A Buckingham resident says he is ‘very privileged’ to have helped with funding towards the building of an outdoor sports area in Bosnia.
Brian Dipple first started getting involved with schools in the Tuzla Canton area of the country in 2007 when he was a teacher at Mandeville School in Aylesbury.
He held a music project with a school in Bosnia as part of an initiative promoted and supported by Mandeville School and Bucks County Council.
For the past seven years Brian has to self-fund his travel and expenses but has continued with the project, and the fruits of his labour have now been realised.
He contributed £6,000 through fundraising in conjunction with schools and universities he previously worked at.
The money he raised has gone towards a £30,000 sports arena which opened last month.
Speaking on Bosnian television, which covered the event, Brian said: “It has been a privilege to help raise money for this facility.
“The money I have raised is thanks to two schools in England (Mandeville School and Bearbrook Primary School), my golf club (Whittlebury Hall) and my family.”
Brian’s next visit and project in Bosnia will be in May 2019 where he will be assisted by a former pupil who is a lecturer at Chichester University and a group of her pupils.
Reflecting on his work in Bosnia he added: “I have now run ten music projects, taken 17 Yamaha keyboards, boxes of percussion instruments, ten reconditioned laptops and many boxes of children’s books.
“This latest project where we helped pay for the completion of an outdoor sports area was a major undertaking and I am very proud and grateful for everyone’s efforts.
“I am hoping that other people will step up and take over the project in due course so we can continue to ensure its success.”
Brian sent an e-mail explaining about his work in the country to Lord Paddy Ashdown, a former high representative of the EU in Bosnia, Buckingham MP John Bercow, Mark Urban, a senior BBC correspondent who covered the Bosnian war and Roy Collis, a Deputy Lieutenant of Bucks, who all replied expressing their appreciation of his efforts.
Brian said: “I‘m not asking for any money or a pat on the back - just an acknowledgement that something Bucks County Council wanted to happen is still going on in a very small individual way.”
Brian is a former director of music at Mandeville School and advanced skills teacher for music, and a former director of music at The Cooper School and is now tutor for the PGCE (post graduate certificate in education) course at the University of Buckingham.