On 20th July 2013 I will be embarking on an adventure of a lifetime, for five weeks the slums of Nairobi (Kenya) will be my village, and a tin shelter will be what I refer to as home. For me I will be experiencing the real Africa, away from home, away from my friends and family. But this isn’t about me; this is about the children that experience life like this every single day. For these children, from birth to 16 the orphanage is their life. They are full of people whose parents have lost their lives due to diseases such as AIDS, and people whose parents simply can’t afford to give them the necessaries for a life. Lacking the funds to supply the orphanage with teachers, carers and chefs the children reply upon the charity and help from people within the local community and people such as myself.

 For many of us living a college lifestyle here in England we think of 8.45am as an early start and we dread the days which don’t finish until 4 o’clock, throughout my summer I will be up by six to wake, bath and feed the children before playing the role of a teacher, giving them a chance which many others of their age are not given, a chance to have a life when they are too old to rely on the orphanage, a chance for a job.  My day will not end the moment the children have had their last lesson, as part of my time in the orphanage I will be expected to help prepare the children for the end of their day, helping provide a meal, help with homework, help with anything the children struggle with and then put them to bed before planning future lessons.

 As what I consider a normal 17 year old the responsibility of holding these children’s future in my hands seems overwhelming but for the people of Kenya this is nothing. I am aware that within five weeks these children’s lives cannot be changed forever, and the local community cannot be healthier, happier and stronger than it was before but I do hope that I can offer support, enthusiasm and hope for the time I am there. This opportunity will provide me with experience of a different culture, greater appreciation of what I have been brought up with and the knowing that I have done my bit in supplying the children I am sure I will never forget with something they would not have had.

Unfortunately this expedition does not come without a cost, with £1200 spent on a return flight, £400 spent on vaccinations, £1150 spent on the charity organisation who will be my port of communication, my placement provider, my aid when I am in need and my food source totalling £2750 excluding all those little things like transport and insurance, finance is an issue. However, I wanted to thank the students of King Edward VI College, my family and the community I am proud to be part of who have attended many charity events, such as college parties and coffee mornings, which have brought raffle tickets and been my general support for raising a massive £1500 towards my target. Despite the work I still need to undertake, I would not be going without them.

For anyone who has any questions regarding my work, or has the funds to support me with my trip please contact me (Bethany Read, Year 12 at King Edward VI College, Stourbridge) on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Bethany Read

Bridgnorth Endowed