73 volunteers recently travelled with the Derby County Community Trust to Kenya over two weeks to work on four school projects as well as provide gifts for pupils and their families.
The seventh ‘Rams in Kenya’ trip, in partnership with African Adventures, took place throughout May and June and saw volunteers of all ages contribute to the development of the sites in the Ronda Slums of Nakuru.
As well as working on the schools, the volunteers also enjoyed a rest day where they went on safari, visited the equator and hiked down and back up Thomson’s Falls.
They also visited the homes of pupils to experience life in the heart of Kenyan communities.
Families were provided with a gift pack, which included essential items such as cooking oil, sugar, salt and soap.
Central to the trip though, was the work that was completed across four schools: Jubilee, Ungana, Cherish and Mama Kerry.
At Jubilee, a new secure library was built with enlarged windows to ensure a more comfortable learning environment, whilst all existing classrooms and the kitchen were repainted. As well as this, foundations were dug for five new classrooms and books were supplied for all six of the year groups.
Work began on an outer classroom at Ungana on the sixth Rams in Kenya trip last year and this was completed this time around, whilst the school gates were repaired and painted, as well as being supplied with two stronger locks.
Guttering was also added to two classrooms, with the pipes feeding into a 500-litre tank.
The volunteers were in Kenya on 1st June for Madaraka Day – a national holiday that commemorates the day that the country attained self-rule – and a special meal was provided for pupils as well as activities for the children.
Madaraka is Swahili for ‘responsibility, power and governance’, and children and staff at Cherish were also provided with a special meal as well as treats on the holiday.
Food was also provided to cater for 109 kids over two months, whilst building began on two new classrooms.
A block of seven toilets was also funded and work also began on a new water tank that will allow children to wash their hands properly after use.
Running water was installed at Mama Kerry and a new classroom that was built included guttering to a new water tank, which was kindly funded by the Riverside School in Loughborough.
Teaching and sports coaching was provided for the children and a brand-new kitchen was built, including work surfaces, a sink, a clay oven, serving hatch and chimney.
Clothing, shoes and stationary were distributed to the children and a talk was delivered on female hygiene, with girls being provided with sanitary products.
Back on the first Rams in Kenya trip in 2012, 13 volunteers made the journey with the DCCT. This year’s total of 73 volunteers means that nearly 300 people have contributed since the initiative began.
The project saw Derby County named ‘Community Club of the Year’ at the 2018 EFL Awards after impressing judges with the life changing work completed in Kenya and on home soil.
Last year, Derby County Community Trust's generous supporters raised over £7️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ to save the life of a Kenyan boy who needed immediate surgery after an infection.
— Derby County Community Trust 🐑 (@DCCTOfficial) June 7, 2018
Derby fan, Nicola Stokes, who was one of the 73-strong Rams in Kenya team, said: “Volunteering in Kenya with the Derby County Community Trust has been a totally life-changing experience for me.
“The people we met were so welcoming, loving, inspiring and humbling. Having two small children of my own, it was heartbreaking to see them living in such impoverished conditions with no guarantee of a meal or education.
“Without the schools that we help support through the trust, they may not have access to the education that we take often for granted.
“The children in the Ronda Slums, incredibly, are happy, they have so very little but are so eager to learn and play and even want to share what little they have with you. They have an abundance of hope for their future from their own pride and passion but also from the amazing schools that we help, which helps support their aspirations.
“The children have taught me personally so much, and I can’t wait to return with the projects in the future.”
Next year, you could be one of what is sure to be a record number of Rams that head out to Kenya.
You can choose from two volunteer roles:
Teaching and Multi-Sports
Interaction with the children is at the heart of this role. Activities include: assisting teachers with lessons, reading stories, preparing meals, playing games and sports. The enthusiasm from children, who are so eager to learn, makes this role so rewarding.
Building and Renovation
With overcrowding an issue at the projects, improved facilities are needed to accommodate growing numbers and create more learning spaces for children. Clear progress makes this challenging and rewarding role so worthwhile.
Details for next year’s trip are as follows:
Dates: 18th May 2019 – 2nd June 2019
Dates: 25th May 2019 – 2nd June 2019
You can sign up for next year’s trip or enquire for more information by getting in touch with Paul Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org.