First, a little bit of background – in February 2000 we went on a family holiday to Kenya to celebrate my husband’s 40th birthday. Our whole family went expecting to spend two weeks in the sun, and possibly go on safari. The hotel was beautiful but were struck by the unbelievable poverty. Thinking it would be a good exercise for our children we asked our tour representative, a charming man named Victor, to bring us to a local school, and it was a very humbling experience – even though the children had nothing according to our western standards, they were so happy!

In 2004 we returned to Kenya and enquired about the school we had visited before. When we arrived at the school it was dilapidated with the walls falling down and the young nursery children sitting on the mud floors, as they had no chairs or desks. We approached four people in England who originally set up the “Friends of Mikoroshoni Primary School Charity” with a view to raising £15,000 to rebuild the nursery. With the help of friends, family & business associates we started fundraising and in May 2005 laid the foundation blocks for a new two storey school in Shanzu Village, home of Mikoroshoni Primary School. The money was raised by many various methods – sponsored walks, dances, donkey derbies, BBQ’s, all with one aim – to raise money for the project.

In September 2005 with approximately £42,000 raised, eighteen workers flew out to Mombasa. Everyone paid for their own flights, their own hotel and all their own food. Everyday a matatu took them to & from the village, with eight grown men packed into a rickety “van-with-seats” (which led to many memorable journeys), and even these fares were paid for by the workers too. The point we strive to get across is that every single penny raised in the U.K. & Ireland went directly to the school in Kenya, with no administration costs involved. The blocklayers, joiners, plumbers & painters worked in temperatures of 90F everyday, and local villagers were completely amazed to see mzungus doing tough manual work!

After a four week period the new building was complete with four classrooms, running water and a toilet block. There was even enough money to refurbish the existing classrooms, erect a new fence around the school and the icing on the cake was a bright blue roof on top of the new building. The villagers were so thankful, and it was such an amazing experience for all those involved – the children were queuing up hours before the school opened just to get sitting in their new classrooms!

In October 2006 we returned to the school, and everything was immaculate. The children were still singing and smiling, and seemed even more optimistic in their new school. They now had electricity, and with lights in each classroom the older pupils are staying at school until 8.00pm studying for their exams – how encouraging this was!

On this visit, we learned that the population of street children in Mombasa is approximated at 2,000, which is around 3% of the city’s population. As the world marathon is in Mombasa next year, the government has promised to remove all of the street children. But they have made no indication whatsoever of how they will achieve this. With this in mind, and after seeing the success of the school, it was decided to take on a new project. We have decided to buy a two acre plot of land in Mtwapa (a district north of Mombasa) and plan to build an orphanage for forty children. The plot is good farming land, which will aid in providing a self-sufficient project after a five year period.

In February 2007 all the appropriate paperwork will be completed and “The Good Life Orphanage” will be laying its first foundation stone. This webiste will act as an online diary, or “blog” to those of you new to the concept, and aims to document the progress of this mammoth task. It will be updated regularly, with help from our friends in Kenya, and will provide a comprehensive catalogue of this wonderful project.

Privacy Preference Center