GEF 10 year anniversary supported by high profile athletes

The first group of volunteers in Kenya building the Pavilion Village dormitory

ABERDEEN-based charity, the Gathimba Edwards Foundation (GEF), is set to mark its 10-year anniversary in May with a celebratory event, which is being supported by donations from high profile athletes Usain Bolt, Eilish McColgan and Laura Muir, as well as former 5000m world record holder and current chair of Parkrun UK, Sir David Moorcroft MBE.

The education-themed dinner and charity auction, kindly sponsored by Phil Anderson Financial Services, is taking place on the 18th of May at Thainstone Exchange in Aberdeenshire. The event will be an opportunity for the charity to reflect on the impact they have had on the Kenyan and north-east Scotland communities and look ahead to the next decade and beyond. This will be the fourth dinner that the charity has delivered, having raised over £141,000 to date from previous dinners.

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The Gathimba Edwards Foundation started as a dream of two friends a decade ago; now Gideon Gathimba and Myles Edwards have formed a dedicated team of 13 individuals, four of which are based in the UK and nine in Kenya. The charity has been committed to transforming the lives of underprivileged children and families through the provision of education, shelter, sustainable food solutions and psychosocial support in Kenya, as well as providing equipment and services for families in north-east Scotland who have a disabled child/children. 

Co-Founder Myles Edwards said: “It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since Gideon and I’s first visit to the Pavilion Village children’s home in Karatina.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  The children’s smiles and jovial nature in the face of adversity are something that will stay with me forever.  It was impossible to leave the home that day without a desire to do something to help them. 

“Each time I visit the home, I remind the children that they are the ones who have inspired everything we have gone on to achieve since then.  Almost 650 children have accessed education, and 59 families have a new house thanks to those Pavilion Village children and so many incredible supporters who have trusted us to make a difference.”

Myles added, “I am proud of how we quickly and transparently showed supporters the ground level impact of their donations to purchase 22 mattresses back in 2014 and this set the standard of which we continue to adhere to today. The Pavilion Village now cares for 51 children who have all either completed their education or are currently going through it. 

“Although we are incredibly proud of these figures, for us, it has never been about setting specific targets, we just want to make best use of the resources we have to reach as many children as possible.”

Co-Founder, Gideon Gathimba said, “As we approach a decade of GEF, it is a key time to reflect and be thankful for all the support GEF has received from donors, volunteers and partners alike. The charity has come so far over the years, and I am so grateful to everyone that has supported us. Our 10th anniversary dinner will be a fantastic opportunity to reflect and raise more funds to help support the lives of children in Kenya.”

As part of its psychosocial support, GEF has also introduced vital services such as a counselling service in late 2020, now with two full-time counsellors in Kenya, offering essential support to children and parents. The Foundation has also organised nearly 50 seminars attended by over 3,000 individuals, addressing a wide range of important issues from education to health and wellbeing.

Closer to home, nearly £40k has been raised for equipment and services for children living with severe disabilities through The Neil Jaffrey Initiative.

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