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Trustees’ Visit to Kenya 2018 Trustees’ Visit to Kenya 2018

Trustees’ Visit to Kenya 2018

Every February our trustees visit our projects in Kenya to see how progress is being made and how money is being spent.

The Trustees visiting Kenya this year are Joy Murphy, Nigel Roberts and John Cotton. Here they are pictured with Mercy Kendi who heads the Meru Township project. 

Here’s what they were doing on their trip:

21st February

Today we visited the project in the Embakasi slum. Karibuni sponsors six children per year into the Nursery school. We took a pile of clothing, crayons and pencils, plus used tennis balls supplied by Bierton Tennis Club. We’ll be distributing more to other projects in the coming days. The children were delighted!

Here are some of the children sponsored into the Nursery school this year at Embakasi. They are pictured with Johnson, the project’s social worker.

22nd February

Today we visited Kawangware Nursery School. Most of the children at the nursery are fee-paying and Karibuni sponsors three new children there every year who then progress into the Primary School. There’s a total of 33 sponsored children in the Academy.

Here are some of the children having their post lunch nap while the sun is at its hottest.

23rd February

We spent today visiting homes in Nairobi’s Kibra slum.

Natalie and Natasha are twins living with their widowed mother Alice and their four brothers and sisters in a small mud walled hut deep in the slum. Alice’s only source of income is what she earns as a hairdresser, charging the equivalent of £2 a time. On the day we visited she had her first customer for five days.

The twins have recently been sponsored by Karibuni to join the Tusaidie Watoto Nursery School. When, with Makena Anampiu, the project’s senior social worker, we visited Alice in her home, we were able to present her with a knitted blanket made by one of our supporters. She said the blanket will be used to cover the twins at night.

Here are the twins eating their lunch in the Nursery School. They are wearing school uniforms supplied by Karibuni Children.


24th February

After leaving the Tusaidie Watoto Nursery School sponsored children go to a local Government Primary School where class sizes often exceed 100. These children come to the project for a meal after school and, when there are no school commitments, they come on Saturday mornings. They sang, recited and acted for visiting trustees and also met Rev Maureen Jones, who was instrumental in starting the project.

Here, trustees also met a group of Karibuni Alumni, young people who have completed their studies or who are in tertiary education.

1st March

The Meru Township Project started off as a feeding programme for children from the adjacent slum and has progressed to become a fully developed project, taking children into sponsorship at Nursery school age. Today, we joined children having their lunch.

We also met Martin who has graduated from the project, having studied for a nursing diploma. He was proud to tell us that he has been appointed to a job at a local hospital. He “gives back” by volunteering in the project and mentoring children who face challenges similar to those he had to overcome.

We also caught up with Mercy Kendi, who leads the project.

2nd March

At Mwithumwiru Primary School in Meru, Karibuni Children provides a regular grant so that children from the poorest of homes can be fed at lunchtime. We also support a Special Needs class.

On arrival we were met by the school’s Deputy Head Teacher and the Chairman of the School Board. Joy Murphy was invited to plant a tree to mark the long running partnership between Karibuni and this school.

We met the children and teachers in the Special Needs Class and also visited the kitchen where we met the cook who has been working there for many years.







3rd March

All over Kenya, people are hoping that the “big rains” will start soon. In the meantime the soil has dried out and dust rises in clouds at the slightest disturbance. There was certainly plenty of dust to see in the playground of the Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro when we visited. Some of it found its way onto the children’s clothes, as this picture demonstrates!

4th March

We’ve arrived in Tharaka, a very arid rural area. Every year Karibuni sponsors nine children into the Nursery class of Kamatungu Primary school. 

We visited the home of Ann, a five year old who lives with her younger brother, mother and grandmother in a small mud walled hut.  Ann has been selected by the project to be sponsored by Karibuni. T

he sole source of income is a small shamba (farm) where they keep chickens and grow crops of beans as and when there is sufficient rain. Ann’s mother had prepared a cup of tea and boiled eggs and then appeared from her hen house with a squawking hen which she presented to Joy Murphy. Some quick thinking followed and Joy asked that the hen should be kept on the shamba until she returned to collect it. It is really humbling when we are offered gifts from the very little such families have.

Among the other children taken into sponsorship this year at the Tharaka project is 5 year old Tony. He lives with his mother, brothers and sisters in a tin roofed mud hut. The family is very poor yet Joy Murphy was presented with yet another chicken – which we asked Ann’s mother to keep until we return some time. 
As we left we spotted a toy which Tony had made out of plastic milk bottle tops. He was evidently very proud of it and was happy to be photographed together with his sister who was wearing her Sunday best dress in honour of our visit.

5th March

With help from Wingrave Ladies Sewing Group, Karibuni has been supporting the Special Needs class at Kamatungu Primary School for some years. We provide an annual grant to enable the teachers to purchase materials such as beads which the children and young adults use to make craft products such as table mats.

