A WOMAN who vowed to build a school in memory of her adopted brother has finally completed her challenge.

Michaela Foster Marsh, from the South Side, has been working on the project for the last four years to commemorate her brother Frankie.

The 49-year-old singer and actress was devastated when Frankie, who was adopted by her parents when he was 13 months old, died in a house fire at the age of 26.

Frankie’s parents had been Ugandan but his mum, who was training to be a teacher in Belfast when she fell pregnant, put him up for adoption in Scotland before returning to Uganda.

Michaela said: “We called ourselves twins.

“With less than a month between us, we were pushed in a twin pram, one black, one white.

“At the time it was very unusual in Scotland, people would even stop us in the street just to look at this odd pair.”

On February 26, 1994, Frankie tragically died in a flat in Govanhill’s Allison Street after a power failure.

When the power came back on during the night, it switched on a small electric heater and started a blaze which killed Frankie.

Michaela said: “The pain of his death will never leave me.

“The grief was immense.

“At the time, I didn’t think I would recover.

“But time heals and now, 21 years later I find myself heading to Uganda to dedicate a school to the community of Vvumba in his memory.

“All I can say is that the journey to get to this point has been nothing short of a miracle.”

Michaela said she came across Frankie’s adoption papers after her own parents died, and was intrigued by his biological mum and dad.

She explained: “ I could not stop wondering about this woman and what it must have been like to give up her child, to never know the boy he grew up to be.

“There was very little information in the notes themselves, adoption at that time was cloaked in secrecy.

“I knew that she had come to Belfast to study teaching, and she had fallen pregnant to a medical student but he refused to marry her.

“I discovered in the notes that her father was a Pastor in Uganda and she could not possible return with an illegitimate child.

“It looked like she must have come to Scotland to have her baby in secrecy at Thornhill hospital in Paisley and immediately gave him up for adoption, returning to her studies in Belfast.”

Over the last four years, Michaela and her fiancee Rony Bridges have raised thousands of pounds to build a school in Uganda through their charity Starchild.

Artists from Scotland, including Peter Howson and Frank McFadden, have contributed to their success after donating paintings to be sold off in an annual auction.

Glasgow design firm Red Door Interiors has donated all the furniture for the school and auction house McTears has agreed to allow the charity another fundraising later this year.

Michaela and Rony wanted to help to teach Ugandan children about creative education, including music, drama, painting and dance.

Michaela said: “The arts are not really part of the curriculum in Uganda, it’s not considered something you could make your living out of or something you could study.

“The school is giving them the opportunity to pick up a paintbrush for the first time in their lives.

“It came about because when I was there I just saw a complete lack of it.

“It was all about the children who wanted to be doctors and lawyers, which not every kid is going to be.

“Rony and I both identified with kids who are not as clever that way and were being left behind.

Michaela and Rony will fly to Uganda today ahead of the school’s official opening on May 9.

At least six local Ugandan artists are due to attend, along with dozens of local dignitaries and UK representatives.

“I don’t think Frankie would believe all this has happened.” said Michaela

“He wouldn’t believe he has a school in Uganda in his memory. It’s going to be really emotional when we open it.”