Teacher’s mission to aid Syrian refugees

John Gray High School teacher plans to bring school supplies to orphans

A Cayman Islands maths teacher is making a 2,000-mile road trip to bring school supplies to orphans affected by the conflict in Syria. 

John Gray High School teacher Ted Todd has enlisted students at the school to help raise funds for the charity mission. He plans to use his summer vacation to drive a van full of supplies from the United Kingdom to Turkey, where he will team up with local charity Small Projects Istanbul. 

Mr. Todd, who is traveling with his daughter, said they would be staying with the founder of the charity and teaching young children in the makeshift classrooms that have sprung up around Istanbul. 

While many refugees from the civil war in Syria are housed in large United Nations camps on the border with Syria, thousands more have found their way to Istanbul. 

“There is a huge problem because all these refugees are not getting any support. The charity – Small Projects Istanbul – was set up to try to provide some basic schooling for these children,” Mr. Todd said. 

He said he had been planning a trip with his daughter for several months and had been inspired to combine it with a charity mission. 

“I had been seeing stories for months about the refugees in Turkey and thought, being a teacher, I might have something to offer.” 

Mr. Todd is raising awareness of the situation in Syria among students at John Gray by holding assemblies and presentations for the children. He is also selling T-shirts at the school to raise funds. 

“It is good to make the children aware of what is going on in the world and see that a small island nation can reach out and help a much bigger country on the other side of the world,” he said. 

He hopes to be able to take some supplies from Cayman – if he can get sponsorship to fly a container to the U.K. But the majority will be bought in bulk in the U.K. 

He has also received support from Rotary Central. He will be out and about selling T-shirts prior to the trip and hopes to set up a stand at the Camana Bay market. 


Man on a mission – Teacher Ted Todd, pictured with students Taejsha Ramoon and Latoiya Webb, gets packing for his road trip. – PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER