On Saturday we distributed lots of clothes and shoes to the children at Royal Academy, their brothers and sisters and some of the local children in the area. We managed to give out to at least 100 children over the day, many of whom had very few clothes and were dressed just in rags or cloth tied around them.
They were so excited to receive them and I hope you will enjoy looking at these photos just as much – see if you can spot your donation!
When we went back to Royal the following day to hand out some of the food parcels and saw so many of the clothes being worn in the village – it was really lovely! Clearly they are favourite items already!
Thanks once again to everyone who has donated something!
One of the first things we have done on this trip so far has been to see quite a bit of our eldest sponsored child – Emmanuel Kai. Since he is now attending Malindi High School some distance away, we rarely enjoy the opportunity to spend much time with him and his family. However, the school term has only just started over here after the Christmas break, so we have had a few days before he returns to Malindi.
We have been able to visit his home, where he lives with his father and a very large extended family. Part of Emmanuel’s family tribal traditions include building your own house when you reach the age of sixteen, so Emmanuel, now 19 years old, has build his on his father’s land. He was rightly so proud to show us around the farm and to welcome us into his house, preparing tea for us there (another happy tradition when receiving visitors!)
We have also discussed his future plans in much more detail, putting into place an idea for his career after finishing secondary school. First he would like to complete a computing course, to familiarise himself with IT. Then he would like to go to university to study law. Emmanuel has ambitions of becoming a human rights lawyer. In his own words, he would like to make sure that everyone has the chance to get their own rights and to have a fair chance. All I can say is how proud I am of what an intelligent, sensitive and mature young man he has become and how pleased I am that this intelligence will now not be wasted. He has every chance of going on to be a lawyer – thanks to your sponsorship and I have every faith he will be an excellent one – besides, with his posh new office shoes how could he fail?!
Keep checking the site for details of our next few days as the school term begins and we admit a new child to the sponsorship programme.
Emmanuel Kai in the house he built with his smart new office shoes for a lawyer!
Whilst here we have visited the Mbazi project, giving out some of the smaller girls clothes and shoes as well as the remaining mosquito nets. The children were really excited to see us and we were pleased to see lots of familiar faces since the last time we were here.
Billy has also been working on this project teaching some basic maths and social studies to a small group of children, and is clearly a firm favourite, happy to co-ordinate regular games of football!!
Despite unfortunately loosing a member of their team to a heart attack a couple of months ago, the group have managed to make some progress with the building, having secured the first classroom and begun to make a blackboard for it, and started a second classroom. A large area has also been cleared of the long grass and weeds to make space for a playground for the children.
We have spent a bit more time at the Bethel project during our visit this time, and have been really pleased to see them under the care of their founder Elizabeth blossoming into a fantastically successful school providing quality education to many of the areas poorest families.
Bethel now have 85 children who attend regularly in the babyclass, kindergartens 1, 2 and 3.
For the youngest children, Bethel provides the opportunity for parents to go out and find work during the day, meaning they can try to put food on the table at home.Before Bethel, this service was normally very expensive, making it unaccessible to the parents who need to use it most. Elizabeth’s solution is to run the care scheme herself, and ask for only 100 shillings (around 80p) contribution per child per month, a sum which is achievable when paid in very small installments throughout the year.
For those in the kindergarten classes the school is providing an invaluable foundation before they enter the government school system. They are acheiving among the highest nursery school marks in the area, a huge achievement for an essentially free community school. This preparation for school will mean children from Bethel have the best possible chance of absorbing as much information as possible within the government school environment.
Upon joining the government school, Elizabeth still provides support for the children who have outgrown the programme, through after school hours tuition at the project.
Our volunteer, Billy, has spent a lot of time there and has really enjoyed working with the project. Elizabeth said that at first the parents were doubtful that their children would understand Billy’s english accent, but dramatically changed their minds after seeing Billy’s class achieiving the highest positions in the area in their entry to government school assessment! Billy is now considered a real part of the team at Bethel, he will be sorely missed when his time in Kenya draws to a close in January.
