Kenya Children's Homes

Tessa's Story

Tessa (68) Education support in JGA, Mashimoni and Suswa


“Life changing.  Life enhancing.  Life giving and receiving.”

The opportunity to devote time to volunteering with Kenya Children’s Home arose in retirement for 68 year-old Tessa. Volunteering nine times since 2005, Tessa has a wealth of experience and memories from her time in Kenya with KCH.

Seeing KCH gain a more embedded role in the community over this time Tessa has come to believe that KCH’s work should be seen as a ‘beacon’ in the local area, with its structure acting as a powerful role model for other charities. In particular, with the set up of Jonathan Gloag Academy, the primary school linked with KCH.

Jonathan Gloag Academy offers a high standard of primary education to the children of KCH and local fee-paying children. It acts as a huge income generator for the orphanage with proceeds from fees going towards both the running of the school and the home, thus helping KCH take steps towards self-sufficiency – a major goal of the organisation.

“Jonathan Gloag Academy is an income stream but should also be marketed and improved as a unique style of education within the Kenyan system. What you have, and do, could, and should, be developed as a model for other charities.”

Tessa recalls the inherent friendliness of the staff but also the particular difficulty in managing their expectations at times. The relentless enthusiasm of the pupils and staff contributed to making her trips so memorable.

“I vividly remember when a young girl, Maggie, spoke to me in English, her third language, and thanked me saying she wanted to become a teacher when she grew up. It was very humbling.”

“It has been an honour to support a worthwhile Scottish charity where all effort and money raised goes directly to support children in need in Africa. KCH has an ability to change and develop when it sees the need.”

“Much has changed over the time I have been going. I think the development of the social work department and the ability to allow the children who can to return to families with support must be a good thing. Sustainability needs to be integral to the future of development in Africa."

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