A note from Denis Lawrence on his visit to Dabaso School

Having taught in the United Kingdom, Germany and Cyprus since 1974 and also having visited East Africa seven times in the last seven years, I thought I was sufficiently prepared for my recent visit to Dabaso School. I’d read through the website, looked at the photographs and spoken at length with Ann and Graham Lawrence. How wrong I was.

Unfortunately we could only spend four days at Dabaso School, but what a life changing and memorable experience it was. Together with my two teaching colleagues and thirteen secondary students from Cyprus, we came away humbled and inspired. The desire to learn, the willingness to overcome all odds, the happy smiling faces, the limited resources, the lack of local political motivation and the overwhelming desire to achieve. All of these factors, and more, were so easy to spot. Add to it, the lack of desks, the shortage of pens and pencils and the general state of disrepair. However, a lick of paint, a bit of elbow grease and a smile (Always a smile at Dabaso) can work wonders.

Madam Esther and her staff work under comparatively medieval conditions to produce students who are polite, respectful, hard working, uncomplaining and succeeding.

Every time I visit Africa, a lit bit of me gets left behind. Africa is a continent which burns a rightful place in your heart. I look forward to returning next autumn with another group of students. In the meantime, I will work with both schools to provide funds and resources for Dabaso School. The staff and students will remain in my thoughts forever.

It was a privilege to have been allowed to spend some time in your World and escape from mine. Asante sana.