What started as two international athletes on the same running track start line in Aberdeen, Scotland has evolved into a partnership which gets Kenyan children onto the same start lines in life that many of us take for granted.
Myles Edwards first met Gideon Gathimba whilst racing in a 1 mile running event which was organised by his father, Mel Edwards for the opening of Aberdeen Sports Village in 2009. Since then Kenyan international and former 4 x 1500m relay world record holder, Gideon and Scottish 1,500m champion, Myles have become great friends with Myles regularly living and training with him in Kenya. Gideon had often spoken about his desire to help disadvantaged children in Kenya and in May 2013 the pair saw a real opportunity to turn this dream into reality. Some people’s paths cross for a reason.
An inspirational visit to the Pavilion Village children’s home in Karatina provided the catalyst for them to establish the Gathimba Edwards Foundation. The Pavilion Village was home to 22 children at the time – most of whom had either been abandoned or abused by their biological parents or in some cases lost them due to HIV. The home, run by Agnes and her husband John, was in dire straits with no electricity, broken windows, poor quality mattresses and a lack of food and school fee debts meant many of the children were unable to attend school.
Following that first visit to the home in 2013, Myles made his way home inspired and determined to help these wonderful people. A Facebook post and generous support from our now Principal Sponsor prosource.IT, helped to raise enough money to buy each of the children a new mattress, get them all eating regular meals and enable some of the children to return to school without fear of being sent home. The Foundation was officially established in May 2014 and much has been achieved thanks to various initiatives, sponsorships and donations. School fee debts of the Pavilion Village children were cleared, electricity installed, repairs and renovations were made to the home, new pillows, beddings, stationery, clothing and cooking utensils were provided and the dangerous road leading up to the home was re-laid. In October 2015 our team of 52 volunteers from around the world built Pavilion Village a 16 bed dormitory with study area, living room and shower facility as well as a 3 bedroom house for a little girl called Judy in Iruri. A total of 46 children have now been cared for at Pavilion Village. Please click here if you wish find out more about our annual volunteer house building trips.
We have now been able to expand our education, uniform, book and shoe support to 454 children living in 20 of the 47 Kenyan counties, have built 41 houses for 184 children and funded the start up of 35 businesses and farming projects through our Two Feet Initiative. We also have a full-time counsellor and run seminars covering a wide range of topics including motivation, self esteem, career guidance, gender equality and sexual health.
Thank you to everyone who makes our work possible.
Gathimba Edwards Foundation is a charity registered in Scotland (SC044869) and Kenya (KE47671).