Catterick-based troops raise money for orphanage while on deployment in Africa

Photo: MOD Crown Copyright.

Members of the Combat Engineer Short Term Training team from Catterick-based 32 and 36 Engineer Regiments have been raising money to support a local orphanage.

Fundraising was instigated by Lance Corporal (LCpl) Min Thapa who provided haircuts to deployed service personnel for a donation.

In the end a total of 70,000 Naira was raised (about £140) an amount which surprised LCpl Thapa.

He said: “I was already offering haircuts to the deployed service personnel so when I heard we were planning on supporting a local charity I suggested I could use this as an opportunity to raise money.

“I was uncertain at the time how much we could raise.”


Tivid Orphanage looks after more than 50 children in Makurdi and coordinates a network of 14 other orphanages around Benue State.

The team visited the orphanage to see for themselves the inspirational work that the charity does and spend time with the children.

When the eight-person Combat Engineer team entered the orphanage, the children sang a number of welcome songs before the team presented them with the cheque.

“Myself and LCpl Matthew O’Connor took a video there and showed it to everyone back in the camp. That one video boosted donations to the final figure of 70,000 Naira,” said LCpl Thapa.

The team have been in Nigeria delivering a nine-week course in field fortifications and counter-mobility.

The aim of the course was to develop the field engineering skills of members of the Nigerian Army Engineers in line with the Operation TURUS mission of increasing the capabilities of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Training has now finished and the team will be leaving Nigeria next week.