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Documentary highlights work of charity in Africa

INSPIRATION: Daina Anderson

BIRMINGHAM’S Daina Anderson is a business development consultant and filmmaker whose two passions have come together in the shape of a documentary which shows the efforts of a local charity to improve the quality of life and education for children in east Africa.

Aspire to Africa: Opening the Doors to A World of Education, is the debut release from Daina’s Open Lens Production company and charts the Aspire Sports Trust’s ongoing campaign to transform lives through physical activity and sport in the UK and Africa.

The documentary shows the 16-strong team of Aspire volunteers, having self-funded their journey to the rural village of Buyuni in Tanzania, to work alongside local teachers, governors and villagers to refurbish a dilapidated school building. The building had limited access to safe running water and an unreliable electricity supply on site.

As a result, it had a high turnover of teaching staff and high pupil- teacher ratios. Working to develop its infrastructure, the delegation looked to improve sanitary conditions, install solar panels and refurbish the teachers’ accommodation.

With newly electrified classrooms, teachers are now able to plan and deliver lessons more effectively and have helped the school move up the regional league tables. Two years ago, the school was rated 78th out of 90 schools in the district; since Aspire’s involvement it is now rated seventh. Beforehand, only four out of every 50 children who took their secondary progression exam passed. Now that figure is 42 out of every 50.

Daina, 33, started her career as an intern at Channel 4. She told The Voice: “I was working with Aspire as a business development consultant and when I heard about the Tanzanian project, an opportunity emerged for me to bring my other passion, filmmaking, to support its efforts.”

Aspire’s goal is to improve the education of children and young people by enhancing the employability and skills of young people in the UK, helping schools in Africa create sustainable learning environments and improving their general health and well-being.

Daina added: “All too often I’ve seen these organisations work tirelessly to address needs caused by issues such as social deprivation, struggling economies and government cut backs to front line services. This documentary is special to me, as it’s my first attempt at combining my passion for filmmaking and social development to really raise awareness of a charity doing fantastic and vital work.

“I’ve seen first-hand the massive impact the project is having on children’s lives in Tanzania and how it is giving them tangible hope of a much brighter future.”

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