“I have known Myles Edwards, one of the co-Founders of the Gathimba Edwards Foundation for many years. I remember feeling both inspired and excited when he set up the Foundation with Gideon Gathimba. I was really keen to see first-hand how the charity was making a difference to kids in Kenya. I know a number of volunteers who had been on previous GEF trips and hearing about their very positive experiences helped me make up my mind to join the Building Trip in 2017.
I had the trip of a lifetime, here’s why: –
- With the help, love and support of an army of people I raised £9188 which covered the cost of the building materials for 2 houses – one was dedicated to the memory of my Dad and the other one was dedicated to the memory of my cousin. It also funded a series of health seminars for families which The Gathimba Edwards Foundation support.
- I met some incredible Kenyans and experienced a very warm welcome to a country I now love. I met and worked with amazing volunteers from the UK, Kenya, Australia and the US. All the volunteers poured so much love and passion into the House Building Project.
- As someone who had never even dabbled in DIY activities before the trip, it was very exciting to learn some new skills – sawing, glazing and fitting internal walls! Darren Cocker, the Project Manager is a great leader. He was in full control of the build and was always on hand to answer any questions and provide guidance. It was a real privilege to be part of a team that built four houses for families in need. There was even an opportunity to get to know these amazing families, who later became our friends!
- I can’t put into words how special it was to meet my sponsor child, Dan. He is such a wonderful person. I had the opportunity to spend quality time with him. He even taught me a few Kenyan dance moves!
- I attended the awe-inspiring house opening ceremony. The speeches, singing, and dancing and (happy) tears are imprinted on my memory. I will never forget how excited the families were about moving into their new houses!
- I visited The Pavilion Village Orphanage in Karatina. The Orphanage inspired Myles Edwards and Gideon Gathimba to set up The Gathimba Edwards Foundation. I now understand first-hand what drove these special people to set up GEF in the first place. I met a remarkable wee boy called Ian who I’ll always remember. He told me that his parents had died. When I offered my condolences, he smiled broadly and said ‘thank you’…. The kids keep smiling despite so many challenges….
- I ran 6 times on Kenyan soil, at altitude. As a runner, this was a great thrill, and really helped my fitness. I even got the chance to run with the co-founders of GEF who are a Kenyan Olympian and a Scottish title holder!!!!
- At the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, I was ‘kissed’ by a giraffe!
- I visited an elephant orphanage, and Nairobi National Park.
- I laughed and cried, and learned so much during the House Building Trip to Kenya. I felt as though I had an opportunity to detox my mind. I’m truly, truly thankful for all these experiences, I can’t wait to take part in the Building Trip in July 2018. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to help to build 5 houses this year, one of which will be for Dan, my sponsor child, and his family.”
– Caroline Tough