In 1998 Joy Baker, with her husband Sir Scott Baker, visited a rural primary school in Hwangi National Park in Zimbabwe. In spite of the stark lack of materials there was huge enthusiasm among the children and staff for learning to read and write.
As the English language played a major role in the curriculum, Joy envisaged the difference that surplus educational materials from the UK would make for these pupils and others in Africa. Within a few weeks of her return to the UK she had collected sufficient resources for the first shipment, which was generously transported free by Air Zimbabwe.
Since then, her charity School Aid has grown steadily and was granted charitable status in 1998. Joy has visited many schools to promote interest and learning about recipient schools in Africa and to gain support for collecting materials. Over 130 state and Independent schools have donated items. The administrative centre and warehouse are located near Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. There is additional storage in High Wycombe and a regional centre operates in Cowbridge, South Wales. School Aid targets UK schools and related communities to give textbooks, school stationery, sports clothing and equipment, and any surplus educational supplies and furniture.
We work closely with charities in the UK and Africa, namely:
Many South African schools have been encouraged to develop links with schools in southern and eastern Africa, with a regular exchange of letters, photographs and pictures taking place between partner schools.