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Kelsey does Kenya

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Recently we came across an inspirational LinkedIn post by one of our own and wanted to learn more about the incredible initiative that Zuora Administrator, Kelsey Poole has been involved in for several years…

Kelsey is just recently back from her seventh trip to Nakuru, in Kenya. She’s part of the Chichester College Partnership Project, a partnership between Chichester College and travel experience company African Adventures.

Over the years the project participants have raised over £100K to fund a school build. The Walk Centre started in 2005, and a new school opened in 2017. Since then the dedicated group of students, staff and other volunteers associated with the partnership have helped with the ongoing maintenance of the school itself and those attending it. Its origins date back a decade and it was led by a local pastor who put his arm around a community of under privileged children living in the landfills and slums of the local area. Kelsey has shared that today, circa 75% of the children still come from poorest in the community and projects like The Walk Centre are often the only way to access education.

We asked her to share more about the ways the project continues to help. From the initial new build of the school to being involved in funding kitchen and office extensions, new sanitary facilities and doing ongoing maintenance such as painting and decorating, The Walk Centre help to fund uniforms, school supplies and organise any other donations such as clothes, shoes, sanitary products etc. Most importantly the group are there to connect with the children and have often been told that it’s the love and affection children most look forward to.

The feeling is mutual, as Kelsey says:

“Today I returned to my second home, and words cannot describe what an incredible feeling it was to see these wonderful children again and to feel the love they have for us when we arrive.“

On her latest two-week trip, in true Checkatrade style, Kelsey was no stranger to a paint brush helping with the ongoing refresh of the school to maintain the standards set by the relevant governing bodies. She truly enjoyed meeting the children, both old and new. Having visited many times over the course of the years she’s built close connections with the children who in her words are the ”most grateful and happy children out there” .

 The Walk Centre sees the children through primary level education and to day has circa 300 students. Whilst many of the children who joined in early days are coming to their end of the time with the school, the demand is growing. On top of this the future aspiration would be to come up with the funds and solution that will enable these children to continue to their education to high school. As such the Walk Centre project will carry on!

If anyone would be interested in getting involved or support with fund raising (just so you know this ranges from skydives and fire walks to raffles and cakes sales and more!), please get in touch with Kelsey and she can connect you with the organisers. As Kelsey said “Getting the children through their education will give them to tools they need to start kick start their own lives” which is something we often take for granted.

For anyone inside Checkatrade interested in getting involved, your five ‘charity leave days’ are there to be used for initiatives just like this. Kelsey says: “I’d advise anyone  who would like to do something like this one day to just go and do it! On top of the incredible impact this will have on the children, the community and you personally, you might also get the opportunity to experience Safari and so much more!”

Thank you Kelsey for sharing your story with us!

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