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A Surprise Visit to Kenya! A Surprise Visit to Kenya!

A Surprise Visit to Kenya!

Our trustee and co-founder Joy Murphy suffered a stroke in January 2017. just weeks before she was expecting to accompany our work party out to Kenya. After the disappointment of missing that trip, Joy was determined to make a visit to Kenya as soon as she could. Here’s her account of her recovery and trip later in the year:

In January I sat in my hospital bed not sure I’d ever make it to Kenya again. I’d made all the arrangements for a Karibuni Work Party to visit the projects in February, and I was unable to go! When the plane took off in February, with eleven instead of twelve people, I actually sat in the hospital bed and cried!

The doctors said I must set some aims to aid my recovery – get me walking and swallowing again. I didn’t need to think long – my short term aim was to have a cup of tea, (I longed to be able to join the other patients with a ‘cuppa’) and my long term aim was to visit Kenya this year!

So started the work toward achieving these aims which culminated in me going to Kenya in September for a month, and visiting all the projects Karibuni supports. My aim here was threefold – to see my many friends in Kenya; to thank the numerous Kenyans who had been praying for my recovery and to thank them for all their love and thoughts; and to demonstrate that I was better.

The visit didn’t start too well! My hostess for the first week had suddenly gone abroad for surgery and forgotten to ask her daughter to meet me at the airport, as had been arranged! So there I was sitting all alone on a broken bench outside the airport with three very heavy suitcases in the pitch dark! However, Joshua Katungu was my knight in shining taxi, and he took me to my host’s home, where they had hurriedly got my room ready!

During that week I visited the Conference Office where I gained my new name of ‘walking miracle’ – very hard to live up to – and then Kibra, Kawangware, Embakasi (where I admired the handiwork of the work party) and Limuru. I was thoroughly spoilt and was driven and accompanied by the Conference Internal Auditor, Timothy Mithieu. He was amazing – really kind and great company. He took good care of me, especially as I was mobbed on several occasions by enthusiastic children all wanting to hold my hands at one time.

From Limuru I was taken to Nakuru to stay with my friend, Meg, and her family. Sunday was my first 4 hour-plus service this year – a Circuit Service with presentations from each church and their junior churches – 20 choirs in all! The service culminated in a harambee (fundraiser) to raise money to build a primary school at Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro – a big surprise to me, especially as I had to get up and speak to the congregation twice! They raised over Kes 300,000 – enough to build class 1 by January 2018. The aim is to build a classroom each year until it’s a complete school of 8 classrooms.

Joy being greeted by everyone in the top nursery class at Kawangware

The following day I visited Wesley Empowerment Centre and saw the staff and children (and admired the handiwork of the other half of the work party). This day I was accompanied by the superintendent minister of the circuit and the chair of the project Board, so was very honoured!

Then on to Kaaga in Meru where I stayed for 9 days with my very dear friend, Eunice and her family. Sadly Eunice’s and Justus’s second son had died just 6 weeks before I arrived from cerebral malaria, leaving his wife and two small sons, and we spent a lot of time sharing together. This was doubly tragic as their eldest son had died 6 years ago from viral pneumonia leaving his wife and a small daughter. Their remaining son is a great comfort to them all.

While here I visited the Township Programme, meeting Mercy, the social worker, for the first time and quickly learning how very good she is. Later, I was given gifts by parents of the children we support – a hat (with JOY in large Kenya flag coloured letters embroidered across the front) and a beaded bag made by one of the mothers, both of which I had to model! Having met the children at the feeding programme – including Grace and Glory, twins who met the work party in February – I went with Mercy on a matatu to visit Maureen Nkatha in a church sponsored hospital in Nkubu, as all the government hospitals are closed due to the nurses being on strike for the last 5 months. Maureen was in the last stages of AIDS and being terribly neglected – the hospital had discharged her as they could do no more for her, but she had to remain in the hospital until her fees were paid. Her grandparents, frail and old themselves, wouldn’t have her back again – and even wished she would die, so she was just left untreated in bed.

