Humbling experience for Jamie
A HILDEN man has given up his summer
holidays to help build an impressive school in Mozambique
for 250 children. Architect Jamie Millar (27), who works for
Scott Wilson, spent a month on the school in the Tofu
Jamie was part of a team working on the
Scott Wilson Millennium School Project who finished off
building the two classroomed school, a timber trussed
building with tin roof, and library.
Each working day began at 5.30am and
continued until 4.30pm and was spent sawn g , constructing
and installing the trusses into the walls by hand. Jamie
also did blockwork, building, painting, sanding, screeding
Scott Wilson donated £25,000
while Jamie raised £3,000 through bag packing and a fun run
Jamie said work was often gruelling and done
in immense heat but it was an experience that he will never
forget and would gladly repeat. "The whole project was an
awesome experience," he said. "I have immense pride in what we
achieved for people who have so little but give so much.
"The community were very appreciative as the
school is the heart of the community. The village leaders would
often say prayers as they believed this was a miracle."
Villagers showed their appreciation by making food - one,
Fernando, cooked meals while wearing a Santa outfit and plans to
open a bakery to train young people.
But it was the children who made the most
lasting impression on Jamie.
'All the children were learning English and
would ask you your name and tell you theirs," he said "About
250 children would run past me at different times saying 'Hi
Jamie' and of course there were so many children that you would
never remember all their names." Jamie brought over gifts for
the children and school equipment.
"The whole thing was more humbling more than
anything," he said. "They were all delighted with the end result
which was great.
"The children's expressions of awe and
excitement at seeing a school building completed, rather than
their existing grass hut, will stay in the mind forever.
"These projects happen very rarely but the
time, effort, reward and benefits to that local community will
last a lifetime."