10 Years On!
Kathleen Smith writes
"I have been a trustee since 2002 when the Charity was first formed as 'Nyakabungo Girls Secondary School Scholarship and Development Fund'. The charity was set up initially to provide sponsorship for girls who longed for a secondary school education and were considered to be 'The poorest of the poor'.
2012 marks the tenth anniversary since our humble beginning and even though our founder, Mary Wood, is sadly no longer with us, it’s wonderful that the charity has been able to grow and become The Mary Wood Trustin her memory.
Mary was a remarkable lady and it was a real joy and a privilege as well as a challenge when together with Ann Gover we formed the charity in March 2002.
I’m a retired Primary Headteacher. I have taught in a broad range of schools, but my headships were in areas of social disadvantage, in multicultural environments with transient populations. I believe that girls not only deserve their chance, but an equal chance, and that is why I am so passionate about the work of the MWT.
I’m married with grown up children and grandchildren. I now run a small business with my husband, caring for animals. I live in a beautiful area in the Yorkshire Dales and count myself very lucky. In particular that I had a good education, which has made everything else possible.
Equality of educational opportunity has come a long way in this country since my own schooldays in the 1960’s. In Uganda there is still a long way to go. Girls in Uganda need help. Those at Nyakabungo Girls Secondary School are among the first to benefit from a more informed and democratic education system. However, the ability to pay is still a major stumbling block to their ability to access an education and thus to their future lives and career prospects.
Fundraising for the charity has been a high priority for me over the decade. As the years go by it has become ever more challenging to raise money. Small charities such as this are often squeezed out by those with high profiles (and big salary costs). I’m hoping that now we have full charitable status I will be able to apply for grants. If this proves successful it will be the answer to a lot of prayers, and would enable us to make major strides in the work we have outstanding.
However, nothing is guaranteed so I will still be running a 10K in May to mark my 60th birthday, and once again I will be on the prowl for sponsors! The car boot sales will continue and possibly even another 100-mile walk later in the year.
Wish me luck, and please, keep up your support.
“We toil for their future"