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Town centre charity Parenta opens its first pre-school in Uganda after inaugural Maidstone to Monaco rally raises £15,000

By Ed McConnell

Last September twelve teams of fundraisers embarked on a five-day, 2,000-mile banger rally across Europe.

In doing so they hoped that their driving prowess would raise enough money to open a pre-school in Uganda.

Nine months on that dream was finally realised when five representatives from Maidstone-based children’s charity Parenta travelled to east Africa to open the completed Good Shepherd Nursery last month.

A staff member from Parenta plays football with local school children

Its first Maidstone to Monaco rally, which took place in September, saw teams setting off on a mammoth trip across eight countries in £350 ‘bangers’.

Their combined efforts raised £15,000 for the project, enough to construct the nursery in Loweru, Uganda.

Parenta managing director Allan Presland, who appeared at the opening, said: “I felt a flood of emotion as we formally opened the pre-school; the joy of seeing the children’s smiling faces, the pride of teams across two continents delivering the project and the excitement at our commitment to build another nine pre-schools in Africa in the next nine years!”

The first completed school which was opened last month

The new building has become part of the existing Good Shepherd primary school.

Mr Presland added: “A relatively small sacrifice for us will have an astounding impact on pre-school aged children.

“I’m proud of our achievement and we are already planning on our next nursery in eastern Africa!”

Managing director of Parenta, Allan Presland, with children at the opening of the charity's first preschool

The rally will run again this year, from Wednesday, June 25, to Sunday, June 29, with the intention of raising enough money to build a second school in east Africa.

Teams can sign up at www.parenta.com and will need to purchase a £350 roadworthy car and raise £1,000 to take part in this year’s 1,100 mile trip.

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