A message from Joyce - who supports NTF!

What a wonderful experience to see at first hand the work that I had, for the past year, only read about in newsletters. For those people who have never visited a third world country, it is very difficult to have any true concept of the conditions that these people live under. Materialistically they have very little but they all try to make the most of what they do have, just wanting to be able to provide for their families. There are very few opportunities for work and so we can only hope that by enabling some of the young people of Penyem to gain an education more opportunities will open up for them.

The visit to Penyem itself, despite not feeling too well that day, was an amazing experience. I will never forget the welcome that awaited us. The sight of the school children lining the side of the road waving their home made Union jacks and singing a welcome song made me feel like the Queen! This was followed by drum beating and dancing that seemed to go on for ages. Another highlight was meeting my sponsored child. Most of the children were a bit overwhelmed by the occasion and just seemed to stare, probably they had never seen a white person before. My child, a boy of fifteen, seemed pleased with the football shirt and book I took for him, but wasn’t quite sure what to say. Again I expect that he was not used to getting presents. It was noticeable that when the other children were given their gifts from their sponsors they didn’t open them but hung on tightly to be opened I suspect in the privacy of their own homes.

Another part of the day was a meeting with the village group to make decisions on what they would like help with next. Unfortunately by this time I was feeling quite ill and have to admit I did doze off once or twice but not before I realized how grateful these people are with the support that they receive from The Northampton Trustee Fund and how every penny that is collected from fundraising is put to good use. However, during this time Chief Colley did seem to find time to become engrossed in a book I had given him for his school on Prince William – he couldn’t fail to notice the difference in lifestyle!

There is far too much to write about here but if you get the chance to go out to Penyem take it with both hands you will have an experience that you will never forget. Joyce Nicholls

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