Thanks for dropping by to find out more about Tony!
A quick explanation before we get going..... if you’re wondering why the charity supporting Tony is Equip, which works mainly in Africa, it is because Equip has agreed to provide a ‘wrap’ for fund-raising for Tony.Tony attends the King’s School and several of its governors are also trustees of Equip. All donations made here are ONLY for Tony's benefit.
Read Tony Clark’s remarkable story and see pictures of him at the bottom of this page.
Tony is now living and studying in the UK and we need YOUR help to fund his studies.You can help in three ways:
1. Donating from this page, on a once off basis (although we’d be delighted if you came back and did it more than once!)
2. Joining our ‘Tenner for Tony’ campaign by donating £10 a month (the cost of a Starbucks coffee each week). If you want to do this, please firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
3. Donate via text. Send an SMS to 70070. The content of the message should be ‘TCTC50 £xx’, where £xx is the amount you want to donate.
However you choose to donate, you will be enabling a very special person to fulfil his potential.
The boy we call Tony was born in February 1999, in Pondicherry (Pondy) in South East India & named Iyyappan.He was profoundly disabled & his mother, married but only 14, was told the baby had died.Her husband & her mother handed Iyyappan into the Missionaries of Charity in Pondy, better known as the Mother Teresa nuns.
Maureen Clark arrived as a volunteer in India in 2000.Tony (who had been renamed by the nuns) was 18 months old when they met.Maureen has battled on Tony’s behalf ever since she first met him, & has personally cared for him full-time as his Mum since 2005.Maureen home-schooled Tony as schools in India just wouldn’t accept that someone with Tony’s physical disabilities could attend school.
It became obvious that if Tony were to fulfil his obvious potential, he’d have to go to school overseas.Even thinking about this was daunting – Tony would need a passport (not easy when your birth certificate is in an unknown place in rural India!), an invitation from a school (many gave expressions of interest, but backed away later) & a visa (dependent on an offer from a suitable school & lots of other documentation).Once all this was in place the matter of funding a school would still remain; Tony would not be entitled to a place at a state school so there would be private school fees.
Tony obtained his passport in 2009, but a school still proved elusive, until The King’s School in Fair Oak, Hampshire, UK expressed interest.Headmaster Paul Johnson takes up the story ‘When the idea of Tony coming to The King’s was first raised it seemed crazy, surely there was a suitable school for this boy somewhere in India? But it quickly became clear there really wasn’t, so I travelled to India to assess Tony, still sceptical that a mainstream school could really meet his needs.I was blown away by both Tony’s can-do attitude to everything & his very obvious ability, & was quickly convinced that King’s was the right school for him.Fortunately, our governors agreed with me.’
King’s offered Tony a place & after all the appropriate papers were in place, he was granted a student visa to come to the UK & arrived in November 2011.
Tony & Mum Maureen are now living in Fair Oak, Tony has settled well into both school & the UK, & it is clear to all that see him that the ‘crazy idea’ of bringing him to the UK for his education is paying off.Tony’s career plans are not fully formed yet – pilot & lawyer have both been on the list recently – but he is certain that he wants to help both people & animals in India live better lives in the future.