Enhanced IT Director, Simon White has recently returned from a trip to Kenya supporting Boo Charity, of which he is Chairman.
The aim of Boo is to empower, support and help African children who are disadvantaged through economic poverty. Projects include the provision of food, shelter, healthcare, education, life-skills and emotional support. The overriding principle and ethos of Boo is to provide children with care, whilst nurturing and developing opportunities to lift them from poverty so that they no longer need to rely on charity. The volunteer led charity’s mantra is ‘to give opportunity, not charity’, creating sustainable solutions that contribute to the long-term well-being of the communities it serves.
The trip to Kenya is made annually by Boo Charity supporters, during which they return to view first-hand the ongoing charity projects, progress being made and to assess additional fundraising focuses needed.
Simon advised, “The trip is totally self-funded by our travelling supporters. This year we had a brilliant team of 6 returning and our first stop was to Nairobi to view 2 of our 5 projects in Kenya, 2 of which are in the Kabera slums;
· The Early Childhood Development Centre which is like an early years’ nursery school. Quite often children are left home alone from as young as 2 years old, whilst the parents are trying to earn money or out to get food. As food is so scarce in supply, we provide lunch, for youngsters who otherwise would not have eaten all day.
· The After School Club – A typical family home might be a single 10 x 10 room, housing up to 10 people so a lot of youngsters don’t have the facilities or environment where they can do homework or focus on their studies and that’s where our club comes in to its own, providing this space and support. We also have a football team at the club and each year we take out donations from local football clubs of kit and old boots. Special mention needs to go to Tina Parry, who along with Poole Town Youth Team, collected items throughout the year, a massive thank you to them.”
Simon continued, “The other 3 projects that we deliver are;
· 2 Early Childhood Development Centres, up near the Uganda border on the west coast of Kenya, one of the country’s poorest areas.
· A Life Skills Centre in Nyamache. At the centre we fund the teachers, we built the kitchen there a few years ago, maintain it and pay the cooks. We’ve built extra classrooms and put in a greenhouse to support growing crops. We’d like to emulate this in our other schools. We’re looking at building allotments, called shambas, so that we can get the schools to grow their own food and become more self-sufficient.
“We train teenagers to learn a trade or skill, such as beauty therapy, dress making, metal work, welding, business studies, IT and business skills. Enhanced IT are proud to fund the IT equipment, which is regularly updated, as needed. We’ve had some incredible success stories, enabling the youngsters to become the bread winners for their families. We had one 17-year-old girl, for whom we funded a sewing machine. This transformed her life and enabled her to make a living, which allowed her to send her kids to college, rehouse her parents and become the bread winner not just for her brothers and sisters but for the whole extended family.
“It’s definitely been a successful trip this year, returning back to the UK in time for our annual Boo Charity Ball which took place at AFC Bournemouth, attended by many of our Dorset supporters. A fun event at which we raised over £18,000”