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Orphanage visit by Norwich school teachers

A construction teacher from Norwich is seeking to raise money to visit an orphanage in rural India, to teach building and carpentry skills to the children.

Hellesdon School Orphanage 2 1John Duncan, who has forty years experience in the building industry, is currently teaching construction to pupils at Hellesdon High School.

John has visited the school and orphanage in India twice before and has built desks and benches for the classrooms, whilst teaching the boys the carpentry skills they need to help maintain the school.

His wife Susan is a retired primary school teacher and has accompanied John on the trips. She taught the Kindergarten children to read and write English, along with basic craft skills such as using scissors, painting and printing.

John and his wife are planning to take another trip to India in February 2016, along with another colleague from the Hellesdon High School. The school and orphanage in India, is run by Reverend Nicky Smith from Norwich and her Indian husband, Pastor Samuel Zion.

John says, "shortly after starting teaching at Hellesdon, I found out that the school has a very close relationship with Emanuel Grace School and orphanage in Andhra Pradesh, India. My heart went out to the pupils in the small orphanage, which has about 70 children. My wife, a retired primary teacher and two members of staff from Hellesdon came with me on our first visit to the orphanage in 2012.

We found that the small bare classrooms had no tables or benches and the young children’s teaching materials were very poor. By selling wooden bird boxes, which the Hellesdon construction pupils made, and my wife having a big birthday party for donations, we raised money for our projects to build tables and benches and produce lots of teaching materials.
hellesdon school orphanage 1
We funded the travel ourselves and went to India. We had an amazing time and fell in love with all the children. I taught the boys lots of carpentry skills and they learnt how to build the tables and benches themselves. My wife and the other Hellesdon teachers had great fun in the school.

We would love to go back in February 2016 to make some cupboards for the classrooms and storage units for the children’s bedrooms. We have set up a Giving Page and are asking people to donate whatever they can to help support our trip and make life better for the children in India who has so little."

John is pictured with the children building one of the desks and at another desk they made together.

If you would like to donate to the project please go to website

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