ksp

History of KSP

2004

It all started with a dream holiday to Kenya. We had booked a safari for the first week on the Masai Mara and then the following week, we stayed at the Diani Sea Resort in Ukunda, near. Mombasa, where we relaxed on the Indian Ocean beaches of East Kenya. During the second week, we went on an organised school visit, not knowing that this visit would go on to change our lives forever. The school was called 'The Mkwakwani School' and when we saw what the children had to put up with just to go and learn, we were so shocked. The children were sitting on concrete floors, barefoot and having to share pencils, paper and books. After seeing the school, which, at that time had 1,500 pupils aged between 3 and 13 years, we then met the headmaster, Mr Pofu and his deputy, Mr Bilashaka, to whom we promised we would try and raise some funds for them upon our return to the UK. The trip to the school really got to both of us, and we could not stop thinking about the children. We were going to keep our promise!

2005

2005 saw us keeping our promise to Mr Pofu. We held our first function to raise some much-needed cash! It was a family party called 'Tropical Night', held on March 20th. We raised approximately £500. With this money we went out and bought pens, pencils, rulers and other scholastic supplies. We boxed it all up and sent it over to Kenya.

With our four boxes on there way, we decided to go over to Kenya ourselves. That way we were able to hand out the books, pencils, etc. to the children. It was so moving! The children even sang us a song - 'if you're happy and you know it'.

The headmaster told us of a lady that had been helping the school and had made it into a charity called 'Mkwakwani School Project' - Reg No 1089275. So, when we got back home, we decided to contact her to see how we could help. She told us of her plans to buy desks for the children and also to try and raise some money to build a library for the Mkwakwani school.

During the summer we were approached by Radio Shropshire to see if we wanted to do a walk for Kenya, as they had heard about us trying to help the children in Kenya. So the '5K for Kenya' was set for the 25th September along the river Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. We raised £2,600 which we sent off to the charity to go towards building the library.

We also raised money for desks during the year - 350 in total.We also bought lots of books, pens and were also given lots of reading books from a couple of local schools which we boxed up. We asked DHL of Flint if they could help us in any way. They said they could. They sent the boxes over for us free of charge (28 boxes in all). So, with the boxes gone, we decided to make another trip to Kenya in October.

At the school, it was amazing to see all the boxes there. We spent ages handing out books, pens, etc. During our stay we went to see some of desks we had paid for. They were being made at a disabled college at Likoni. Our next function was a Christmas party, held on the 23rd Dec and we raised approx £1,000 for the Mkwakwani school.

2006

2006 saw us raise more money by holding a beach party in our local village. We raised another £1,000 for the Mkwakwani school. Cadbury Schweppes sponsored us to go back in October, which was fantastic.

During the year, apart from collecting money for school desks, we were also buying more books, pencils, etc. with the money raised. In total, we had 28 boxes to be sent over. We approached DHL in Flint, North Wales to see if they could help us again and they said they would once more send over all the boxes free of any charge.

So with the boxes sent, we set off for Kenya going to Nairobi first to see Cadbury as they had been so generous in sponsoring us. There, we met the MD Jane Karuku and her PA Carol Githinji and had a tour of the factory. Carol took us to an orphanage called Huruma which is helped by Cadbury. It was decided that Carol would come to Ukunda to see what we did. The three of us went to the Mkwakwani school to hand out books, pens, etc. While on this visit, we went to two more schools with Carol. They were Peace Village and Heman. We handed out school books and pens to them as well. Our greatest moment was seeing some of our desks (211 of them) at the school. Back home we held a Christmas party which raised £1,000.

2007

On February 8th we made a big decision to take our fundraising to the next level - we started our own charity 'Kenyan Schools Project' - Reg No 1117886.

It was great going to visit Kenya in March as a proper charity. While we were there we found that we could buy school books and pens actually in Kenya - not only are they cheaper than in the UK but also it helps their economy. We visited the Mkwakwani school as always, but we also found some more schools that needed help - Shamu, Peace Village, Heman and Yeje schools were now on our help list as well as Mkwakwani school and the orphanage at Huruma.

Back in the UK, just before our next party, we had a visit by Phil Brown (a Silver Olympic Medal winner). He brought us loads of sports gear that schools and colleges had donated to hand out to charities that needed the equipment.

