West Mersea: Plea for donations to aid African school

Linda Bullen treating an elderly San lady, during a medical outreach trip into the bush, whose ankle

Linda Bullen treating an elderly San lady, during a medical outreach trip into the bush, whose ankle had been injured by a donkey cart. Prior to treatment she was was crawling on all fours, but afterwards was able to stand and bear weight on it. - Credit: Contributed

A CHARITY set up in memory of an Essex medical student still needs thousands of pounds to help poverty stricken communities in rural Africa.

Catherine Bullen
EADT 31.8.12

Catherine Bullen EADT 31.8.12 - Credit: Contributed

The Catherine Bullen Foundation was set up by Roger and Linda Bullen, of West Mersea, in memory of their daughter, after she died during a trip to Africa in August 2002.

The organisation’s current project is to build a third £70,000 dormitory at Eiseb Primary School Hostel in Namibia.

However, a further £27,000 is needed to get the project started to help deal with overcrowding.

Mr Bullen, who visited the hostel recently, said: “The conditions we saw have added an impetus and urgency to our fundraising, to secure the balance so that we can start building.”

The dormitory is part of a larger project to upgrade the hostel and the foundation is working with Komeho Namibia Development Agency, the regional Ministry of Education and the Namibian German Special Initiative Programme.

Fifth-year medical student Catherine travelled to Namibia to go on a safari before taking up placements in Zambia and Tanzania.

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However, two days into the trip she became ill with a virulent strain of gastroenteritis and died.

Since her death, Mr and Mrs Bullen have raised money to refurbish an unequipped borehole that had been depriving the Otjimanangombe village from accessing clean water, built a medical clinic in the village and bought an ambulance to serve the wider region.

During the Namibian trip, Mrs Bullen volunteered at the medical clinic and helped vaccinate 80 schoolchildren against polio and diptheria.

She also took part in a medical outreach trip to provide help to the San bushmen and their families.

Knitted items from ladies in West Mersea, Rowhedge and Colchester were also handed out to keep the villagers warm at night.

Visit www.namibia-aid.org.uk or call 01206 383368 to make a donation.