still be applied for this week by phoning 024 7650 0429.

Today we are inviting nominations for these first three categories

Local hero

We are looking for a Local Hero who has improved life in their area through their work or their voluntary efforts. …

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