Party Helps Raise The Roof on Ugandan School

A party to raise money for the Emily Collins School in Kisoro, Uganda took place last Friday at Oaken Grove Vineyard.

The Raise the Roof party organised by local resident Tiffany Bowles and her family raised £4,000 towards the roof for the school which when finished hopes to educate 500+ children.

The School was founded by Ugandan social worker Martin Duhimbaze to help vulnerable and orphaned children to escape poverty by providing an education. The school is named after an English friend of Martin’s, Emily who died of cancer in 2017 at age 26.  Emily’s Dad Stephen spoke on Friday about Emily’s love for living life after her diagnosis and travelling the world when she met Martin. He wasn’t sure about whether Emily would want the school named after her at first however Martin convinced him.  Stephen said, “The children love coming to school and they love wearing their uniform (it’s the best clothes they have!)”  Stephen has been a big fundraiser for the school and continues to raise money through his photography and events.

On Friday, money was raised through an auction, raffle and games including guess the weight of the cake.  Guests enjoyed a two course Ethiopian meal from Tutu’s Ethiopian Table and music by Blue Magoo and African band, Limpopo Groove.

Tiffany said, “We are thrilled with how well the Raise the Roof event went. It was a real party atmosphere with everyone chatting, dancing and enjoying the food, music and beautiful venue. We exceeded our expectations and made a profit of about £4000, which will go to the school this week. More than that, 4 children have gained a sponsor and a brighter future. Several guests came forward with suggestions for future fundraising, and we are excited to have more people on board. The roof needed about £21k to be finished and thanks to everyone involved we have now reduced this to £17k and the next step to completion can be taken.”

“We are very grateful to our guests for attending and participating so fully in all the activities. And also to so many local businesses and friends for donating prizes for the auction and raffle. With thanks to the generosity of K9 Woodland Services, Blue Mic Music, HSC Boats, Glass Gardens Henley, Resource Bank, Daren Mason Wildlife Artist, The Henley Distillery, Niki Schafer Interior Design, Zimasa (Zimbabwean) Vodka, Oaken Grove, Henley Festival, Cook, Henley Larder, Space NK, Gail’s, Temptation Gifts and Tesco. And friends Annie, Leon, Stephen, Bina, Bryan, Paul, Debbie and Jenny for the prizes they donated too.”

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