Northampton teacher's mission to build school for 'wonderful' children in Uganda needs your help

A Northampton teacher has promised to 'do whatever she can' to build a school for children in Uganda - and has even called it her 'last chance to do something amazing'.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 9:40 am
Juli Sims visited west Uganda to find gorillas - but instead, she found a school of children she wanted to help.

Juli Sims, who taught all across Northampton and now lives in Brixworth, is on a mission to see a new school built in Bwindi, west Uganda, by asking donators for 'less than the price of a cup of coffee'.

She visited Bwindi in West Uganda last year as part of her 'bucket list'. She hoped to see gorillas - but instead, she found a school of children who needed her help.

She told the Chronicle & Echo: "The local community built the school because otherwise, it was a seven-kilometre walk to the nearest one. And some of these children would be in pushchairs if they were in the UK.

St Matthews Nursery and Primary School was set up because the next closest school was seven kilometres away.

"You think of an English primary school where there are posters and artwork all over the walls. The school's walls weren't even plastered.

"But the children were so enthusiastic and amazing. Many of them were orphans because of HIV. I felt I just had to do something."

Juli has now launched a campaign to raise £30,000 to build the children a new school.

For less than a year's salary to a UK primary school teacher, the village could build four classrooms, plastered walls, solar panels, a kitchen and even flushing toilets - a simple luxury, but one that means girls can go to school after they start menstruating.

The walls inside the school do not even have plaster, but the children are attentive and enthusiastic.

But at 55-years-old, Juli's mission is more than just a personal goal.

She told the Chron: "I've been diagnosed with stage two cancer. It's terminal.

"I feel this is my last chance to do something amazing for these children. All my career I did everything I could to make a difference for children. This is my last chance to make a difference for these children too."

She has now created a JustGiving page and is asking Northampton to spare the price of a cup of coffee to change the lives of children in Africa.

30,000 could build four classrooms, a kitchen, solar panels and flushing toilets.

Juli said: "I know crowdfunding has done some amazing things in the past. For me it's just such an important thing.

"I would also love to hear from building companies and businesses who can donate building materials or put towards creating this school."

Juli feels helping the school is her 'last chance' to make a difference for the children in Uganda.