Tribute to Michael Blakey (27/2/1983 - 26/11/2006)
Michael Blakey, a wonderful, intelligent and compassionate young man, was tragically and senselessly murdered in McLeod Ganj, India at the end of November 2006. Michael had been working as a volunteer with Tong-Len for the last 5 months of his life. He was only 23, but had a maturity far beyond his years and had worked tirelessly for Tong-Len from its conception.
As a graduate of the University of Wales Swansea with a first class honours degree in Development Studies, he was particularly involved in the research and development side of the charity's work, with a specific focus on education, health and community-based projects. It had been his plan to return to the UK to spend Christmas with his family but return to India for a further six months prior to commencing his studies for a PhD in London.
Michael was instrumental in the establishment of Tong-Len Charitable Trust in India in December 2004 and was one of the founder members of the partner charity, Tong-Len UK, which raises the funds for the work in the field.
The Tong-Len Michael Blakey Centre
The Michael Blakey Memorial Fund was established to enable Tong-Len to buy land on which to build The Tong-Len Michael Blakey Centre, the first phase of which is planned to be hostel accommodation for 60 children sponsored to attend school..
A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to Michael's Fund. The revised target of £30,000 has been reached and the land was purchased on Michael's Birthday (27th February 2008).
Tong-Len is now in the process of raising money for building. We estimate this first phase of the Tong-Len Michael Blakey Centre to cost £160,000 in addition to the land cost. Ceridwen Owen and Ryan Strating of Core Collective, Tasmania, have given their services freely for the design of the building.
If you wish to make a donation to the Michael Blakey Memorial Fund, you can do so online through JustGiving.