10,000 Feet for Makumbi
10,000 Feet for Makumbi started over two years ago when Maria Neal and Rachel Cockell visited Zimbabwe in February 2015. On the visit to the companionship school, Makumbi Primary, Sister Aloysius, the Sister in charge of the orphanage explained about the need for school shoes. Many of the pupils had no shoes or badly fitting ones. They often walked many miles and their feet suffered from cuts, injuries and infection.
On their return to England, Maria and Rachel thought about how they could raise money to buy shoes. The idea of "feet" grew into feet-distance and from there the idea of a parachute jump. Ann Westmoreland was keen to join the group. So, then, question of how best to promote the jump was discussed. With a few good favours from friends the Charlie's Angels spoof film was made- A very big favour was the support from Father Provincial- Dermott Preston SJ, who kindly recorded the voice over- The Angels Film premiered at Family Night 2016. It was available on a fundraising website and had many viewings- the children could not quite believe their teacher's "other life”!
After many months of generous giving the target was reached. Two thousand pounds for shoes - now just the jump to do! On St. George's Day 23rd April the Three Angels took to the skies and flew 10,000 feet back to down to earth, landing safely. Video, certificates were all shared in assembly and online as proof! Then the money was collected in.
The next problem was getting it to the school. The political situation had been very precarious and transferring funds not guaranteed. However, a secure route was found and the money was finally safely received. The Makumbi teacher, Blessing, organised a list of children who were most in need and measured feet. The order to the shoe factory was then placed. Finally, the shoes were collected in November and were swapped with the wonderful images of children receiving their first ever school shoes. Parents, Grandparents sang and danced with gratitude.
It was a very humbling and although a long process was worth every minute. Well Done Barlborough Hall School!