Dabaso Twinning, 20th Anniversary
Mrs Scherer and I have just returned from a highly successful two-week visit to Dabaso, Kenya. We were part of a group of 21 people all of whom have connections to the Hutton village community. The focus of the trip was to provide support to the local Dabaso community and to continue strengthening the great relationship formed 20 years ago when the 2 villages were twinned. We worked together with the locals, using the money raised by various fund-raising events in Hutton village such as the annual wassailing celebrations, coffee mornings and quiz nights to help with some refurbishing projects.
The community clinic
During the visit various renovations were carried out,
The dispensary, reception room, consulting room and toilet were painted and freshened up. Cupboards were repaired, handbasin and taps replaced with “push type” to conserve water. The leaking header tank was replaced, new pipework and soakaway provided.
The electricity supply loan payment was cleared. Hopefully this will improve the reliability of the fridge in storing vaccines and other medicines. The dispensary was restocked with medicines and basic equipment such as a stethoscope and blood pressure monitor.
During the visit, the working party repainted the library. We also restocked the children’s library with some new picture books which the children loved! We equally enjoyed sharing the books with the children during story time sessions we established during our visit.
The school buildings
Throughout the trip, we were all given timely reminders of the privileged lives we lead back here in the UK. One of these reminders was our daily visit to the school. The classrooms are bare with a simple blackboard for the teachers to use. There are over 1400 pupils who attend the school with 22 teachers meaning that the class sizes are between 70 and 80 pupils.
Whilst Mrs Scherer and myself read and played with the children, other members of the working party established running water into the boys’ and girls’ toilets. We found these toilets in a shocking state, another very sombre reminder of how important it is that the twinning of our two villages is maintained.
For Mrs Scherer and myself, our interaction with the local children was the highlight of the visit. The children were happy, resilient, kind, thoughtful and were a salutary reminder of what we all take for granted.
The Bursary Students
Each year, four Dabaso pupils are selected and awarded a bursary through a rigorous selection process. The Bursary enables the students to attend a boarding secondary school which potentially leads on to studying at University. During our time in Dabaso, we met with students who have benefited from the bursaries. Lawrence, now in his twenties, went on to study at University achieving a First in Environmental Health. He worked for World Vision and now has a Kenya wide Role with World Vision in water and sanitation. His family home is still in Dabaso and he still returns back to the school to support bursary students.
The Bursary students talking to Dabaso students (Left) about what it is like at Secondary School and studying outside the library during their long holiday (Right).
The money raised by our Christmas concerts and Christmas Choir tour will provide one bursary for one Dabaso student to attend secondary school.
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