Her food for several days was left in bowls on and near her bed as she was too weak to feed herself, she was incontinent and left as she was. We did manage to speak to a doctor who told us that needing expert nursing care, including feeding and changing, was not a reason for being in hospital. At least, following our visit, they restarted the ARV drugs and re-admitted her! Mercy planned to take her home, rent a bigger house and care for her with some help. I strongly advised her not to as she didn’t realise the implications and commitment involved.

While at Kaaga I also visited Mwithumwiru School, met the wonderful cook who provides the lunches we help to support, the special needs class – and had another gift – a half-size bath mat they had made.

Then a visit to Maua Hospital where I visited three schools for special needs children – heart breaking – we must make sure they are given a bigger share of the gifts we take out, their situations are pathetic.

Ruth, my daughter-in-law, joined me at Kaaga with George from Lindbergs, and we went straight to Marimanti and the Baobab Hotel. The next morning we were joined by George Mwabu, the Director of the project there. Here we were given a tour of the project model farm, where carers of the children have practical training in farming and growing suitable crops in that very hot, arid climate. Ruth, a horticulturalist, was in her element, although she will be growing very few of the crops they produce – sugar cane, white maize, cassava, etc.

We visited the special needs class, leaving gifts for them, and then the School for the Deaf where we were very warmly welcomed. By special request I had to sing again the chorus John and I had shared with them last year – ‘The Foolish Man built his house upon the Sand’ – which they joined in with sign language. What a privilege!

Coffee time with Sylvia, Johnson (the social worker) and the minister, Phineas

Then back to Nairobi for a night before we caught (just) the new SGR train to Mombasa! How we caught the train I don’t know – I was pushed into carriage 6 and unbeknown to me. Ruth and all the luggage, including the case for the projects, was pushed into carriage 4. We finally met up again in carriage 2 where we had to negotiate sitting together with a couple of Kenyans. The journey took 4½ hours in daylight, instead of the 12 hour overnight journey, and as we went through the Nairobi National Park and Tsavo East and West Safari parks, we saw giraffes, elephants, Thompson’s gazelles and camels – brilliant!

We had a night in a hotel before visiting Hunajeza for a few hours, leaving half the lovely dresses, skirts and shorts made by the ‘Sewing Box’ sewing group in Princes Risborough. This project is struggling as the carers and women’s group members who used to volunteer at the programme, are becoming very elderly and frail. They now have to pay the cook to feed the children, and the two teachers at the nursery they have started.

From there we went to Kilifi and visited Upendo where the school and care given continue to be excellent under the new management. The other half of the dresses, skirts and shorts from Princes Risborough were distributed. We visited some families and after lunch left for our short holiday – two nights by the beach at Jumuia, a Kenyan churches conference and holiday centre.

The loving and enthusiastic welcome I received everywhere was incredible and very humbling. No wonder I love going to Kenya.

Note: Since returning home and writing this we have heard that dear Maureen has died from meningitis, another opportunistic infection she caught due to her very low immunity caused by Aids.

Also since returning, the second Presidential election has taken place amid tension, rioting and bloodshed, especially in Kawangware and Kibra where we support two very active projects. Please pray for the people of Kenya and especially the staff, children and their carer

Joy with the nursery classes at Embakasi

Our Quiz Night is back in 2018! Our Quiz Night is back in 2018!
Come along to our next event! Come along to our next event!

Come along to our next event!

Come along and browse our Christmas Gift Shop for a variety of presents and cards, from a range of prices starting at £4. Plus stop for tea and cake whilst you shop. It’s the perfect way to start your Christmas shopping!

Ellesborough Silver Band Concert Ellesborough Silver Band Concert

Ellesborough Silver Band Concert

The Ellesborough Silver Band are kindly donating funds raised from their October concert to us. Please do go along and support, it’s set to be a fantastic evening.


