Our link with our partner school in Mara, Tanzania, began when I was fortunate enough to be part of a group of teachers, headteachers, Vicars and staff employed by the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales to visit Tanzania in February 2015.
One of the purposes of the visit was to meet with schools and parishes who already had links with the Diocese here, and to get to know the teachers and children better.
As soon as we pulled up to Buhemba school and were greeted so warmly by the staff and children, I knew this was a very special place. As we got to know the staff and children we discussed their successes and also their needs.
In some classes, we saw as many as 200 children, with one teacher doing their utmost to educate them in very basic conditions. The children, despite the huge classes and very limited, if any resources, displayed excellent attitudes to learning.
They clearly understand the value of education and that it may be a chance at improving their own lives and that of their families too. They listened intently, responded to questions enthusiastically and worked hard despite some of them not having books as their families, in some cases, could not afford to buy them and the school was unable to provide them.
I recognised so many similarities with these learning attitudes as well as the Christian Values which our children in Normanton also strive to live by.
Before we left, it was agreed that we would be able to link with Buhemba school, for a link to be established as a way of growing together, learning from and supporting each other in a way which educated and blessed the lives of our children in Normanton and Mara.
We are still in the early stages of our link but are excited for this to grow in the future and seeing this enrich the lives of staff and children in both schools.