The next party was 'Motown Night' with a special guest motown singer called Marvin Ruffin. We raised approx £1,000. To add to our growing pot of funds before our next trip in october Bill and Lynn were awarded £5,000 out of the Cadbury Schweppes Foundation charity. The money was to be spent on school equipment, including 300 desks for whichever schools needed them (a great boost to our charity)! So we went back to Kenya. We visited Nairobi first to visit the Huruma Orphanage, taking food and school equipment with us. We also visited two more orphanages before heading to Ukunda to visit the schools. Once again, we picked up more schools to help!

Back home we had our next Christmas party. Then, to keep us extra busy the week after, we held a New Years Eve party called Oscar night. What a year!

2008

On our first trip of the year we visited Nairobi where the NewLife Home and Huruma Orphange received boxes from the Kenyan Schools Project sent via Cadbury UK (thanks to Bill working for Cadbury in Chirk, North Wales). A local pub in our town donated a full football kit, which was gladly received by the Huruma football team.

Ladies from Shropshire and surrounding districts, including members of our local W.I. and gardening clubs, had knitted jumpers and teddies, plus donated cuddly toys for the children at the orphanages, which were gratefully received by the children.

We delivered 140 desks to the Shamu School, bringing our desk total for that particular school to 250! What a huge achievement! We also purchased 3,000 exercise books, pens and pencils from local supermarkets and delivered them to 5 of the 8 schools that we are helping - Mkwakwani, Southern Stars, Yeje, Mvendeni and Shamu.

In October of the same year, we visited the Ushirika School in Nairobi to see the windows finished. It was a real joy to see the project finally realised and to make a great difference to the lives of the children.

As normal we visited the two orphanages and two schools in Nairobi plus one orphanage and six schools in Mombasa with supplies in tow.

Back at home, we held three fundraising parties - one for Halloween, one at Christmas which even Santa came to, and a final one to celebrate the New Year - all of which raised over £2,000.

2009

Our first trip was in May - we had to visit a couple of projects that we were hoping were finished. We started in Nairobi at the Ushirika School. The kitchen and toilet refurbishment and also a water tank that holds 10,000 gallons of water were all completed - it was great to see the work finished and to see the children drinking the clean fresh water.

The other schools and orphanages all had a visit from us with our usual donations of books, clothes, footballs and football kits, much needed food and sanitary pads - all of which were kindly given local people back at home.

We then headed to Mombassa to check on our projects there. First stop was the Yeje School. The electricity had finally been installed at the School and we are now just waiting for Kenya Power to link it all together for the electricity to flow. Next we travelled to the Mvindeni School. We had previously delivered 200 desks here, so we had to take photos of all of them for the people back home who had donated £20.00 for each desk. After talking to the Head master at Mvindeni, we decided upon a new project - to refloor 6 classrooms, have the kindergarden classroom rebuilt and build 30 small desks for the infants.
We visited all our friends at the other schools in Mombasa and took reading books, pens, pencils, etc. Although a lot of the donations are from back home, we do also try to buy some of the exercise books and pens at the local shops here in Mombasa and Nairobi, as we feel it helps the economy in Kenya which is vitally important.

Our next trip was in October and the first stop place we visited was Nairobi. We had arranged to visit a new scool\/orphanage (thanks to our Friends at Feed the Children) called Oxsic. It is run by a lady called Elizabeth and has approximately 110 children. Oxsic is right next to a rubbish tip with no electricity or beds and not enough desks so once we dropped off some goodies - food, clothing, books, pens etc. - we decided we needed to help them urgently and would sort a plan out once we got back home.

Next stop was the Yeje School where we were in for a real treat - the electricity was on and working! WOW! It was great to see lights on in the school buildings. We have another possible project on the go at Yeje - to rebuild a classroom that has collapsed due to a tree falling on it - we just need to check costs before the final go ahead.

Over at the Mvindeni school the floors were all completed. They looked really good with our new desks in the classroom. The kindergarten classroom was also finished - it looked fantastic and is the talk of the Ukunda town - the Headmaster is so proud! The new classroom has also been filled with 30 small desks much to the delight and amazement of the children.

Again we visited the other schools to take the books and other donations. For one school in particular - Maendaleo Academy - we bought a lot of educational books that are greatly needed which was paid for my a wonderful donation of £500 from Nick Goulder.

Click here to see some pictures.

lynn with some children
Some of the children in front of a building donated by KSP.