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Market Deeping couple Geoff and Rita Fowler plans to raise £60,000 by September for their charity The Mustard Seed Project to extend a school in Kenya

A couple who opened a school in Kenya hope to build six new classrooms before their charity celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Geoff and Rita Powell set up The Mustard Seed Project in September 2009 after visiting a tourist-free community while on holiday.

Geoff and Rita Fowler who set up The Mustard Seed Project (7946386)
Geoff and Rita Fowler who set up The Mustard Seed Project (7946386)

They were astounded to see unqualified teachers attempting to teach classes of up to 50 children with no resources.

Having just retired from their own careers in teaching and construction, the couple knew they had the time and skills to help.

Geoff, of Thackers Way, Market Deeping, said: “We never set out with a huge plan. Initially we just wanted to send out some resources but it grew from there.

"It’s not an easy place to work but we have a lot of fun and get a lot out of making a difference.”

The couple started a school in September 2009 with two teachers and 17 children.

In 2013 they decided to build new premises and the school community has grown to 250 pupils.

They hope to raise an additional £60,000 to build another six classes by September.

Geoff, 74, and Rita, 72, spend two months in Africa each year. As well as building a school they have dug a well, provided 3,000 mosquito nets, offered business training and set up sports teams.

Geoff said: “I feel 20 years younger when I’m out there because I’ve got a purpose. What else would I be doing if not? Just getting older.”

The couple's neighbour, Nigel Swepson, is running the London Marathon to raise money for the school project.

Any other schools, businesses or individuals who want to help out can get in touch at www.mustardseedproject.co.uk

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