MP helps raise £1650 for School in Kenya

June 2, 2009 12:00 AM

Rochdale MP Paul RowenRochdale MP Paul Rowen has teamed up local car dealer Terry Mason to help raise £1650 for a School in Kenya. Both Mr Rowen and Mr Mason recently took the time to organise a special fund raiser at local restaurant the India Lounge on Spotland Road. The £1659 raised will go towards the cost of building a new school in Marigat, Kenya.

Paul said: "Over the years Rochdale has developed a close link with Marigat. This goes back to the 1980s when Sister Maureen Maguire, now working as a Parish Sister at St. Johns, taught at one of the Secondary Schools in the area. Both I and Terry Mason have developed close links with the St Theresa's Mission based there. On a recent visit a couple of years ago I witnessed the very crowded conditions and I was appalled to see over 60 children crammed into a classroom.

Paul added: ""The Kenyan government when it was elected in 2005 introduced free primary school education but did not provide any more extra schools or classrooms. Teachers have been forced to teach children in two shifts, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The Parish Priest, Father Peter, decided to try and raise the money to buld a new school. I visited last July when the first two classrooms were being built. The money we raised has gone towards the building of these classrooms."

Terry Mason said: "Everyone had a very enjoyable evening - the India Lounge was packed and I am delighted at the amount of money raised that will go towards these classrooms. It just goes to show how generous the people of Rochdale are, even during these difficult economic times. I'd particularly like to thank Raj from the India Lounge and all those who attended. We plan to organise another fundraiser in the Autumn."

At the fundraiser Rochdale's Mayor Keith Swift, who also works as a Frank Sinatra impersonator, volunteered to be the night's entertainment but was unfortunately taken ill half way through the performance.

Councillor Swift said: "Unfortunately I was taken ill during the night and I ended up spending four days in the infirmary recovering from a virus. However, I was delighted to have been asked to provide the entertainment I am pleased that so much money was raised for such a worthy cause."