British builder swaps Aberdeen for Katarina in construction charity project

Darren Cocker points to his name on the list of volunteers who helped last year's charity build. Photo Facebook/Darren Cocker

A Scottish builder is swapping his Aberdeen building site for one in Kenya to share his skills as part of a charity volunteering mission.

Darren Cocker, site manager at Bancon Homes’ Eden at Maidencraig development, is heading to East Africa to oversee the building of homes for underprivileged children and families as part of the Gathimba Edwards Foundation’s (GEF) annual charity build.

Darren Cocker in Kenya
Darren Cocker during a previous volunteering mission to Kenya.

Like Darren, the charity is based in Aberdeen and aims to improve the lives of deprived Kenyan families and orphans.

The builder has volunteered to manage on-site construction for the last two years, but this year has been asked to take on the role of project manager.

This year’s build will take place in Katarina, situated about an hour from Kenya’s capital city Nairobi. Between 2015 and 2016, GEF volunteers have built six houses and a 16-bed dormitory, completing a total of 17 houses for 66 children since 2014.

The eight-day programme in October will comprise two semi-detached properties that will create four homes, two of which will provide separate accommodation for older boys.

Darren Cocker in Kenya
Darren Cocker (left) and Paul McDonald during 2016’s project. Photo: Facebook/Darren Cocker


Not only does Darren volunteer, but he also fund-raises for the charity throughout the year.

His next event is taking place at the Montrose Royal British Legion on September 2. As well as raising awareness of the charity, the aim is to raise £2,000 to cover the cost of building one of the homes.


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