Bowdon-based charity aims to Make it Happen in Sierra Leone

Messenger Newspapers: Michael Colin, co-founder of the charity Make it Happen in Sierra Leone Michael Colin, co-founder of the charity Make it Happen in Sierra Leone

THE Bowdon office of Michael Colin, co-founder of the charity Make it Happen in Sierra Leone, has a certificate on the wall.

It reads ‘Sierra Leone Cricket Association. In acknowledgment of services to cricket in Sierra Leone.”

Michael, 68, said: “We are sending two Lancashire cricket coaches there. Their services are free.

“They are taking a container full of donated cricket equipment.

The charity, started in 2011, deals with more important matters.

Although the country is rich in minerals, it is suffering from 10 years of civil unrest and schooling is poor.

“People had their eyes picked out with sticks and their hands and feet amputated. It was dreadful,” said Michael.

“It wasn’t because of religion. The faiths live happily side by side.

“One of the most challenging things is dealing with a culture which because it has no education, has no vision.”

By June, they will have built six new schools, one of them on a mountain top without access roads. It will have refurbished five others.

“The teaching method is positively Victorian. We are working with another charity to provide modern teacher training,” he added.

In Freetown he met a head teacher whose head was in his hands at his school’s dilapidation.

He retired happily a year later with a virtually new school.

In July, Michael, a retired chief executive of Charity Service, Manchester, plans a meeting of small overseas charities at Old Trafford Football Ground to discuss collaboration.

“We’ll call it Collaboraid,” he said.

Bowdon church gives its support. Other donors should telephone 07785 533 233.

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