Family Fun Day 2017! Family Fun Day 2017!

Family Fun Day 2017!

This summer we held our third annual Family Fun Day in Fairford Leys.

On the 17th June, one of the hottest days of the year, we had a number of stalls, a bouncy castle, BBQ and circus and magic sessions.

The musicians who performed throughout the day were fantastic and gave the day a lively atmosphere.

Thanks to the support of the Fairford Leys community and our supporters, we raised £1000 – a successful day!

Our next Fairford Leys Event will be our Quiz Night on the 27th January 2018. 

Thank you to everyone who helped out on the day and for battling the heat!

British 10K 2017 report British 10K 2017 report

British 10K 2017 report

8 Supporters ran the British 10K for Karibuni Children!

On a hot July Sunday a team of 8 people took up a challenge to raise funds for Karibuni.

The British 10K follows a route through the centre of London, including Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square and The Strand.

After the run participants met up with Karibuni Trustees to enjoy a long cold drink and to receive certificates from Karibuni.

If you would be interested in running this event next July (or the North London Half Marathon in March), do let us know by registering your interest via

You can find out more about the race here:

Karibuni Children at London 10 K raceKaribuni Children at London 10 K race Karibuni Children at London 10 K race Karibuni Children at London 10 K race Karibuni Children at London 10 K race

London to Paris Bike Ride: Challenge Completed! London to Paris Bike Ride: Challenge Completed!

London to Paris Bike Ride: Challenge Completed!

On a grey and damp Thursday in July, I made my way to Crystal Palace Park at 6.30 a.m to meet up with 29 other riders and our tour organisers for the first time, to embark on a 3 day ride from London to Paris.  I didn’t really know what to expect but as we got underway I quickly matched up with another lone rider of about the same fitness.  Despite the early start we had a bit of time pressure on day 1 as we had to get to Newhaven in time for the ferry!  The ride was challenging having to cross the south downs and, despite the sun coming out for the afternoon, we had to fight some fairly significant cross and head winds but we rolled down to the check in with about half an hour or so to spare.  With the 4 hour ferry journey and the change in time arriving in France it was gone midnight before we were tucked up in our beds.

The second day was the shortest ride and with no time constraints we had the luxury of a 10 o’clock start.  It remained sunny all day and the route took us through some really beautiful French countryside.  The wind however kept up and, especially in the afternoon, the terrain was definitely undulating!

The final day was another early start as we had over 70 miles to cover.  The morning was once again a bit grey and dismal, at times we all just put our heads down and pedaled, at others we came together in small groups to chat and cycle together which really helped on some of the harder sections.  We had covered 46 miles by lunch time, over half the day’s distance, as the second section would be significantly slower winding through Paris suburbs and on to the city centre.  The rain petered out and it became pleasantly bright for the rest of our journey.  Negotiating the Paris traffic was “interesting” especially towards the end when we were trying to stay together but finally the Eiffel Tower came into full view.  This was an amazing feeling although it was difficult to take it in and concentrate.  We ended our ride at the furthest end of the Champs de Mars park from the Tower where we were greeted by friends and family that had come for support.

This was certainly a challenging event but it was also an amazing experience.  It was so well organised that we really had nothing to worry about except the riding, all the others taking part were great company and it’s something I would really recommend to anyone that might be considering it.

By Gill Nord




Golf Day September 2017 Golf Day September 2017

Golf Day September 2017

This year is at Moor Park Golf course on Monday 18 September.

Cost covers Green fees, two course meal and prize giving afterwards. Register at

Karibuni Family Fun Day! Karibuni Family Fun Day!

Karibuni Family Fun Day!

Our Fun Day is back for the 3rd year!

Come along on Saturday 17th June at Fairford Leys Community Centre for Music, Food and Fun for all the family!


If you’d like to be a stallholder at the Fun Day, please email:

Pitches are £20, or £25 with a table provided for you.

From London to Paris for Karibuni! From London to Paris for Karibuni!

