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Freedom to Learn is a Milford on Sea based charity which works to provide the opportunity of education to children from some of the remotest regions of the Himalayas and South Asia.
Joey Owen, a trustee of Freedom to Learn, is also working with Milford on Sea Primary School setting up a sister schools project.
Towards the end of July, Joey is leaving for Nepal to work on one of the charities projects, 'Act on Education' in Kathmandu, this is a training and advocacy project improving the educational circumstances for some of the most vulnerable and marginalised children in the Kathmandu Valley.
Joey said: "When I was there at Easter one of the simplest problems the children were facing is the lack of equipment – there is no free supply of books, stationery, school bags etc. Many of them walk up to 2 hours to school and then back again and that is to and from their workplace, not even living with family but employers trapped in child labour."
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Before she leaves, Joey hopes to raise more funds by swimming around Brownsea Island on the 13th of July. The swim will be 6.5k, and with no wetsuit. All the money raised from the swim sponsorship will go towards the equipment they need, which is just over £1 per month per child, and there are hundreds of children they work with in this situation.
Joey also commented: "Water and food during the school day is often unavailable to them, as they have no money to buy the food and there is no water supply within some of the schools. - There is a fab group of young people in Yr 6 at Milford on Sea School putting together a presentation at the moment to bid for £800 to help one of our schools build a water pipe so the children can get water throughout the day. And Milford PFA have also been helping us facilitate ‘Ice Pop Friday’ where children at school are selling New Forest lollies to raise money for ‘tiffin time’ (a lunch time snack) as many of the children don’t get to eat during the school day. £1 buys 5! "
I had planned to join the swim and had been doing my training running over the cliff tops, covered in goose fat with a neon yellow swim hat. But sadly, my mankini split and then all of the village beauty salons declined to give me a full body wax, so I have had to drop out.
If you can spare any pennies at all to support Joey on her way round please go to www.freedomtolearn.org.uk and click on the ‘donate 'one off' link, or send a cheque payable to Freedom to Learn and send it to 15 Lawn Road, Milford-on-Sea, SO41 0QZ.