A HUDDERSFIELD charity is giving schools the opportunity to improve the lives of poverty- stricken children in Africa.
The Christian African Relief Trust (Cart) has close links with several countries and has ways of making sure all its aid gets to the people who need it most.
It knows of schools throughout Africa which are in dire poverty. Some are so poor the pupils sit on piles of bricks instead of chairs.
Many schools in West Yorkshire - including some in Huddersfield and Calderdale - are being revamped at the moment or even demolished and replaced.
Many desks, chairs, cabinets and other pieces of furniture are being dumped - but they could transform the lives of children in Africa if they were sent to schools there.
Cart can organise the shipping if the schools give the furniture and, ideally, the cash to send it.
The charity now needs to send out all the other school furniture it has saved from destruction.
It has enough in its warehouse on Summer Street in Lockwood to fill a 40ft container - but it desperately needs cash to send it to Africa.
It would cost £3,000 to send it to a west African country such as Ghana and £5,000 to a central African country, such as Malawi, Zambia or Zimbabwe.
Cart secretary Gordon Dawson said: "It would be a terrible shame if school equipment was thrown away when it could do so much good in Africa.
"Africa is now high up the political agenda and we can do so much for the Make Poverty History campaign.
"Perhaps pupils at the schools which give the equipment instead of throwing it away could help raise the money to send the containers."
Mr Dawson said a 40ft container would have enough room for furniture given by a number of schools, which could then share the transport costs.
Cart has already helped a school in Zimbabwe.
Batanai Secondary School was so ill-equipped it was set up in a farm and the children sat on piles of bricks.
Now, some of the classrooms have been equipped with second-hand furniture given by Cart - and more is on its way to the school.
Cart's representative in Zimbabwe is Bryony Pichanick, who is in charge of a church-run organisation there called New Hope Villages.
She said in a message to Cart: "Everything is useful and needed. All your desks and chairs are going to rural schools.
"Every item of furniture that you sent went on the transport.
"I can just imagine the excitement as it drives through the area of our village.
"It will be a great conversational point for weeks."
Mr Dawson added: "We can organise the equipment to go to specific schools in Africa and help to set up links between that school and the one over here.
"Pupils at our schools will be able to see how their fundraising has helped to improve the lives of African children.
"It may be that some long-term links could be forged."
Last year, Cart sent 27 containers of medical and school equipment, food, clothes and water-purifying kits to African countries.
* Any schools wanting to give furniture or to help Cart in other ways should phone Mr Dawson on 01484 311287.