The Mason Family from Manchester have been very generous and supportive to the GLO Project and we felt very privileged when Margaret and daughter Carmen visited us in Kenya in October 2011, the drive from the airport through Mombasa Town and then Bombolulu brought tears to their eyes, people just surviving, often living on the rubbish dumps was a big shock but as they were only here for a few days they insisted taking one of the now famous “Kev’s Tours”.
Our two new workers
Carmen meets Tim
The orphanage is a little oasis in the middle of all they mayhem, built in a semi-rural location with the orphan children getting three meals a day and receiving a very high standard of care, a far cry from the life these children led before arriving at the GLO and its often easy to forget just where the children have come from so when Margaret & Carmen asked to see a typical local family we brought them to the family of Moses who was a very good fundi who worked on the GLO & school projects as well as our own house before he died very suddenly of Malaria earlier in the year.
The House & family
Since Moses passed away the family have experienced severe hardship and when we arrived the very heavy rains had caused damage to their house and had actually caused the old Auntie Kadzo’s house to fall down.
In the ramshackle of a mud house lives Moses’ widow Sauma (25 years old) & children Kimberley (12 years old), Esther (8 years old), Stella (6 years old), Gloria (nearly two years old), also Moses sister Nyevu who has a severely disabled young boy called Georgie and now the old Auntie Kadzo who is well into her 70’s.
Sauma's Roof
There was no food whatsoever in the house and the young boy Georgie was malnourished and in very poor health. The rain was coming in through what was left of the roof and the mud walls were falling down, seeing a family living like this was very upsetting and Margaret decided that she would assist this family by repairing the house, buying new beds and buying food each month for them. They could not believe what was happening and could not understand why this mzungu lady had chosen them, after bestowing many blessings on Margaret & Carmen, Kevin started to arrange for the major refurbishments to take place.
Monthly Food
Georgie malnourished & very ill
Firstly little Georgie was taken to Kilifi Hospital, we were amazed to learn that he is 3.5 years old and only weighed about 14lb, he was malnourished and immediately had a an intravenous drip set up to get fluids into his body, also as he suffers from Epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy the doctors were very concerned about his wellbeing. Unlike the UK there is no NHS, the mother stays with the child all the time, there is no bedding just a sheet and we had to buy a plastic plate, spoon and basin for Mama Nyevu otherwise she would not get the one daily meal which she has to pay for, a far cry from our excellent NHS but at least Georgie was now in the best place.
No1 Fundi
What started off as a small job became more complex with Kevin spending many hours with the Fundi’s making sure they did not sneak off for some manazi (local coconut alcohol) as soon as they got paid and included building a kitchen so they could cook outside as the smoke from the fire was causing the children to have chest problems. To encourage Sauma to support the family, it was decided than it was best to give the family “a hand up” instead of “a hand out” and after many discussions where Eunice acted as the translator, a shop seemed to be the most suitable business to set up and a new shop in front of the existing house was built. It took a little while explaining the basic economics of running a shop but Kimberley the eldest daughter was very keen and took onboard the importance of keep proper records of everything bought and how much profit could be made on a daily basis.
Sauma locks up for the day
Again Eunice went along to the wholesalers and with the equivalent of £120 they bought the stock, it was so encouraging to see them all dressed up in their Sunday Best and Sauma was so proud seeing her little shop up & running. She decided to name the shop after the very good samaritan who believed in her and is now giving her the chance to support her family, the grand opening of Mag’s Shop was last week and to date they are making approximately 200kes profit a day, thats about £50 per month, it may not seem much to us but in a country where people who are lucky enough to work earn the equivalent of £1.20 a day it is a fortune and more important that anything, it gives the family dignity.
Stocking up the shop
Eunice does a stock take
Little Georgie has also been discharged from the hospital after Kevin paid all the outstanding hospital bills, last time he was in hospital in July Mama Nyevu did a runner with him without paying the bill as she had no money, after a rather fraught 2hrs negotiating the bills he ended up paying about £30 in total. A very helpful nutritionist at the hospital also managed to get Georgie included in one of the Feeding Programmes for malnourished children where the family pick up special dietary supplement every two weeks from US Aid. He is now doing very well but needs regular checkups.
Georgie having breakfast
So a massive Asante Sana to Margaret, Carmen & the Mason Family, we look forward to bringing regular updates on this business venture and can assure you all that this gesture is making a big difference to the family who could not even afford a bowl of porridge or sleep in a bed before Margaret’s generosity.
Buying Paramendis

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