Published: June 27, 2012
Students head off to Kenya to join hospital construction project

Students from the Burnham-On-Sea area are among a group heading out to Kenya to build a school supported by a local Somerset charity.

Henry McGwinty from Mark and Ben Ferguson from Axbridge have responded to the Mend the Gap charity’s appeal to raise £65,000 for its educational and poverty reduction projects, both in western Kenya and in Somerset.

They will be building the school at Bochoroke village, Nyamira County, in Western Kenya. They have also been given the opportunity of both observing and assisting with the charity work of Mend the Gap - as volunteers at the charity’s HQ in Langford village in North Somerset.

Ben and Henry took the opportunity to meet Burnham's MP Tessa Munt this week, whose Grandfather Sir Ernest Vasey was Minister for Education in Kenya in the 1950s. She has herself visited Kenya many times.

Ben and Henry explained to the MP that they will be staying and living with the local host community and will experience what it is like to live without electricity and running water. They will also help teaching in a number of the 14 nursery, primary and secondary schools that Mend the Gap works with in addition to helping build a school.

The schools in Kenya are linked with schools in Somerset where the charity runs school link programmes using secure online chat facilities, through which students and teachers regularly communicate on subjects of interest to be followed up by face-to-face reciprocal mutual visits arranged via its education programme.

Tessa said: "Education is so valued in Kenya and the work this local charity is doing is brilliant. It's just fantastic that local young people are getting involved in this project and I’m looking forward to hearing all about their experiences."

To donate to Mend the Gap to support finishing the building of the school, visit here. And to link a local school, club or village to a community or school in Kenya, or embark on a challenge or adventure in Africa, call Naftali on 01934853545.

Pictured: Ben Ferguson (Gap student from Axbridge), Naftali Onchere (CEO & founder of Mind the Gap), Tessa Munt MP, Helen Ferguson (Mind the Gap staff) and Henry McGwinty (Gap student from Mark)


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