Ratupenisa School, Soso, Fiji

Appeal by Wendy Hattrell.

When the word went out that we were a speaker short for the March GM I offered my services. I had been fortunate to travel to Fiji last November and found it a fascinating place populated by very smiley happy people. We cruised round some of the islands and visited a small village, Soso in the Yasawa group of islands. There we met the Head Man and some of the local families. We went to their school and talked to the teacher of their oldest class, 13/14 year olds. They then go to the 'mainland' but have to board for education up to 18. We were interested to learn they were short of science books and have since been able to send some that Danum school no longer needed.

It was with dismay we learnt of the cyclone that hit Fiji in February and some days later the school sent us photos and a short email - see above - of the destruction it caused. This was why I wanted to speak. The committee agreed I could pass the hat round and together with my speakers fee we have raised £200 to help them with their recovery. They didn't have a lot to start with - no mains water and no mains electricity - just collected rainwater and a generator that's run after dark. The school has its own generator which it runs when it needs to use electrical equipment. Now most of the houses have lost their roofs and so has the school. The money will be well used I'm sure so thank you Doncaster U3A for your generous support.

Wendy Hattrell