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Developing Education in Africa
Mrs D Hodgson

May 28 2009

Helped by son and grand-daughters our speaker today, Mrs Doreen Hodgson, working with and for the charity “Chameleon – Developing Education” built and furnished schools in South Africa

A former headmistress Doreen went on a trip to South Africa organised by the vicar of her church and witnessed the poor state of primary education in the shanty towns of the country.

She was appalled at this lack of education and decided to help improve the situation. This decision resulted in numerous visits to South Africa to work on the building and establishment of schools. She photographically recorded her work and we were the recipients of a very interesting slide show of these photographs that illustrated her accomplishments and the problems she surmounted.

South Africa in the shanty towns and beyond is still a primitive third world country and the problems are both physical and endemic. All the children have worms and a large proportion suffer from Aids. Only about twenty percent of the children in primary education go on to further education because it is not free and also because of the Africans’ view of knowledge.

They consider knowledge as power and in consequence information is not passed down and as a result schools and teachers are still in short supply.

The opinion of one of our members who has extensive knowledge of education in West and Central Africa is that South African education is 50 to 80 years behind those regions. This information strengthened our view that Mrs Hodgson has been doing a wonderful job of  improving the life of young coloured people in South Africa .

This was our penultimate meeting of this session, our last will be on Thursday 11th June at 10-00am in Otley Civic Centre when John Churchman will tell us about New Zealand . Following this we have our annual coach outing. On Thursday 18th June we will be visiting Sledmere House and Bridlington.


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