Kat Mcmullan came to a GMS Lions Meeting and did a fantastic Presentation  so  passionate about her School In A Bag project.
GMS Lions decided to make a donation to this wonderful cause.

Read about her experiences in Lolobi below.

On the 18th March 2019 my younger brother Paddy and I travelled back to Lolobi Ashiambi in the Volta region Ghana. After spending 6 months with Project Trust in Lolobi the people and the place touched my heart. I decided that I couldn’t come home and forget about my experience, I needed a project to try and give something little back to the community that had been so welcoming and supportive. With my past experience, I knew exactly how to help my friends and the community and so over the last 7 months we arranged 2 projects for Lolobi.

I witnessed children at the local school being punished for not being able to afford basic equipment like pencils and erasers so our first plan was to organise school bags for all 85 children at the Junior High School. I met with Luke Simon from School In A Bag, an amazing local charity which gives children the educational resources they need to attend school. Not only does this mean that the child can attend school with the right equipment it also means they are not beaten at school for not having an exercise book. This isn’t the children’s fault, the parents don’t have enough money to feed their children let alone pay for school equipment or even pay for their child to attend school. The impact that these school bags have is immense not only for the children but the joy it brings to the whole community is amazing. The village of Lolobi were so grateful for our efforts and the generousity of the people of Gillingham and School In A bag, that they arranged a whole cultural display for us with the Chiefs and Elders of the village personally thanking us. The whole village were so touched by these schools bags as they realised that there were people in the Blackmore Vale area who wanted to assist and believe in their children and their education to better their future. Paddy and I got to see this first hand which was incredible for both us to reflect how lucky we our with the opportunities we have and appreciating the free education we have received in the UK.

The second project we had was to make a phone tree in the village which meant that anyone without a phone could borrow a phone to make an emergency call and hang it back up when finished. (This is where the Gillingham community supported us). I had asked the people of Gillingham for any old mobile phones and laptops that were unwanted and the response was excellent. Again, things that we take for granted brings so much joy and eases distress for all ages in Lolobi.

However, after meeting with the chiefs we decided not to do a phone tree but to spread phones across the village and make certain people in charge of the phones. This way everyone is involved and there is no temptation of people from outside the community trying to steal them.

Our next project is to continue supporting the children with their education by painting the Junior high school with bright colours and painting objects such as world maps to aid their learning. At present the walls and floors of the classrooms are basic block or rubble. If we could brighten the classrooms up with maps and diagrams it would enthuse the children and also better their wider knowledge of the world. If anyone wants to get involved we will be fundraising to raise money for the paints. We also need to look at getting stencils to paint these objects so any support or ideas are welcome. PLEASE!

We are also going to attempt another project alongside this. This will be aimed at the women and girls at the school and the village. After speaking to some of these women I learnt that period poverty is a massive issue. These women can’t afford food let alone to buy sanitary products. At the best of times I learnt they use paper or similar natural materials. We are going to try and source recyclable and reusable material products so their basic feminine hygiene needs are met.

Paddy and I would like to formally say a massive thank you for everyone who supported us from donating old mobile phones and clothing to financial funding to help us transport the school bags to the village. As everyone kept saying it has really changed their lives – and ours!

For further information or donations for School In A Bag please visit info@schoolinabag.org or for donations for the people of Lolobi please contact katmcmullan@icloud.com.