Sabre's story, from Founder & Trustee
A broken-down Land Rover and a promise to return to build a school set the scene for the creation of Sabre.
In early 2000, I arrived in Ghana for the first time, having driven across the Sahara to bring medical supplies to a clinic in Elmina. Whilst rebuilding the Land Rover engine, I spent time with the local community of Brenu Akyinim and through a chance meeting with local headteacher John Arthur I learned of the pressing need for new school buildings. John Arthur’s request was a simple one: “we need a building for our small children - currently they are learning under a tree on the beach”. As I viewed the situation, I was struck by two things: firstly, how hot it was, and secondly what a wonderful learning environment it actually was for young children! By the time I was ready to drive back to England, I had made a promise to return and help build a new school for the community.
The first project we undertook after formally establishing the charity was with an intrepid group of volunteers on a working holiday to build a small structure next to the tree John Arthur had showed me four years earlier. We created, on a limited budget, a light, bright and airy structure for the 20-30 nursery-aged children. The simple structure was made out of wood and bamboo with a low-level concrete block wall and a thatch roof – a sure sign of things to come!
Fast forwarding to today, Sabre's Brighter Futures programme has achieved significant impact:
- 23,120 children have received a brighter start to their education, learning through activity and play in child centred environments
- 720 teachers, head teachers and student teachers have received transformational intensive and highly experiential teacher training
- 10 safe, sustainable kindergarten schools have been built
- 129 community labourers have received training in sustainable construction technologies
The Sabre Trust and the Monster Triathlon
In September 2016, the Sabre Trust, in conjunction with Tullow Oil plc, ran an eight-day event, raising a whopping £274,000. The Monster, as it became known, consisted of a 5km swim in Loch Ness, a 550-mile cycle over 5 days from Fort William to Marlow and a 45-mile run over two days from Marlow to Teddington Lock.
Thirty-six people took part in either all or part of the "triathlon".
After exceeding all expectations - and learned a few lessons - in year 1, the Monster is now ready to go public.