Porridge and Pens


By way of introduction Gemma explained that after completing school, and before attending university, she had decided to take a gap year. She wanted it to be adventurous and chose to teach english to school children in a small free school in Ghana. It was to be her first venture away from Brightlingsea, a small village on the east coast of Essex, and it turned out to not only be adventurous, but a life changing experience.

She was hosted by a relatively prosperous local family who she lived with and saw the difficult conditions that the poor local children and families live within. Befriending the family’s young live-in maid she thought she could make a difference and certainly did and has.

Gemma explained that Porridge and Pens works with some of the poorest children in Kumasi, which lies in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, by providing ongoing grants and support to schools, orphanages, families and individuals in the region.

“She said that we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential by having food to eat and a place to learn.”

Porridge and Pens makes measurable differences to over 200 young lives every day through a Fruit Feeding drop, Girl Power grants and the Brightlingsea Child Care Centre.

In 2014 Porridge and Pens joined forces with Ben Antwi, a passionate and dedicated Graphic Arts Teacher and Exams Officer in Kumasi. Ben’s family have always worked in education and they are passionate about supporting development in the village where the Brightlingsea School stands today. Porridge and Pens worked with Ben to help him build a school in a rural and remote area of Kumasi, now known as the Brightlingsea Free School, pictured below.

The full story can be found at https://porridgeandpens.org . Porridge and Pens © 2015 – 2019 UK Registered Charity No. 1166497.

The school has gone from strength to strength. Gemma Wilson has made a difference and should be very very proud of what she has achieved. Surely this should be the type of project that Rotary and our Club should be involved with.

On behalf of the Club, Past President Tony thanked Gemma for her outstanding presentation; an audience spell bound throughout her talk and clearly full of admiration as to how someone so young could achieve so much in such a relatively short time.

President Mark reminded all that next Thursday’s meeting would be International Night and that there would not be a lunch on that date. Dress smart casual 1830 for 1900 hrs at Clacton Golf Club.