THE Africa fundraiser Marion Christmas is the next speaker for the University of Winchester's Enterprise Lecture Series being held on Tuesday, May 20.

The lecture titled "I'll build you one - An African Adventure" tells the story of the Kaira Konko, a Scout Lodge in The Gambia which was built following a promise made to four Gambian Scouts in 1992.

The Kaira Konko Scout Centre is supported by the Kaira Konko Scout Fellowship. The President of Kaira Konko Scout Fellowship is the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire and Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Mrs Mary Fagan. The Fellowship oversees the management of the centre and is developing a five year programme to help make the centre self-supporting.

The University has pledged £8,000 to the Kaira Konko Scout Fellowship as part of the Hampshire Millennium Project to help improve standards of education and quality of life in The Gambia. The University's donation will be used to build a new classroom block in Soma, a town south of the Gambia River.

Marion Christmas said: "The original block was built out of mud blocks by the parents of children in Soma.

"The old classroom block has now become unsafe and we need to provide a new learning space for the 240 pupils that are taught there every day.

"The school operates morning and afternoon sessions to accommodate as many pupils as possible. Lessons are delivered in two classrooms to an average class size of 60 students. The University's donation will mean that the school will soon have a much safer building where they can continue to learn - the children, as well as their parents, are very excited about the plans."

The Gambia is one of the poorest countries in Africa and many children do not have access to the same standard of education as the UK. It is hoped that co-working with the Fellowship will initiate a number of research projects and visits to The Gambia by staff and students from the University.

Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, said: "We're delighted to be able to support the Kairo Konko Scout Fellowship in this way. The University's commitment to education reaches further than just the boundaries of Winchester. Social justice as well as the underlying message that individuals matter, are at the very core of our institution's values."

The Enterprise Lecture takes place in The Stripe at the University of Winchester's King Alfred Campus, Sparkford Road on Tuesday at 6.30pm (refreshments served from 6pm). The event is free and places must be reserved in advance. Contact Trish Kernan, Business Development Manager, on 01962 827578 or email