A BAND of teachers, engineers and volunteers are heading off to Africa this weekend to continue their work in improving the lives of residents in Hastings’ namesake in Sierra Leone.
Coordinated by the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link (HSLFL), the group will work on a range of projects that have been developing over the past few years.
Derek Tomblin, retired civil engineer who became involved in 2001, said: “Our twin town continues its struggle to recover from the ravages of the Rebel War in Sierra Leone more than a decade ago.
“We are looking forward to continuing our work and helping with this recovery in a variety of ways.”
The teachers in the group will continue teaching in local schools, working with teachers in Hastings, Sierra Leone.
Teachers from those schools will return to 1066 Country in May to gain further experience of UK teaching methods.
Some of the teachers and engineers will also be helping to dig wells at two of the schools to provide a year round water supply, as well as helping to improve hygiene by constructing composting toilets for the children and staff to use.
The team is also continuing their work on the extension to the Health Centre, which began a couple of years ago.
Funded by the HSLFL, the extension will double the centre’s size, enabling it to improve ante- and post-natal care.
The project has also attracted donations of medical equipment and drugs, including ultrasound equipment.
Roger Mitchell, chairman of the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link, said: “It is heart-warming to see the number of volunteers continue to grow in spite of the difficult times we are having at home with fundraising, and so on as people are willing to give up their time and money to further the good work that began a decade ago to help the people of Hastings, Sierra Leone, recover from the devastation caused by the Rebel War.
“I know we will all return with the satisfaction that we have made a difference, however small, to the daily life of our friends there.”