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6 April 2017

Even more children have been requesting a place at our primary school for the disabled, to the point that the dormitories are full, the Boarders' Kitchen needs considerably more funding to keep it open every day, and extra sponsors are urgenly needed. Several more primary children have moved to secondary schools around the area, which, again, means more funding is needed to keep them at school. A couple of deaf adults, who met at the week-long camp for the deaf, were married in a very exciting ceremony that was even broadcast to the nation as it was so unusual! Early this year the country suffered a disastrous drought causing water sources to dry up and crops and animals to die. Our primary school ran out of water so Direct Llnk paid for a donkey and cart to fetch many litres of water from quite a long distance away, every day. A destitute widow, who offered to fetch the water on her head, was spared having to carry out this very onerous task by being offered a different solution; namely Direct Link is now sponsoring one of her children in return for her supplying the school with vegetables from her small shamba
.

5 November 2016


This has been a very busy year for Direct Link, with more and more orphaned and disabled children arriving at the primary school for the disabled, in the hope that they will be admitted and, not only given food and shelter, but given safety, care and a good education. We have provided a tricycle, crutches, T-shirts, a library full of books, sanitary towels, food for the Boarders' Kitchen, clothing, as well as sponsorship of more children. Several children from the primary school for the disabled have now progressed to secondary school and are doing well. Other children from the rural village are attending university, college and other training. Our deaf signing college has gone from strength to strength and we sponsored 27 deaf adults to attend a week-long camp for the deaf, which culminated in 6 adults being baptised. We also designed a presentation to be shown in church, outlining different disabilities, their cause and how disabled people should be treated with love, care and respect. This was attended by a huge congregation who agreed that their outlook had been changed regarding disabled people. 


28 April 2016


We had a very busy Christmas, including organising a seminar for hard of hearing members of the Kenyan community to attend in church premises, where they learned about God for the first time, leading to 13 baptisms. So many people arrived unexpectedly for the seminar that extra catering had to be found and beds in the communities houses. The deaf signing college is going very well and now employs three deaf boys to help. 

The primary school for the disabled has been flooded with requests to take in more and more orphans, many of them disabled, to the point that some of the less needy have had to be turned away due to the lack of beds, bedding and facilities.

The children are all doing very well, some of them achieving exceptional results.

4 October 2015

This year has been extremely busy. We had a wonderful visit from our Kenyan Trustee who was happy to be driven around Scotland, meeting groups from churches and schools as well as individual donors and sponsors, and giving talks about Direct Link. People gave generously so that we have been able to provide the Primary School for the Disabled with a number of teaching aids, solar lights, Boarders' Kitchen food and other improvements. One improvement was to install a new ceiling above the boys' dormitory, where bat droppings were falling through the holes onto the children's beds. We have also been able to find sponsors/donors to assist more of the very needy children in the school, especially those who have nowhere else to go and have to live within the school during the holidays. One of our disabled boys has reached the stage that he will be taking his KCPE exams at the end of this year and we hope very much that he will pass with flying colours. Also, one of our much-loved girls from a family project, is taking her secondary leaving certificate this month, upon which her whole future will depend as we will continue to help her through university if she gains good enough marks. Otherwise she will end up in menial jobs in the fields. We are now embarking upon our Christmas fund raising programme to continue the Kids' Kitchen in the rural village and also the Boarders' Kitchen in the school for the disabled children.


16 February 2015

Our Christmas fund-raising has, once again, demonstrated how incredibly generous people are, and how much they wish to help the orphans and the disabled children. We now have more sponsored children in the Primary School for the Disabled, with several others being assisted but urgently looking for sponsors. Gabriel, one of our disabled boys, very reluctantly attended 'our' school as he had previously had a very distressing time at a mainstream school where he was ignored and bullied by the other children. His classwork was below mediocre and he spent his life shuffling along the ground, in the dirt, getting his clothes dirty and damp. Direct Link provided him with a tricycle and his own set of text books. Incredibly, his performance improved to the point that he is now 4th in class our of 60 children, many of them able bodied. He has become the letter writer on behalf of the children who can't write. He can now propel himself everywhere and has freedom of movement for the first time in his tragic life.



