"After a pretty hectic run up to our trip, my brother and I were dropped off at Edinburgh Airport at 4.30am with 150kg of bags full of all the donations and supplies so generously provided by Kipawa donors. A friend had arranged for KLM to give us extra baggage allowance but we exceeded even that!
After a brief stop in Amsterdam and an 8 hour flight we arrived in Nairobi at 9pm to a remarkably organised Kenyatta airport considering the summer fire had impacted most of the airport. Maaike and Chenge from Macheo had kindly come to collect us and before long we were on our way to Thika. After a good night’s sleep we set off for Mukuya School accompanied by the Macheo team, Maaike and Faith, who told us that the school were very excited about our visit and likened it to Christmas – I’m not sure we were going to live up to this expectation! As we drove along the dirt road to the school I was surprisingly emotional returning to Mukuya, as the school we talk about so much came into view.
We briefly popped our heads into each classroom to say hi and were greeted warmly; again it was particularly nice to see both Class 4s in a much better environment than before, in their newly renovated classrooms.
As we were leaving, Margaret introduced us to Morgan, a boy in the nursery class who she had tracked down after he had stopped attending school due to ill health. After his parents separated, Morgan's mother could not afford to take him for ongoing treatment. Thanks to Margaret’s support, he has now resumed treatment and is being referred to Kenyatta National Hospital for an operation in January. Whilst the family still faces a lot of problems, at least we have been able to ensure he accesses the treatment he needs and is restored to good health. In 2014 we hope to fund Margaret to go beyond the school grounds and help pupils and vulnerable families by supporting them in whatever form that takes – accessing medical treatment, supporting parents or referring them to appropriate organisations.
My trips to Kenya will always give me a great perspective on our problems in the UK and make me more committed to supporting the children we work with in as many ways as I can. It certainly has given me the drive to undertake the next phase of planning and fundraising knowing its having so much impact."