From London to Paris for Karibuni!

This July Gill Nord is taking on the challenge of cycling from London to Paris, all for Karibuni. That’s 181 miles!

The cycle will take 3 days from the 20th – 23rd July and the journey will finish in Paris in time for the final stage of the Tour de France.

Gill is a keen cyclist, but has never covered such a huge distance or cycled for 3 days in a row!

Please donate generously and support Gill as she takes on the adventure! You can find her donation page at

Good luck Gill!


Congratulations Robert! Congratulations Robert!

Congratulations Robert!

Robert Murithi Kamwara, was sponsored by Karibuni through the Tharaka Children and Women’s Welfare Programme.

He went on to study for a Bachelor of Commerce Degree at Meru University, which he was awarded three years ago.

Karibuni funded his Bachelor degree, but on cost grounds we have a policy to finance only one such qualification per young person.

However, Robert has now graduated with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) Finance Option!

He financed the degree himself, by taking part time jobs, including lecturing at the University.

What an achievement, congratulations Robert!

Calling All Runners! Calling All Runners!

Calling All Runners!

Help us to transform young Kenyan lives by taking part in a half marathon!

We have spaces for runners for next year’s Vitality North London Half Marathon. It’s taking place on Sunday, March 11th 2018.

Contact to register or find out more.

London 10K 2015


Quiz Night 2017! Quiz Night 2017!

Quiz Night 2017!

Our Quiz Night in 2016 was such a success, we’re holding another in the new year.

So get together a team of 6 – 8 and get your quiz hats on. Tickets are sure to sell out again so get yours fast!

Once again Fish and Chips are included in the ticket price.

See below for contact details.


Could you give a student a future? Could you give a student a future?

Could you give a student a future?

Karibuni is helping students who have been supported throughout their school life to become employed and start their own independent careers through a sponsorship scheme.

Many students need further training on completion of their schooling at University, college or in a vocation.

We are looking for sponsors to provide more secure funding to students at this stage.

Where possible, potential sponsors are matched with students according to preferences and interests, giving aErick and group personal link to encourage the student in their studies.

Typically, sponsors have offered between £20 and £50 a month, to fully or partially sponsor an individual, or an equivalent annual sum.

Karibuni has already supported a number of students through to this point. They range from those starting careers with top international firms to those looking to set up their own businesses.

We are now looking for sponsors for the next academic year, starting in September, when we expect to have 14 students proceeding to further training.

Last year we piloted the scheme at two centres and we are hoping to start extending the scheme to other Karibuni projects if we get enough support.

Find out more detail about the scheme or read more about the stories of students who have already been sponsored, ErickAnn and Eric.

We are now looking for sponsors for 14 young people who will be moving onto further education courses later this year.

Each case is different. Here’s how Makena, who runs the Tusaidie Watoto project, described one of last year’s sponsored girls:

“Lydia is pursuing a Certificate in Community Health Nursing. She joined Tusaidie Watoto Nursery at the tender age of 5 years. Her mother sells vegetables by the road side to earn a living and that is how she has been able to support her family.  While in Primary school, you would see Lydia at the roadside selling vegetables with her mother and yet she would always have books by her side to read if they were not busy. She is a jovial character with a smile always on her face. She is also hard working and has told me several times that she would love to build her mother a house and to change the family’s lifestyle.” 

If you would like to know more, please email Robert and Penny Smith at or call them on 01235 200402


Family Fun Day 2016: Thank you! Family Fun Day 2016: Thank you!

Family Fun Day 2016: Thank you!

The 23rd July saw us hold our 2nd Family Fun Day!

We had stalls from Fair Trade, The Works Ice Cream, Holy Cow and Charlie’s Pots, and there were fantastic performances from the Ellesborough Silver Band, JBD Fitness and Dance and Magician Roger Dunlop.

Thanks to everyone’s support we raised over £1500!

We’re already looking at next year’s Fun Day, so stay tuned…