The words on a bronze plaque currently being worked on at an Edinburgh foundry are inspiring.

Personal and powerful the message from sculptor Mark Stoddart read: “I hope that students can discover and celebrate their unique neuro diverse learning and realise their potential through creativity and innovation.”

On January 25 the plaque will take pride of place as it is installed on the new Rare Gem Talent school in Kitengela, Kenya, which has been part funded by the renowned Scots sculptor.

Read more: Buchanan Street transformation - the forgotten station lost in time

He has been working with the Kenyan Dyslexia Organisation to get the much-needed facility off the ground and he has been supporting sisters Nancy and Phyllis Munyi who founded the original school.

The new facility will replace a crowded and leaking school nearby and present new learning opportunities for more than 200 children. As well as helping with literacy, the school also offers vocational training in skills such as dressmaking, drawing, painting, singing, beading, tapestry and hairdressing.

HeraldScotland: Mark Stoddart on a previous trip to the Rare Gem Talent SchoolMark Stoddart on a previous trip to the Rare Gem Talent School (Image: Mark Stoddart)

A very personal cause to Mr Stoddart, he was diagnosed as dyslexic himself, he will be flying out for the official opening of the first phase of the school and is now looking to raise funds through his work to complete a second phase.

Mr Stoddart said: “It is a very poignant time of year for the opening as with the school’s Scots connection through myself, the opening of the first phase will fall on Robert Burns’ birth and the day before, January 24, is World Literacy Day.

“We are very close to getting the first phase completed for the opening and we really have no choice as the children can’t go back to the old school as it is leaking and already overcrowded.

“We are also creating a new kitchen. The cooks make about 260 meals each sitting  - heated by logs in that tiny space - the heat must be huge with the cooker and heat in Kenya.”

Read more: Scots hippo sculptor honoured by tribute from school he helped fund

The school, which Mr Stoddart has donated some of his own funds to support, will have bigger and brighter classrooms an enhanced learning facility and also an area where some of the children can grow their own crops to help them become self-sufficient.

“For me it's not how  I can help financially, but it is about spreading awareness of dyslexia in Kenya and helping children access the right kind of learning," he added. "There are many more children out there who need help and we have been able to bring our school to the attention of the Kenyan government which is a start. We seem to have got officials interested in testing kits which teachers could use. It would go a long way to helping to determine at an earlier stage if a child is dyslexic rather than discover when it is too late in the school system.

“There is already a waiting list for students to attend the Rare Gem school which shows there is a need. Once they get help there is no reason why they can’t go into mainstream education after that.”

HeraldScotland: Pupils at the Rare Gem school with tartan inspired uniformsPupils at the Rare Gem school with tartan inspired uniforms (Image: Mark Stoddart)

A  time capsule will be buried on the opening day with messages from Mr Stoddart, teachers and volunteers.

The sculptor, known for his famous hippo designs from bronzes to glass tables, has had his work snapped up by celebrity clients for the past couple of decades some items fetching more than £30,000. And he is already working on his next project - a silver bull which will be auctioned to raise funds to allow the second phase of the school to be built.

The race is already on to secure funds for the second phase. Children will be moving into the new school in a matter of weeks, so they will have to wait until the school holidays later this year before they can carry out more work.

HeraldScotland: Mark Stoddart's bull sculptor at clay stageMark Stoddart's bull sculptor at clay stage (Image: Mark Stoddart)

The hope is to have accommodation blocks in a second and possibly third phase to allow children who may have a distance to travel the chance to attend the school.

As Mr Stoddart prepares for his visit to Kenya, work is continuing on a bespoke silver bull sculpture, with a Scottish gold nose ring.

He will be putting the piece up for auction and has covered the £10,000 of silver used to make the piece.

“Who knows what the interest in it will be, it could fetch £2000 or £20,000. Sotheby’s have very generously offered to auction the piece for me without taking a commission and will help me market the sculpture,” he added.

“It will be displayed at Sotheby’s in Edinburgh before being taken to London for auction probably in Spring. Hamilton and Inches jewellers in Edinburgh have also been helping me complete the project.”

HeraldScotland: Kitchen facilities will be upgraded to cater for more than 200 childrenKitchen facilities will be upgraded to cater for more than 200 children (Image: Mark Stoddart)

Last year Mr Stoddart travelled to Bali to see first-hand how a school he is supporting there is making a difference for children.

He helped them buy their own land to start to build a school.

The Ayrshire artist has lived with dyslexia his whole life and credits his artistic success to the confidence he gained after attending Frewen College in Sussex, a school that especially helped people with dyslexia. He said his education at the college taught him that he didn’t need to be held back by the condition.

Dyslexia Scotland, which Mr Stoddart has long been a supporter of, has also helped with the education project in Kenya. The charity donated a laptop for use at the school which had learning programmes installed and can be updated as the children develop their learning.