Businesses send ‘classroom in a container’ to Zimbabwe

Two South Tyneside companies have come together to support a project to transport a 'classroom in a container' to Zimbabwe.
Two South Tyneside companies have come together to support a project to transport a 'classroom in a container' to Zimbabwe.

Two companies in South Tyneside have teamed up to support a bid to boost education in Africa.

The businesses, which specialise in shipping, have come together to transport a ‘classroom in a container’ 5,500 miles to Zimbabwe next month.

It’s great that AIMS and Solar Solve have offered these tremendous donations.

Les Watson

Advanced Inspection and Marine Services (Aims) has donated £250 and Solar Solve Marine an undisclosed amount to an initiative which plans to ship thousands of learning items to the Youth Contact Centre (YCC), a further education school in the city of Bulawayo.

Michael Stück, managing director of Aims, and business development manager Aaron Kah, joined John Lightfoot MBE, chairman of Solar Solve Marine, to hand their donations to former teacher Les Watson, the project’s organiser.

They were joined by governors and students from South Tyneside College, which has supported the initiative and acted as a base for donations.

Students also got behind the campaign, including health and social care pupil Kazia Wilson, of Hebburn, who raised £90.

Mr Kah, of Aims, which is based in Beach Road, South Shields, said: “My dad is from Gambia, and I studied there for a year when I was 18, so I know a bit about the education systems in that part of the world that is why Aims is especially pleased to help.

“Les came into our office and asked if we had any items we could donate. When we realised we didn’t, we knew we could help in another way, which we’re delighted to do.”

Books, desks, chairs, computers, printers, guitars, keyboards and amplifiers are among the donations which will be shipped this summer.

Mr Watson, who launched the project in November, said: “It’s great that Aims and Solar Solve have offered these tremendous donations.

“It shows how this appeal has touched people from across South Tyneside in different ways.