YOU may not have known, but Ludlow Rotary Club is making a huge difference to people's lives - not just here but thousands of miles away in Africa.

Following a major fund-raising effort by the club three classrooms were completed at Msasani primary school which nestles in the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

The story starts with Ali Huddart, a Ludlow man, who was endeavouring to complete the classrooms at this primary school in Africa with the money donated by a Tanzanian friend, Rosemary.

However, two years ago Ali had exhausted the funds before the last three of the seven classrooms had been completed and upon hearing this touching story the Rotarians set about raising the £3,000 needed to complete the classrooms so that the children could use them.

As a result of a very successful garden party held near Ludlow the funds were raised and a plan to complete the classrooms was hatched in that Alistair Huddart and Rotarian Roy Major travelled to Tanzania at their own expense to oversee the classroom completion and literally spend the money directly with the suppliers.

The small village of Msasani had up until recently no school in its village nor within easy reach of its children or their parents and as a result very few of them managed to get to a school at all.

They had hardly touched down at Kilimanjaro International Airport before being met by the village chairman with lists, plans and prices of the items to complete and being informed that the village carpenter, bricklayer and hordes of helpers were at the ready.

The next few days were spent furiously negotiating with the local wood supplier for the best price for the timber necessary for the windows and doors and having to accept the bent and twisted commercially rejected wood in order to keep within the impossibly tight budget.

Similarly, the sand, cement reinforcing mesh and blocks were all haggled over including negotiating the best price for a lorry load of hand crushed gravel.

All the supplies were delivered to the school and a mayhem of activity ensued digging trenches, nailing together windows and doors, plastering walls and laying floors and within 10 days the children and teachers entered into the last three spacious classrooms.

“It was a marvellous demonstration of how every penny of the money raised went directly to the cause and that the people of Ludlow and the Rotary Club can be truly proud of their achievement,” said Roy.