Friday, May 12, 2006

Kenya Update: Building on success

DES expeditions to Kenya started in 1999. Since then 7 student groups and 3 adult teams totalling 280 expeditioners have made a major impact in the Murugi location close to Mt. Kenya. As well as climbing Mt. Kenya to 16,355ft, River Rafting and Safaris in the Masai Mara the community project work has been remarkably successful.

The Baragu Health Centre has been open for 4 years now and 95% of the cost of the project has been donated by the Kenya expedition groups and the government have increased the nurse allocation to 7 to cope with the 100 patients a day who queue for treatment. Students on the Kenya expeditions have to commit to project fundraising and they have passed £45,000.

Budmouth Technology College students, parents and teachers have raised over half this total mainly through the efforts of the Duke of Edinburgh Award group and the Kenya Fundraising week – starting on 27th March – go along to support these events if you can.

2005 set a new record with 50 DES members going on the 2 expeditions to Kenya. One was a special team comprising students from Paignton Community College and South Devon College. South Devon College moved site at Xmas and the college Principal kindly donated large amounts of surplus equipment for our 3 supported schools in Kenya.

A sea container was loaded along with surplus books from Budmouth Technology College and the Easter 2006 adult group (team of 16) is going out to allocate the 4 tons of goods to Wiru Secondary, Wiru Primary and Gitare Primary Schools.

The global schools partnership between Budmouth Technology College and Wiru Secondary School was established 2 years ago and last summer Franklin Bundi, the Headteacher, visited Weymouth to further the link as well as participate in the Bridgenorth 22mile sponsored walk. He was really spying on our football training sessions but despite this our team won convincingly on Kenyan soil in August – maybe because the Kenyans were playing bare footed and we crippled a few!!!

A new link has now been created between St Johns Primary and Wiru Primary. John and Sally Horrell and Kimberley and Diamond Dukes are travelling out at Easter to develop the partnership. Josie Hastings and Kirsty Legg along with Budmouth Principal Dave Akers are also in the Easter team.

The Kenya 2006 team are well established and will again find themselves getting blisters from breaking rocks and mixing concrete for new classrooms as well as painting everything a delicate shade of Bermuda Blue!!!!

Plans are developing for 2007 and anyone interested in travelling to Kenya either for a short 2 week project based adult expedition at Easter or on the 4 week main DES trip in July/August is invited to give me a call on 01305 813012.

Martyn Hastings


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