Melton man prepares to help grow herbs and assist school teachers

Children from the Tilinanu Orphanage in Malawi where Melton man Robert Asquith is visiting in May to start a new horticultural business for the locals EMN-150413-115210001
Children from the Tilinanu Orphanage in Malawi where Melton man Robert Asquith is visiting in May to start a new horticultural business for the locals EMN-150413-115210001
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A Melton man is going to Africa next month to help locals grow herbs and assist teachers at a school.

During his month-long visit to Malawi, Robert Asquith will also visit an orphanage which was founded by a Leicestershire schoolgirl.

Mr Asquith (60), who used to teach in the horticultural department at Brooksby Melton College, has taken on the challenge following his retirement.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to practice my horticultural skills in another climate and this will give me the perfect opportunity.

“I’ve had all my jabs but I’ve never been to Africa before so I don’t really know what to expect out there.”

One of his main aims will be to plant 3,000 moringa trees using his experience and knowledge.

Moringa is a herb which grows readily in Malawi and can be used as a healthcare product, a water purifier and a food supplement.

Mr Asquith said: “We want to get the locals involved to establish it as a self-supporting business for them.

“They have already got together 70 volunteers after doing an appeal through Facebook in Malawi.”

Mr Asquith latterly worked in educational management at Milton Keynes College and he will be using his expertise in that area to help staff at a local school.

His efforts are being supported by fellow members of the Melton Belvoir Rotary Club, which has organised several fundraising events, and Melton Inner Wheel.

His wife Alison is making book bags, which will be filled with text books and classroom accessories for children at the local school.

Mr Asquith will visit Tilinanu Orphanage, which was started by ex-pupil at Ratcliffe College, Alice Pulford.

The orphanage supports more than 400 oprhan children and those from struggling single parent families.

Alice and sister Nina founded the LoveSupportUnite Foundation to help support the work in Africa.

Alice’s efforts were recognised when she was named as Britain’s Best Volunteer for 2015, which included £1,000 in holiday vouchers. which will be used for flights to Malawi.

More information about Alice’s award is available here http://www.markeluk.com/britains-best-volunteer.aspx