Students boost English skills while raising money for Africa

ESOL students with the flyers the used to help raise money for the Singing Children of Africa

Students from Bradford College have been improving their English while helping raise money for a school in Africa.

Hoping to collect enough cash to connect a Kenyan school to the internet, the ESOL students wrote to and visited businesses across Bradford asking for donations of raffle and tombola prizes for a fundraising fair they held in college.

The money raised is going to the Jolaurabi School in Mombasa which is the school of the Singing Children of Africa choir, which performed at Bradford College last September.  

The Jolaurabi School has a special appeal to the ESOL students as their teacher, Esther Wilkey, spent a year working there and will be returning over the upcoming Easter holidays.

“I am very proud of all my ESOL students, no matter how much English they have got they have all got involved,” said Esther, who relocated to Kenya for a year, along with four of her children, to help in the school before returning to the UK in 2009 to go to university to train to be a teacher.

“It is not easy walking into shops and businesses when you are still learning the language but it has been a good test of their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and has helped build their confidence and self-esteem.

“To be able to bring the internet to the school would be wonderful. It would be a huge help to the children’s education and a fabulous resource for the teachers.

“Hopefully we could then set up a link with the college and the school and communicate regularly.

“I first got involved with the charity, called Educate the Kids, through church. The Singing Children of Africa Choir was coming over and they needed people to host the children. I said I would take four children in and it was a life-changing experience, not just for me but my own children too.

“We ended up moving out to Kenya for a year. My children went to an international school and I helped in the Jolaurabi School. Working out there inspired me to qualify as a teacher so when I came back I went to university and then started working at Bradford College.

“I am excited to be going back to visit at Easter. It is always lovely going back. The children and staff at the school are just amazing. The children come from incredibly poor backgrounds but are all so happy to be in school. It is life affirming.”

Anyone willing to donate to the students fundraising efforts can do so here.

Details of the charity can be found at



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