During our trip here we have been able to give out some of your donated clothes and shoes at to the children attending the Bethel project, and thanks to a donation from Micheal Wright have managed to buy 100 exercise books; 109 pencils; 10 sharpeners and 200 peices of chalk for use in the school, as well as some additional mosquito nets for the youngest babies!
Our most recent visit to the Mbazi group last week showed once again just how determined and motivated this group are. The small building which was the only classroom over easter has now been expanded to a much larger building with a high roof accomodating more children with lots of space. Their plans extend to a second classroom which is currently being constructed next to the first of equal size. The new facilities they have built also include a brand new toilet on site which is being well used by the children at the school and the feeding programme on a saturday.
Whilst we were there the first aid kit got lots of use, just as it always does at this project. Being next door to a quarry there are many stones and rocks in the area, meaning it is much too easy for children to trip, fall and cut themselves. This is a common problem in the area we work, and since many of the children cannot afford shoes small cuts can easily become very dangerous, especially at this time of year in the rainy season. The large pools of dirty water infect cuts and scrapes and with medical care out of reach for many of the families this can cause extremely serious problems for the children.
For this reason we had prioritised the shoes many of you had donated were crucial to take to this group as soon as possible. wellies especially came in very handy and lots of happy smiling kids were thrilled to receive shoes and clothes. Everyone who donated something which was handed out this time will receive photographs of their items specifically as well as a group photo in the post as soon as possible, so thankyou very much to all of you!
We landed in Kenya yesterday and have big plans for our trip this time. As well as checking on the progress of our boys we will also be arranging the first volunteer programme for Milele. We also have lots of shoes and clothes to give out as well as some school supplies for one of the local community schools.
Keep checking the site for more news and hopefully a few pictures!
We did a car boot at the A47 near hinckley this morning and managed to raise a whopping £150! Thanks to the kind people on the gate who let us in for free and the even kinder people who bought things from our stall or made a donation, it was a really lovely morning and we thoroughly enjoyed it!
We often receive lots of wonderful donations of clothes, books, toys or shoes and most of them find their way out to Kenya eventually, however the few which are too big, bulky, heavy or which are not quite fitting with the culture we keep stored up until we have enough things to do a car boot! The money we raise then goes directly back into the charity and helps another child to start school.
So thank-you so so so much to everyone who has donated items to us, and please dont stop! Everything is very gratefully received.
If you think you have anything to add to our horde or just met us at the car boot and want to get in touch please do leave a message on this news article, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday we went to a neighbouring shanty town; Mtopanga to visit a school there which has been set up by the manager of the children’s home in partnership with an english sponsor. The sponsor pays the rent and Mr Samwel and his brother George (the headteacher there) have employed teachers in training as volunteers. This obviously means that learning is FREE! The 50 or so students who attend the school are all from very humble backgrounds and would not otherwise get any form of education. It was an inspiring day and serves as a wonderful testiment to Mr Samwel and to others like him who are working tirelessly to improve the lives of the local children and give them opportunities to learn that they could not have previously thought possible. The equipment and facilities at the school are modest, but are growing all the time and i am confident it will prove to be an asset to the community for years to come.
When we first arrived we did lots of singing and jumping around with some of the very excited children from the school and have lots of lovely photos to post up here!
Whilst there at Mtopanga we also distributed some of the clothes which have been donated by everyone over there at home! You would not believe the excitement! Within half an hour of opening the cases we had a crowd of more than 50 children crowding around outside who had heard of what was happening and run to see if there would be any clothes for them.
As we left we handed out some balloons and soaps to the village children which was a huge success. We left happy in the knowledge that a few more children would be walking around Mtopanga fully clothed with shoes on their feet.
Thank-you so much to everyone who donated. Every item was so valuable and will be loved and well used for many years to come by the children we gave them to, as well as all their family, friends and neighbours.
All in all a conservative estimate comes to 168 different individual children who received clothes or shoes, not including the other children who were outside and received balloons and soaps, and there were at left 100 of them! Congratulations to everyone back home for making such a difference to so many childrens’ lives!