Old St labs is over the moon to announce that we will be working closely with The Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund (HvSMF). We will be raising money on a continuous basis for a charity that is very close to our hearts.
The Charity has been set up to fight poverty in Uganda through education in the memory of Henry van who was tragically killed in a car crash on the 14th December 2002, aged 18.
Henry was an incredibly vibrant human with a wicked sense of humour, I was lucky enough to know him and am tremendously privileged to be part of keeping his memory alive.
Henry had just finished his A levels and had a place at Newcastle University, having already been awarded an army scholarship at Sandhurst when he died.
He was on his gap year preparing to travel around East Africa, where he was set to have taught at Budpadhengo Primary School. However due to his untimely death he never made it, the school however was still crying out for help. So his family set up the memorial fund to keep his memory alive and help change the lives of thousands of others.
Their lasting memorial to Henry is achieved through direct investment in buildings and educational resources, targeting the very poorest areas.
The fund began as a one off donation in 2004 to the school in Uganda where Henry was destined to teach, it has now grown phenomenally and is currently helping over 25,000 children, across 35 nursery, primary and secondary schools.
They have established a partnership with all their schools. Depending on improved enrolment and academic performance, after they have built a classroom block and new latrines for example, they will consider building teachers’ houses the following year, as long as the funding is available.
Another wonderful part of the charity is how little overheads it has and how much of money donated is seen on the ground in Africa changing peoples lives.
Since 2005, they have built a staggering 180 classrooms, 167 teachers’ houses and 20 dormitories. They have installed 57 water tanks and constructed 317 latrines, as well as providing textbooks, solar panels, storage cupboards and 1850 three-seater desks.
In 2013, they completed 83 separate projects in 20 schools at a cost of £226,000.
In total between 2004 and 2013 they have donated £1,006,296.90 to the 35 schools.
Alexander and Claire van Straubenzee, who are Henry’s parents and trustees of the charity, have done a formidable job over the years and truly have changed the lives of thousands of young people. The charity is a fitting memory of a wonderful young man who so tragically had his life taken, but there is no doubt in my mind that his parents and brothers as well as all those connected have truly ensured his memory will continue to live on whilst changing the lives of so many.
If you would like to join us in raising money for the charity then please donate here http://www.
The registered charity number is 1121376.
We thoroughly look forward to helping the charity continue with all its success.