Kari's African legacy

A PRIMARY school brought to rack and ruin by Ugandan rebels has been chosen to benefit from donations made in memory of Ipswich woman Kari Boto.Mrs Boto, 53, of Park Road, died in a drowning accident at Felixstowe last week.

A PRIMARY school brought to rack and ruin by Ugandan rebels has been chosen to benefit from donations made in memory of Ipswich woman Kari Boto.

Mrs Boto, 53, of Park Road, died in a drowning accident at Felixstowe last week.

Her funeral is being held tomorrow and, instead of flowers, her family have asked for donations to the Ogogoro Primary School in the town of Lira, northern Uganda.

Mrs Boto not only worked in Africa during her 30-year career with the BBC, but also did volunteer work and sponsored 30 poor children in Uganda.

Her husband Tom Boto said Mrs Boto, who worked under the name Kari Blackburn, would have wanted the money to go to the poverty-stricken school.

He said: “Before this school opened children in the village used to have to go ten miles to get to the nearest, very basic primary school.

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“Many children preferred to stay at home and didn't get schooling, but when this school opened the number of infants going to school in the area exploded and it became very well established and well attended.

“Back in 2003 rebels went to the region and this school was taken over for their activity. Everyone was very distressed.

“The rebels looted the school, and took all except the bricks it was built with and corrugated iron sheets on the roof.

“As the scene settled, my wife was involved in getting the school opened up. Everyone was very hesitant because of the rebels, but she was on the front line.

“Her presence encouraged the children to go back there.

“I'm sure if I could talk to her that the school is where she would like the contributions to go.”

Mrs Boto, a mother to Kassalina, 25, Jonan, 22, and Tony, 18, drowned on Wednesday, June 27, after she went for a swim in the sea at Felixstowe.

She was a senior director for the BBC World Service Trust, based in London, and had a great passion for Africa.

N To pay your tributes to Mrs Boto, go to www.eveningstar.co.uk and follow the link to the tribute section.

N Donations can be made with cheques payable to Hunnaball of Ipswich, Dove House, 291 Norwich Road, Ipswich, IP1 4BP.

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