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Frome volunteer aims to bring water to poverty-stricken Kenyan village

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Frome volunteer, Alun Roberts, is fundraising to build a water borehole system in Kenya for The Maisha Foundation, which supports orphaned or poverty stricken children.

The charity has supported Kenyan children during the past eight years with feeding programmes and providing schooling.

Alun is chairman of The Maisha Foundation, which started in 2011 from a £300 investment, and  aims to equip communities with the skills to support themselves.  

Alun explained, “We believe that every child; irrespective of their background, deserves the right to free education, free food/water and a safe place to stay. No child living in poverty should ever be discriminated or ignored. These children are the future and through self-sustainability support, they can help themselves and their families escape this lifestyle for the next generation.

“In order to assist community development we educate slum children, street children and orphans and feed them high nutritional meals twice a day. In addition, we provide skilled workshops to the young people. During the past eight years we have helped almost 500 children either through our feeding programmes or through schooling. The whole idea came from a visit to Kenya after university where I was a volunteer teacher, but then I saw first-hand the level of poverty and requirement for some help.”

Alongside the ongoing education and feeding programmes, The Maisha Foundation has now embarked on a project to build a water borehole in Laikipia, Kenya.  Laikipia is an area where thousands of families are struggling to carry out basic tasks in the day without access to water. The nearest point of regular accessible water for them is over 25km away, as the local river is seasonal and very rarely has any water flowing.

Alun said, “With a borehole in place, this will allow us to generate our own funds by a very small donation to cover their day-to-day requirements of cooking, washing, bathing and their own farming needs as their sole method of income.”

The income from the borehole will go into future projects led by the foundation. This could cover building fees to continue the education programmes and distributing enough water to the community.

“This area has a real need for NGO (non-governmental organisation) intervention as there are no schools or health facilities around.” Alun continued.

“Most families here home teach their own children (having not been to school themselves) and most food consumed is all home grown, but severely dependent on seasonal rainfall. Transport links are severely limited. 

“With proper education, good health and good living conditions, the less privileged children will be in a position to support themselves in due course reducing the vicious cycle of poverty. This supports our key theme to ‘support others to support themselves’.”

The foundation is in partnership with the Cheerful Child Academy, where children from the community are sent to school. 

To donate to The Maisha Foundation in aid of the water borehole system project, visit www.gofundme.com/f/maishafoundation.

For more details about the charity visit www.maisha-foundation.org.

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