The Rural Africa Children’s Education Trust (RACET) is based in Sevenoaks, Kent and was founded in 2008 to enable children in rural villages near Ogoja, Cross River State, Nigeria to attend secondary school through donations from sponsors and families in the UK. At present 46 children are in secondary education as a result of RACET paying for their uniforms, books, school fees, external exam fees and other expenses.
RACET was co-founded by Fr. Inaku Kenneth Egere from Nigeria, a regular visiting priest to St. Thomas’ Parish in Sevenoaks, and local resident Mrs. Elizabeth Clifford, who was moved to help these children when she heard about the many difficulties they face to enrol in the 6-year secondary school programme. Our children come from families struggling to make a living through subsistence farming, and, tragically, many of the communities we work with lost family members in an inter-tribal conflict that took place in 2005.
The children have been chosen by their village leaders for being bright and hard working in order to benefit from this special opportunity, and Fr. Kenneth personally has strong ties with these villages and visits them regularly. These areas are very remote and without electricity or access to clean water, and, yet, our students are willing to get up before dawn to fetch water for their families and then walk considerable distances to get to school.
RACET has been registered with the UK Charity Commission (No. 1127759) since 2009, and is run by a Board of Trustees made up of three English nationals, two Nigerians and one American. With the exception of Fr. Kenneth who is now based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, the other trustees all reside in the Sevenoaks area. The financial accounts are prepared each year by Clarkson Hyde Chartered Accountants and submitted to the Charity Commission for review. All sponsorship and donation monies go towards the education and well-being of RACET’s children in Nigeria, without going through any other agencies or organisations.