Our relationship with the Bereko Community is enriching in so many ways. It is important to us that it is primarily a friendship. This is growing stronger over the years and brings benefits to both communities. In fact, our friendship has brought us together within Paddock Wood and within Bereko as much as between our two communities.
Over the years, we have though, learned more about the Bereko community's priorities, and have been able to offer support, sometimes assisting with funding where they can, for example, make bricks but not buy the roofing sheets. We have also facilitated donations of second hand school uniforms, text books or medicines.
At home, we have worked together to develop a greater understanding of life in Bereko. We have had stands at the Paddock Wood carnival in 2014 and 2016. The first was focussed on water, how easy it is to use in Paddock Wood and the many difficulties in Bereko. In 2016, we considered power and there were displays and activities to help us understand how difficult it is to do things without electricity on demand. The posters that were displayed are available here: /Publisher/File.aspx?ID=186060
Our schools have worked together on events such as a 'no power hour', where each school had to manage for just one hour without electricity. Even this short time was a challenge for some.
Currently we are working with the Bereko sub Town Council on the town's new health centre. The government will provide a doctor when one more ward is completed. We are also supporting the town with the building of a new classroom in the new primary school and providing support on community development as the elders consider the towns need for food security and the opportunities, and risks, that the newly tarmacked Cape Town to Cairo road will bring to Bereko.
If you are interested in supporting this work please do contact us. Donations are always most welcome!