Appeal for help to fund Kenyan orphanage

Dorset Echo: CARE: Sophie McLachlan, centre, with some children from Ramba in Kenya CARE: Sophie McLachlan, centre, with some children from Ramba in Kenya

A West Dorset family-run charity that helps manage an orphanage in Kenya are appealing for donations to help with the drought crisis engulfing the country.

Created by former Woodroffe School student Sophie McLachlan and her family, they launched the charity Awaken Love for Africa in 2009 after Miss McLachlan visited the African country on her gap year.

Since then, they have held numerous fundraisers across west Dorset to help the Gideons Orphanage in the village of Ramba which currently cares for more than 160 children.

The charity is now launching a fundraising drive and is appealing to members of the public for donations to purchase water filters for the village.

Kenya was struck by a drought at the start of the year, which forced members of the village to walk 6km a day to get water from a river. The water collected from the river is too dirty to drink and it has caused elder members of the village to die, and has also spread numerous illnesses, such as typhoid and cholera.

Miss McLachlan, from Charmouth, said: “When I heard about the drought and that children had to walk over 6km daily to collect water from a dirty river, I was moved to try and help them.

“Over 5,000 people live in this village and they have not seen clean water for months. Old mamas and papas were suffering and some were dying because of no water.

“The children were getting sick with typhoid as they had to use the river water for bathing, cooking and drinking.”

The charity has raised enough money to fix the borehole in the village and to repair the dam, but the water is still too dirty.

A charity-concert night will be held at Uplyme Village Hall to raise money for the appeal, and the charity hope to raise enough to fund the purchase of four water filters and two donkeys that will carry the water to stop children from the orphanage making the 12km round trip.

The concert at Uplyme Village Hall is on Friday, March 21 with doors open at 7.30pm. To find out more visit awakenlove.org.uk

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