15 November 2014


We have been very busy fund-raising for various projects within the primary school for the disabled, including wheelchairs/tricycles, art equipment, bunk beds, food for the Boarders' Kitchen, the painting of the inside and outside of the school, the provision of a refurbished knitting machine and yarn for a destitute teacher whose children are attending the primary school, but unable to pay the fees, the sponsorship of 12 children and much more.



12 July 2014

There has been a lot happening during the first half of this year. The three boys at university and college are still working very hard and doing well. Another of the secondary school boys has now completed his schooling and has been given a place at a catering college in Mombasa, where he is proving himself to be a very good worker.

The Boarders' Kitchen has proved itself to be invaluable in that it provides nutritious meals for the disabled boarders, which were not possible previously. The Kids' Kitchen is very popular, with very young children as well as primary age students all being given a hot lunch during term time. The grannies have also been receiving extra foodstuffs.

Another disabled student has been provided with a tricycle, which is life-changing for her. She then competed in the local sports for the physically handicapped, winning a place in the area sports. We are now seeking a wheelchair that the children could use in the National Sports for the Physically Handicapped in Kenya.

Sadly, one of our sponsored grannies has not been too well as she has been diagnosed with a heart condition but it has not been possible to get a more specific diagnosis.

Fund raising at this moment is for the racing wheelchair.



15 February 2014

The beginning of 2014 has been a very busy time. Enough funds have been raised over the Christmas period to enable the Kids' Kitchen and the Boarders' Kitchen, in the school for the disabled, to function well. We have also raised suffient funds to buy a tricycle and a wheelchair, complete with crutches, for two of the disabled boys, Daniel and Evance, and are well on the way to being able to buy another one for Gabriel, who cannot stand or walk. The outcome from the provision of these aids has been quite extraordinary and heart warming. Evance managed to wheel himself to church for the first time in his 15 year life, where he was not only welcomed by the congregation but noticed by a well-wisher who volunteered to sponsor his schooling nearer to his home. This meant that Evance's Direct Link sponsor has now been able to divert funds to Gabriel and Fredrick, two more of the disabled children. There was not such good news about Jacklin, however, as her leg became infected inside the plaster and she is in the process of having another operation to rectify the damage.


The Headmaster of the school for the disabled is now planning to introduce secondary education in his primary school so that the disabled children will not now have to continue into a boarding secondary school that does not cater specifically for them. This would be a wonderful outcome for all concerned.

The boys at university/college are doing very well but poor Edward, having just suffered the loss of his grandmother, had his home ransacked and everything that he and his siblings possessed was stolen, including his college laptop, text books, papers and their clothes. We have, however, managed to replace his laptop with a donation from a very kind donor, and supply them with a few new clothes.

I would like to thank all our WONDERFUL sponsors, donors and friends for all their help, donations, sponsorship and encouragement over the past years. It makes all the hard work worthwhile, to hear from everyone in the UK and also to receive all the good news from Kenya.
 

3 November 2013

Jacklin has now had her operation to straighten her leg and has just had the plaster removed. She is still using a crutch as a small infection had occurred under the plaster and she is waiting for the wound to heal. Wonderful donors have sent teaching aids to the school for the disabled children as well as raising money for further school items and a First Aid box full of equipment.

The three boys who are at university and college are still doing  very well. Very sadly, Edward's granny died very recently leaving him and his siblings absolute orphans, now having no parents or grandparents to care for them. This is a double tragedy as it will affect Edward's college work as he will be the new head of the family and may have to stay at home to look after them..

Our Christmas fund raising will be for the Kids' Kitchen once again and also for the school for the disabled.


