Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A visit from Kenya

This month, we’ve been honoured at Head Office to be visited by Alice Mulumbi. Alice lives in Soy, Kenya, with her husband Robert, who is World In Need’s East Africa Director. As well as helping him with his work for us, she also cares for their four children, manages the family’s small farm and is Director of the Nancy George Academy, the school set up by World In Need in Soy.

In recent months, Alice has also taken responsibility for a young girl whose family could not care for her, welcoming her into the family home, and for the children of a young woman who has AIDS, and who has now become too ill to look after them herself.

Alice has come to Britain for three weeks to help us raise awareness of the work World In need is doing in Kenya, and the difference it can make to the lives of people there. During her time here, she is visiting local schools, churches and women’s groups, showing them what has been achieved so far and telling them of the plans for the future.

Children in British schools are fascinated to learn how their African counterparts are taught. Children here, surrounded by computers, learning aids, books and high tech equipment are amazed to see how others learn in basic buildings, sitting three to a desk, sharing text books one to several children, and the only teacher’s aid being a blackboard painted onto the classroom wall. They are astounded to discover that the children in Soy have walked as many as 7 kilometres to school, many of them barefoot.

Often the children will have left home without breakfast, there being no food in the family house. The school recognises this and all pupils receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch as part of the school day. World In Need believes you cannot feed a child’s mind if their bodies are undernourished.

There are currently 168 children at the school. It is supposed to be a fee paying school, the fees covering the cost of teachers, equipment and meals. However, many families in the area cannot possibly afford the fees and their children would have to miss out on their education, which in turn would reduce their chances of a decent career in adulthood.

World In need overcomes this by providing sponsors, who pay for the children, working with them to build their futures. However, Alice and Robert believe so passionately that every child deserves the chance to learn, that even when they have no more sponsors available, they take children into the school, doing without themselves to ensure they are catered for. If we can find sponsors for more of the children, we can ease Alice’s burden tremendously.

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