Tamworth teacher's visit to Guinea proves to be a life-changing event
But Marlowe's two-week visit to the country in late December changed his life forever. He visited a village called Kouya Sidia, and learned to love the 400 people living there.
Marlowe, of Moultonborough, went to the country with his 5-year-old son Jamie to meet popular African drummer Sayon Camara.
"He said, 'Dad, let's do a lemonade stand to help them,'" John Marlowe said.
Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world , with a yearly income below $450. Jamie Marlowe had seen pictures of the village's one-room schoolhouse, which had benches, not seats, for the 120 students in the school, as well as a large chalkboard for the school's one teacher.
"In fact, the average number of years a village child attends school in Guinea is a little over two years," John Marlowe said.
Jamie Marlowe set up his lemonade stand, and in two weekends he raised more than $130. Word of his stand to aid the children of Kouya Sidia spread, and soon stands were set up in Sandwich, Moultonborough, Tamworth, Madison and as far away as a town in Vermont, John Marlowe said.
"Because Guinea is such a poor country, there was enough money to purchase an amazing amount of materials," he said, including 160 school uniforms, allowing every school-age child in the village access to education for the school year; 180 pairs of shoes; 160 backpacks; 140 personal chalkboards for the students, more than 4,000 pieces of chalk; 480 notebooks; and more than 4,000 pencils.
He'll be at the Moultonborough town library on April 17 at 6:30 p.m.