Last July, we were approached by friend of Paycare Mark Turvey who got in touch to tell us about a project he was involved with in Ethiopia. Mark wanted to find out if we would be interested in supporting him to fulfil his mission of volunteering in a remote village in Ethiopia, where he would be building school classrooms for children and families with very few opportunities – all in memory of a close friend, Janet.


Mark said,

 “Giving the gift of education is the greatest gift we can give, the classroom will provide the learning opportunity for many children over many years to come – all in Janet’s name.”

Janet worked for many years as a teaching assistant and loved the work she did in supporting children through the early years of school.

So, as a not-for-profit organisation with people at the heart of everything we do, we didn’t think twice about helping towards such a fantastic cause, and were happy to donate £200 to support Mark in his mission.

Since then, in partnership with AidCamps International, Mark has raised £3,758.23 towards the total of £31,000 raised by family and friends and has since began the building work in Ethiopia, calling it a ‘brilliant but humbling experience’.


More recently, Mark has been in touch with us to tell us what our money helped to create;

“With your help we have built/are building four new classrooms which will help the children’s education and hopefully give them a better chance in the world. Your donations have helped us source and pay for local, skilled builders to do quite a large part of the work – thank-you!”


Whilst visiting Ethiopia, a country which ranks as the 5th poorest country in the world with almost two thirds of its population living on less than US$1 a day, and having only 49% of people over the age of 15 able to read and write, Mark told us about his journey…

He explained how the villages in the area they visited had schools with over 100 children per class.  Most of the children have little more than the clothes they are wearing but were very pleased to see Mark and the team, and were most certainly happy to join in where they could!

The group of volunteers spent most of their time moving mud to be used on the walls of the building and breaking rocks which would become the floor – now that is creative!

Unfortunately, during the build there was a lack of water which meant the team were unable to finish any of the classrooms. However, on a positive note, work will continue over the coming weeks until all four are complete – so that’s all that matters!


Finally, Mark mentioned,

 “It wasn’t all work though, and the kids loved it when we produced a football for a kick around and some soapy water to make bubbles!”


Wow – we really are impressed here at Paycare! It is so heart-warming and inspiring to hear how our donations really have helped contribute towards the building of brand-new classrooms and more importantly, help build better lives for children in Ethiopia!


Well done Mark! 😊

Volunteering in Ethiopia

Volunteering in Ethiopia

Volunteering in Ethiopia

Volunteering in Ethiopia

Volunteering in Ethiopia


Here at Paycare, people are at the heart of everything we do and we love supporting communities far and wide, not just in our local area. If you’ve been inspired by Mark’s story, why not drop us a quick message via or tweet us @MyPaycare, using the hashtag #MindfulMarch