Ruth Champion, the current Chair of LARK and Libby Fuller (wife of former Club member David Fuller) joined us to speak about their work with this charity that was formed in 2005 and is based locally in Kings Sutton.
The charity’s origins date back to one of the Kings Sutton Baptist Church’s congregation members visiting a war torn Kenya in the early 2000’s and recognising the excellent work undertaken at a local Rescue Centre supporting orphaned, street children suffering abuse. On his return to the UK he outlined the awful conditions in Kenya, at that time, resulting from the civil war and the obvious need to fund protection for the children who were suffering wide ranging abuse, principally at the hands of warring soldiers. The rest is history as they say!
Since 2005 the Kings Sutton Church have raised substantial sums that have been transferred to the Rescue Centre in Kenya to provide daily food, increase the accommodation on site, provide primary, secondary education and vocational training for the young people. The result – the Centre has flourished and cared for and supported increasing numbers of young children. As an example Lark forwarded some £14k earlier this year to fund a new’ and independent ‘girls’ dormitory alongside that provided for the boys who have been rescued.
The charity has been successful in increasing membership within the UK and can now claim that circa 50% of its members are spread throughout the country, therefore substantially improving its fund raising potential. At the present time the charity is committed to transferring £4k per month to the Rescue Centre every other month on the basis that this amount will cover two thirds of the monthly overhead expenses.
The Rescue Centre is based in the town of Eldoret that is the administrative centre of the Uasin Gishu District in the western part of the country. It was founded in 1910, during the colonial era principally as a form of Post Office support for national and local communication purposes. It remains primarily an administrative rather than touristic location. It is situated in one of the poorest areas of the country and inhabited by the Nandi tribe. At the time of the civil war differences arose within the population, when an election was held and won by one of the principal tribes in the country. The Nandi population did not agree with the outcome – hence the bitterness and abuse that was seen.