October 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends

We do apologise for the long gap since our last letter. The summer months have just flown by, and we now find ourselves with a lot to report to you.

We have given the school buildings a make-over this year, and for security reasons we have had to have new gates made as well. Paul has just returned from Kenya, and has taken some pictures of the school which are attached to this letter.

Thirteen children took their final exams at the end of 2017, and all but one qualified for a place at secondary school. We have emphasised to the parents that we cannot pay their children`s fees every term, but we did start them off with books, uniforms, stationery and entrance fees. However, 6 of these children really are needing extra financial support, as they either do not have parents, or have a single struggling parent or grandparent. More of that later.

Meanwhile, at Little Angels the work continues. We have 17 teachers now for 200 children, and despite the rocketing prices of food we have continued to provide two meals daily for the children, and full board for those living in the dormitory. The teachers have had a small pay rise, which they have more than deserved. The cost of food and salaries have pushed up our running costs, which are now £2,500 a month. (Five years ago we were running the school on just £500 a month!) This figure does not include such things as new fencing, lighting, water pumps, and so on, which are an extra drain on our resources.

The economic situation in Kenya does not get any better. Tourists are few, and most of the hotels near the school have closed. There is just one open now, owned by President Kenyatta, where Paul stays – often as the only guest! Because the tourist industry has virtually ended, there is little work in the area, and paid work is very difficult to find. This has had a profound effect on what parents are able to contribute towards their children’s education, and it has become obvious that for some of the school children the only food they eat is what they are given at the school.

Pearl has continued to visit our local schools and other organisations to talk about the Trust, while Paul visits Kanamai every 12 weeks. (January, April, June, September, and one more visit in December.) His clinic population increases every time he visits, although sadly a small number have died. In December he will be giving a lecture on Heart Failure to local doctors and nurses.

We will have 18 Class 8 students taking their finals at the end of this year, and hopefully they will do as well as those who left last year. But at present we have no solution to the huge dilemma of how their school fees (about £200 per annum per student) will get paid. But we continue to live in hope!

Because he also runs our website George was required by the rules of the Charity Commissioners to stand down as a Trustee, but we are pleased to say that one of Paul’s Cardiac nurse colleagues has agreed to become a Trustee. Mrs Wendy Clifford will join the team in the new Year. As she did in 2017, Wendy will organise a dinner/dance on March 9th 2019, where we shall be focussing on how we can help support those secondary school children who will otherwise drop out and never reach their potential.

We are so grateful to all those who support us in many different ways, and if you know anyone who would like to sponsor the school on a regular basis, then do please pass on our details? One-off gifts are really wonderful too, and these have enabled us to ‘keep our heads above water’ this year. If you felt able to increase your standing order or send a one-off gift, then please let us know? We have forms available to enable us to claim Gift Aid. Gifts can also be made on line on the website. We urgently need to increase our guaranteed income to keep the Little Angels Academy running. It seems a long time since we had money available to build wells and toilets, but for now our main concern has to be to provide primary and, we hope, secondary education for the poor children of Kanamai.

Thank you so much for your support. We will hope to get out another letter before the end of the year. Meanwhile, we have to prepare the end of year figures and Reports for the Charity Commission and our accountant!

With best wishes and our grateful thanks to you all

Pearl and Paul

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