A charity which supports disadvantaged children living in Kenya has reached its funding target thanks to the support of an Aberdeen telecoms firm.
Based in the city’s Bridge of Don, SureVoIP has donated the extra funds required that will allow the Gathimba Edwards Foundation (GEF) to build a new family home in Muskut, Kenya.
Gladys, Isaac and their nine children have, until now, been staying in what has been described as “the worst house I’ve ever seen” by charity founder Myles Edwards: a series of wooden sticks covered by iron sheets and without any walls.
The family was first brought to the charity’s attention by marathon champion and former world-record holder, Wilson Kipsang, who, along with several GEF staff and volunteers, spent a night in the remote house to raise awareness of their plight.
Following the intervention of SureVoIP managing director Gavin Henry and wife Laura, building work has now begun with local people ready to create a home that is fit for purpose and will keep the family safe and warm.
Separate to this, SureVoIP has also sponsored t-shirts for GEF’s annual trip to Kabaru, Kenya in October where a team of volunteers, mainly from the north-east, will build four houses in eight days.
Myles Edwards said: “It always amazes me that people are willing to give up their free time and pay for their own travel to help families whom they’ve never met before.
“Gavin and Laura have made the dream of a new home for Gladys and Isaac and their children possible; it simply wouldn’t have been built without their intervention to plug the gap in their funding.”
Gavin Henry said: “The Gathimba Edwards Foundation plays a vital role in supporting children and young people, often living in awful conditions, to give them a chance to change their lives for the better. As a long-time supporter of the charity, we’re pleased that we have been able to help and it’s heartening to see the difference this kind of support can make.”
The Gathimba Edwards Foundation, established in 2014 by Kenyan international athlete Gideon Gathimba and Scottish 1,500m champion Myles Edwards, provides education, clothing and shelter for nearly 250 children living across Kenya as well as sustainable solutions for their parents.
In January, SureVoIP named the Gathimba Edwards Foundation as its charity of the year for 2017. It has since paid for the tuition of 50 primary school children in Kenya and was a gold sponsor at the GEF annual dinner.
SureVoIP has previously donated computer equipment to one of the foundation’s children before he began college and helped raise two years’ medical expenses for another child, who was paralysed following an illness. It also provided beds for a six-person family home where they had previously slept on the floor.