Since 1988, Direct Link has been working in various parts of Kenya, sponsoring hundreds of children, enabling them to attend school up to university level. We have received wonderful help from a number of very caring Kenyans, often Head Teachers, who have been our main contacts, Trustees and project organisers. Upon the death of our main helper, we decided to support one single school, and, since 2011, Direct Link has been supporting a primary school for orphans and the disabled, that is situated in a very deprived, rural area of Kenya.
The retired Head Teacher is an incredible man who cares deeply for his school, his children and his local community. When we first discovered the school, it was in an extremely poor condition, on the brink of closure, with very little money available for any foodstuffs, equipment, books and medical provisions and nothing provided to assist the disabled children who attended the school. Since then, with Direct Link's help, the school has been turned around into being a school that is greatly sought after by the local parents/guardians of disabled and/or orphaned children. The standard of education is now so high that very few of our children fail to pass their KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) exams, enabling them to pass on to secondary schools, spread across the local area.
The attitude towards disabled children used to be so dreadful, within the local community, that many of them were never allowed to leave their homes and were hidden away from the view of the neighbours, never going to school or meeting other people. They had no hope of an education or a reasonable life, and were often treated like slaves within their own homes. No disability aids were provided so that children who could not stand or walk were left to sit on the ground, often outside the backs of their homes, in the wet and mud. Polio has caused a huge amount of distress to so many young people, who have been left with withered legs and twisted limbs. The photo shows Gabriel, in hospital, who has not been able to walk since he was six years old, having contracted polio. With him is Basil, is friend and helper.
We do not employ any staff, as all our work is carried out by volunteers who receive no remuneration. Apart from Pam McGibbon, Founder and Trustee, who lives in Scotland, our three main volunteers are in Kenya, helping to put into place the requested projects and to administer the funding that is regularly transferred. In Scotland, there are wonderful donors and sponsors, some of whom have supported Direct Link almost from the time of its inception. There are also Friends of Direct Link, who hold events to raise money for chosen projects, as well as churches and schools who donate money on a regular basis.
OMNES AEQUALES NATI SUNT (All are born equal)
"The education and training of children is among the most meritorious acts of humankind ... for education is the indispensable foundation of all human excellence ..." Abdu'l-Baha
Our mission is to support the school by providing, amongst many other items, bedding, bunk beds, teaching aids, art equipment, solar lights, a first aid kit, a trained physiotherapist, special equipment that will help the individual needs of each disabled child, as well as the establishment of the KBK and the FFG. We have many wonderful sponsors for the children, who take a great interest in their progress through the school and also regular donors who help us with providing funds for general emergencies. We link schools, churches and other groups in the UK with children and schools in Kenya, encouraging them to write to one another. The children love to write back, in English, to their UK friends. The photo shows Jane's mother and two children who were orphaned and taken in by Jane, to bring up as her own.
However, not one penny raised goes on administration. All donations are sent directly to projects, with no deductions, as all administration costs are borne by our volunteers in Britain and Kenya, as well as by the very generous Gift Aid funds that we receive annually.
Browse through our website to see what work we have been doing in Kenya, as well as how much there is still left to do. Sadly, there are many people still struggling who need our help, and we can only do what we can, but any amount you can give can change and improve the lives of so many people. Have a look at our page GET INVOLVED to find out more about the work we’re doing, and how you can help.
Copyright (C) 1988 Pamela McGibbon - All rights reserved