We arrived back in Manchester just over a week ago after our two week stay in Mombasa. It was hard to leave such an amazing place and wonderfully warm and friendly people behind not to mention the gorgeous children but we had to! With sad hearts we are back trying to digest and make sense of what we saw and what we became involved in during our short stay. The following is a taste of what happened from the moment we met Kevin in the foyer of the hotel to flying over Mount Kilamanjaro on our way home. Our first encounter with real life in Kenya was our trip to the feeding station where we helped to feed 1200 children in monsoon rain. The children were very wet, cold and hungry and had walked long distances to get there some with younger siblings on their backs. They were still in good spirits despite the weather and very pleased to see our children Grace and Xavier who got ‘stuck in’ helping distribute the food.
Grace helping out at the Feeding Station
This was a very humbling experience and made us all realise that poverty and hunger is a major problem for the vast majority of Kenyan families. We also found it difficult to tuck into a meal when we got back to our hotel! We returned to the feeding station the following Sunday this time in the sunshine and armed with 1500 whistling lollipops to give out as the children left. It was lovely to see them leave with big smiles making a huge din probably all the way back to their villages.

Our next exciting experience was to visit a local village school that Kevin and Mary rebuilt for the community. This was a great opportunity for us to see what a difference a school can make to these children. Again we were made very welcome and every class sang for us and were so happy to tell us about their class and what they were studying. Their excellent behaviour and manners were a credit to their teachers and families. As a result of our visit to the school Kate and Sarah have decided to sponsor a boy so that he can finish his education he definitely knew how to wow the girls!!
Meeting the children at Mikoroshoni P.S.

Our next stop was the village medical centre. This was one of the most thought provoking visits we had over the two weeks. The medical centre caters for a district the size of Bury. From what we could see they had very little in the way of equipment. The building was in poor condition despite Kevin’s help providing much needed doors onto the examination rooms. There is no electricity or running water (the pump to the well was being repaired as we were there). From what we could gather talking to the doctor and two nurses their main job was to register and monitor new births and to test for HIV and Malaria both diseases real problems and very prevalent. Unfortunately their microscope used to test for these diseases is out of action and had been for some time so although they have vaccines to give they have no means of testing their patients. We are determined to replace their microscope and get the testing up and running again and also try to get electricity to the building. The medical staff were frustrated at the lack of care they can give and rightly so!!!
Shanzu Medical Centre

We then moved onto the village of Shanzu where we went to visit a family that Kevin and Mary have been supporting who were sadly ostracised from the community because of Leprosy. What a welcome Kevin received like a long lost member of the family! All the family members were delighted to show us into their homes and the children were so excited to have visitors that had a few sweets to share. It was in this village that we first met Esther a young girl who again Kevin and Mary have been supporting through school. It was here we discovered she was not at school because she had had a baby and that the baby was very sick with Spina Bifida. We didn’t see the baby that day but Esther was a very sad girl who needed help and the baby definitely needed help. We left that village with our minds in a whirl and a need to contact Mary to see what we could do
Typical House in Shanzu Village

Then finally to G.L.O.! It lived up to all our expectations and beyond. We loved every single child and all the mothers and aunties who work so hard and are so loving and kind to the children. We were especially fond of baby Lisa who arrived at G.L.O. the same day as us. She had been abandoned at a police station and a few phone calls later was safely at the orphanage a little grumpy and tired but otherwise fine. It was lovely to see how she blossomed over the two weeks and was such a happy baby and how she grew!! We had great fun unpacking the toys we had taken and caused complete chaos. Over the rest of our stay we spent as much time as we could at the orphanage mainly playing with the children and setting up lots of fun activities for them. We were made so welcome and became so attached to everybody in such a short space of time.
Party Time at The Good Life

Back to Esther and her baby. We couldn’t rest we didn’t know the extent of his illness so we went back to find out. We discovered the baby Lawrence was very very poorly. He had Spina Bifida with Hydrocephalus and needed urgent medical attention. The family couldn’t take him to hospital as you have to pay for all medical care. He needed scans to determine the extent of his illness and then treatment. With Nico’s invaluable help taking the baby and Esther to hospital we managed to get the scans he needed. Then with discussions with Mary, Jackie, Kevin and Esther and after a lot of soul searching it was decided to take him into G.L.O. to be cared for. As he is not an orphan and he is from a different district to the orphanage the Children’s Department had to authorise it and thanks to Jackie this was also done. The next step was to get permission from Esther’s father whom we had a meeting with and he gave his blessing to the arrangement. I was also very adamant that Esther was completely happy with the arrangement which she was. She had done so well with Lawrence to keep him alive and as well as he had been so far but he was deteriorating quickly.
Baby Lawrence's 1st Day @ GLO
Lawrence arrived into the orphanage on our last day ~party day! Kate and Xavier’s birthday party which we celebrated at G.L.O. with all our friends. It was a birthday to remember for them and a day to remember for us to know that baby Lawrence would be in the best hands around !!. Unfortunately he was very sick and needed to be admitted to hospital the following day. Mama Lucy his new mama went with him and stayed there for the next 10 days where he fought off a serious infection. He is now back at G.L.O. looking much better. Mary and Kevin are working hard to get his operations sorted so he can lead a more comfortable life. Esther is going back to school in September and will finish her education. None of the above experiences would have been possible without Mary and Kevin. What they do and have done is incredible. We have seen first hand the widespread help they give to lots of people not just the children they have rescued. The new school they are building which looks fabulous will educate 250 children lots of whom will be from the poorest families around who would not otherwise have the chance.
Tree Planting

We have been inspired by the work that Kevin and Mary have carried out in Kenya. Their dedication to the orphanage and the responsibility they have is daunting. We hope to return to Kenya in the near future. We hope that one day the medical centre in Shanzu will be a successful health centre for the local people. We hope that the new school will be a great success. We hope and pray that baby Lawrence will pull through his operations and lead a fulfilled and happy life. We hope that Ester will complete her education and find employment to help her family. We hope that the children at G.L.O. will remain happy and healthy! We thank Kevin, Mary, Nico, Jackie and David for allowing us to visit and for all the help they gave us and especially for allowing baby Lawrence to live at G.L.O.
Asante Sana!

Privacy Preference Center