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Former Monkton Pupil receives rare Nigerian title

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Old Monktonian Seth Thomas has received a traditional title from Nigeria for raising £50,000 to build a much-needed health clinic in a village called Asso in the Northern part of the country.  

Seth, who left Monkton last year, first visited the village in October 2017.  Asso village is in the South Kaduna region of northern Nigeria, home to the Fulani militia, who target the villagers with violence in order to take their land and homes.  

While Seth was there he met Jude, a 15 year old boy who had a badly infected leg after carrying a bullet in it for 3 weeks. He was inspired to do something that would make a life changing difference to the people of Asso so Seth set about raising the £50,000 needed to build a clinic.  He put forward a proposal that the clinic be Monkton’s designated charity for 2017-18 and a number of events were set up including a Colour Run which raised just over £4,900, a programme of fundraising by all pupils that ran throughout the year, parents and staff also got involved. In total Monkton raised nearly £15,000  towards the project. In just over a year since his visit, Seth has managed to raise the remainder of the money and the clinic is now built.

Earlier this month Seth traveled again to the village to officially open the facility which has appropriately been named after him.  On his arrival in an amazingly colourful ceremony, the Paramount Ruler of Kagoma Kingdon HRH Colonel Paul Zakka Wyom conferred on Seth Thomas the rare traditional title of ‘Byeh Gwong’ which means ‘Helper of Kagoma’.

HRH Paul Wyom said “Our people will remain eternally grateful to Seth for his kind heart. The clinic will benefit Asso and many other communities in the area”

Seth now wants to inspire other young people like him: “People told me it was impossible for me to raise the £50k needed for this Clinic, but I was spurred on by the constant image in my mind of these wonderful people who were suffering without complaint. I now want to tell the story to inspire young people everywhere, we really can make a difference.”

Monkton Principal Chris Wheeler praised his former pupil: “It is amazing to see how much ambitious young people can achieve and I was delighted Monkton could play a part in this story. Even more remarkable is that, far from being satisfied with all he has achieved already, Seth is now going on to found a charity which helps and supports other young people to make the same journey. Many pupils took part in this journey but I was delighted to see Seth’s leadership of it recognised in the village at Asso where the money raised will make a real difference to people living incredibly tough lives.”

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