Tables, chairs, school uniforms and boxes full of essentials - just a few of the items dispatched to Kenya where they will help street children get a start in life.
Heathfield based charity Harambee for Kenya has just finished packing and sending humanitarian aid to Kenya in a container.
Organiser Lesley Dann said many items of clothing, bikes, tables, chairs, computers, bedding, shoes, toys, puzzles and school equipment have been donated by well wishers to go directly to the projects supported by the charity in Kisii, Meru and Nakuru.
She explained: “We have been packing over 600 boxes over the last eight weeks and storing them in a barn in Herstmonceux sponsored by Jessie Gorwin.
Andy Vater removals sponsored a lorry to bring everything up to Broad Oak, where Broad Oak and Punnetts Scout Group allowed us to use their HQ and Sharp Shipping Ltd have assisted us with packing and sending the container. By sending this Harambee For Kenya has been able to help about 100 street children in their own projects and 245 children in a school in the slum in Nakuru that we support as best we can.”
They received uniforms from schools across the UK to send and the tables and chair will make a difference, said Lesley, as the children at present have nothing.
On the day of dispatch they had about 30 people who came to help load, some travelling from Lewisham and Bromley. She went on: “We are so grateful for the support we have received and we know that the children in Kenya will be thrilled when they see how we have been able to help.”
Harambee is Swahili for ‘all pull together.’
Charity organisers say thousands of children live on the streets for many reasons including being orphaned by AIDS or they have had to fend for themselves because there is only one parents who is unable to care for them. Some have even been ill treated by their own parents.
Lesley explained how street children have no identity and are regularly beaten by people. they are often seen begging and scavenging on rubbish tips for food.
Since 1998 the founders of the charity have worked closely with Kenyan adults who have been supporting these young people in caring for their needs.
This is not easy, she believes, as many of the adults are living on the breadline themselves and have their own families to support.
The charity provides safe houses in areas where young people are homeless.