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Since moving to Kenya in October 2021 after a military posting, I have started supporting an orphanage called St Dorcas in east Nairobi. It is a small education centre that I have visited three times now and have organised some fundraising within my year group at St Mary's, collecting things from clothes to textbooks to nail varnish and flying them out during my holidays. I am in contact with the founding woman, Jacinta, who explained ‘St. Dorcas has 126 children in school and 50 of them stay in the orphanage. We have a total of 23 bunkbeds. We give education and shelter to children in need of care and protection and other basic needs to the orphans and those vulnerable. They don’t have enough teachers to go around the school, so one teacher may teach two classes at a time. Despite this, the children work very hard; most can speak both Swahili and English, they can read and write, love learning and have huge ambitions.’

With more fundraising from another army family, they have been able to build a new education centre a few streets away to separate the primary education from the secondary lessons. Here, they have a playground where they all do sports on a Monday and Friday, however, they have two netball posts but no balls and a dust playground with no marked lines.

Most recently in Spring Half Term I visited and gave them the clothes and books kindly donated by UV, and we also bought them two netballs and two footballs. It was incredible how grateful they were for things that we take for granted and I was able to play some netball matches with them too. They have their own netball team and play matches with other nearby schools. I am hoping to arrange some whole school fundraising to help them build a proper borehole and grow their funding which helps to buy essential items like beans and rice.

Bea W, UV