26 July 2013

Recently, Direct Link has become involved with a primary school that includes schooling for disabled children, in Kenya. Their needs are never-ending and we have been looking for sponsors for the most disabled children as well as finding schools and helpers who are raising funds for equipment for the disabled children. The sponsors of one little girl have raised so much money that she is going for an operation on 8th August, to try to rectify the dreadful pain in her leg, caused by a previous operation that was performed by non-qualified surgeons, who left a crochet-hook shaped piece of metal in her leg. The recent strike in Kenya did not help matters as children in every school were sent home, including the disabled children, who cannot walk to and from school and who have to board during the term-time. Logistically, this was very difficult as there is no school transport available.  The boarders desperately need new mattresses, blankets and pillows as well as other learning equipment and books.

The two boys at university and the one at college are all doing extremely well and we have high hopes of them as we see them as the future of Kenya.

'Next' clothing chain very kindly sent another consignment of children's shoes, which have been shipped to Kenya and will be distributed by our co-ordinator in a very rural village.


21 May 2013

The concert held on behalf of Felix and Edward, to enable them to continue with their university and college studies, was a huge success, raising £877.10 in total!


Huge thanks are due to the three wonderful musicians, Carolyn, Jonathan and Elizabeth Sparey, who gave their time to play to a full house, and also to all those who brought delicious home-cooking.

Jane is due to graduate later this month, which will be a huge achievement for a girl who, not long ago, was working in the fields for less than £1 per day.



7 February 2013

Allan did graduate on 7th December, with many celebrations both at the University and in his home village. His granny was so proud of him as he was the first of the family to graduate from a university. There are now two other boys who have done exceptionally well, who are embarking on university and college courses. Direct Link is assisting all of these boys who are so well worth supporting.

The Kids' Kitchen opened again after the Christmas holidays and is feeding many children.

Many thanks to the St Andrew's Episcopal Church for their wonderful support for the Kids' Kitchen, through their Advent Appeal.

Carolyn's concert was so well attended and such a success that another concert is being planned for May. Details will follow as soon as they have been finalised.

There has been both good news and not-so-good news over the past few months. 

The good news is that Allan has achieved exceptionally good results while taking his degree at the University, and has also received an extremely good reference from his job experience company. Direct Link has undertaken to offer him the opportunity to take a second degree after he has completed one year's work.

Felix has also completed his secondary school studies with exceptional results and has been offered a government-paid place at University. He will start in September.

The donkeys and cows are all doing well, with the second donkey being shared by grannies and widows. 

This is the first year that the Kids' Kitchen has been operating non-stop throughout the school terms, providing a hot nourishing meal at lunchtime for the children. The newly established Day Care project has also benefited from the Kids' Kitchen, with the small children also being provided with hot food.

The not-so-good news has been that a couple of families supported by Direct Link, but not within the village project, have been suffering a lot of problems due to sickness and we have been carrying out emergency fund-raising to help these familes. Both of them are previously sponsored children, from the early 1990s, who now have their own families, but have not managed to pull themselves out of the poverty trap. When sickness strikes, they have no money to pay for their hospital bills, so they continue to suffer.  

I was honoured, in 2012, to be presented with the Stirling Voluntary Enterprise '65+ Volunteer of the Year' Award, for the work that Direct Link is doing.  But Direct Link is only able to help families like these because of all the donations and  sponsorships that YOU provide. Without YOU, nothing would be able to be done. So, thank you to EVERYONE who has contributed, in any way, towards the success that Direct Link has become.


 

One of our sponsors, Hector Macdonald, the best-selling author, has very kindly offered to give Direct Link £5 for every signed copy of his book that is purchased on-line. If you would like to buy a signed copy of The Storm Prophet, through http://www.hectormacdonald.com/ and send Hector an e-mail at the same time, (mail@hectormacdonald.com), mentioning Direct Link, he will  donate £5 towards food for the villagers in your name.

 
"Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving-kindness for all who may cross your path."  (Abdu'l-Bahá)