9 March 2010

The Kenya Trip

On the 24th March J will be off on a working trip to a Kenyan children’s centre (pictured) to support the Isaiah Trust, a charity set up by our good friend Nicky, and which aims to take orphans off the streets and rubbish tips in Kenya and provide them with accommodation, food and an education.

J has had a long held dream to ‘give something back’ to society and despite my view that she does enough by supporting a little girl in Africa and has two children of her own to bring up, there was a hankering to be on the ground and provide hands-on assistance to these poor children who are cast into the wilderness when their parents die.

Left to scavenge on rubbish tips for food, or thrown away items which can realize a few pence, and with no hope of an education because the state often insists on a uniform or shoes before they are allowed to attend schools, they are sentenced to a pitifully short life eking out an existence as best they can.

J, of course was desperate to go once the arrangements had been made but her enthusiasm was heightened greatly by the recent TV programme (Slumming It), where Kevin McLoed, previously known for his Grand Designs series, visited the Mumbai slums featured in the film, Slumdog Millionaire.

If you haven’t seen this two-part series I would urge you to try and find it on the web. One million people live in these slums and despite the fact that the children go off each day immaculate in their beautiful uniforms, many of them return home from school to spend hours raking in the rubbish tips for plastics, metals and other recyclable materials so that their family can exist.

The Kenyan children are not so fortunate and are excluded from school, don’t have even a basic form of housing and are regularly targeted by the authorities who want them off the streets but who do nothing to resolve the problem.

J will travel to Kenya with a willing heart, energy, empathy and love plus the usual bits and pieces adored by the children of the centre – old mobile phones, football shirts and for their studies, writing materials.

I’m sure the trip will change her life. Maybe she’ll take over this blog for a few days when she’s out there and we’ll get her thoughts as she experiences things first hand.

PS – our fundraising event on Friday 12th March has been postponed. Nicky, the co-founder of the Isaiah Trust who was planning to accompany J on her trip has been hospitialized and is quite ill. Because of this, the trip itself was in danger until a few days ago and it was unfair to continue to tell those planning to attend that the fundraising was ‘on’, it was ‘off’ and then it was ‘on’ again and so we’ve postponed it until J returns.

Details of the Isaiah Trust at this URL: http://www.isaiahtrust.org/

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