The class are always delighted to see us when we visit.

This time their parents and guardians, who are very poor, were keen to show their appreciation and we were presented with a goat! The idea was that it would provide us with a good meal before we leave Kenya. In accepting the generous gift we asked if the goat could be kept at the school until we have need of it. We all agreed it should be named “Karibuni”.

“Karibuni” was last seen making his escape across the school playground!

6th March

The Tharaka project is led by George Mwabu, an inspirational young man with a very strong commitment to the development of children from the poorest of backgrounds.

The project operates from an office which was constructed without any external funding, with the cost being met from within the local community, including George and members of his Board. The land was donated by a local school which also donated a tree for roof timbers. Some of the building work was undertaken by Eric, a young man who was sponsored through the project and trained as a mason. 

A much larger building is now planned. This will be a Community Resource Centre with a library and computer room. It will also be used for training. Although parents of sponsored children are very poor, they have shown their support in clubbing together to buy chairs for the project. Over 60 have been bought so far.

Here are the visiting Karibuni trustees with members of the Project Board:

As well as sponsoring the education of children from the poorest of backgrounds, the Tharaka project aims to help their families to improve their situation. Many are subsistence farmers with small shambas (plots of land). Next to the project office is a relatively small area of land which is intensively farmed. The project has planted several varieties of commonly grown trees, sugar cane and vegetables with a view to showing local farmers which varieties grow best in the particularly dry climate of Tharaka.

Irrigation is via a relatively simple and cheap to construct water storage tank. Chickens are immunised at birth and surplus serum is shared with local families.
This “Demo farm” is popular with families, who see for themselves what works best. It is also valued by the wider community.

7th March

Limuru is located in the hills to the north of Nairobi. The climate is ideal for growing tea and many of the inhabitants are employed as tea pickers. The area in which the school is located backs onto the Misri slum. Many of the children sponsored by Karibuni Children at this project come from that slum area.

Although with the help of two generous donations from Karibuni supporters some of the corrugated iron school buildings have been replaced, others are in a very poor state of repair. The thin walls offer little protection from the cold mornings, wind and rain.

Don’t forget you can find out more about our projects here.

The Story of Grace & Glory The Story of Grace & Glory

The Story of Grace & Glory

Eight-year-old twins, Grace and Glory, are just two of the many children being cared for by the Meru Township Project. We first became aware of them in February 2017 when members of the Working Party visited their home. Their father had just died from TB (their mother separated from the family when the twins were just 8 months old) and they were living alone, looking after themselves, and just about to walk a long way back to school so they could wash their own school uniforms (no running water where they live).

A month later, during the Trustees annual visit to the project, we saw them again, this time at lunch, helping to feed another younger child at the project.

Luckily they are being supported by the project, under the umbrella of the social worker, Mercy, who is overseeing appropriate care arrangements for them. Initially their compassionate neighbour was looking after them and she was receiving assistance from the girls’ extended family, together with concerned well- wishers and the community who visited the family and gave food and financial support. Mercy liaised with the District Children’s Officer and the family about the girls’ future, with a view to them possibly being placed in a children’s home.

However, the latest news is that the girls are doing fine. With the combined help of Mercy, the Children’s Officer and relatives, they have been reunited with their estranged mother who has agreed to look after them provided she gets some support. Food and clothing have been donated to the family and, in addition, using contributions from relatives and well -wishers the girls’ mother has been able to start a small business in town.

Karibuni feel very lucky to have someone like Mercy working with us. Meeting their mother was yet another challenge for the girls as they did not know her at all on account of her leaving them at such a young age. But Mercy will continue to monitor and provide counselling to the girls and they will continue to be regarded as children of the project with support in their schooling from Karibuni.

When the Trustees visit Kenya they often find quite unexpected situations like this and have to take on the spot decisions on how to help in obviously deserving cases.

Quiz Night 2018 Quiz Night 2018

Quiz Night 2018

Our annual quiz night for 2018 took place at the end of January. It was a great success, raising £1,760!

The final total was helped by a £750 donation from Barclays, the former employer of Karibuni Chairman John Cotton.

80 people in 12 teams competed to find the answers to the quiz, run by our Quiz Masters Steve and Vivienne Kemp.

Thank you to everyone who helped out on the evening.

Tickets get snapped up quickly, so make sure you get them quickly when we announce our 2019 event!


Extracts from a letter from Wycliffe Odhiambo, who was supported by Karibuni over 18 years: Extracts from a letter from Wycliffe Odhiambo, who was supported by Karibuni over 18 years:

Extracts from a letter from Wycliffe Odhiambo, who was supported by Karibuni over 18 years:

“I am Wycliffe Odhiambo, one of the beneficiaries of the project. I joined back in 1998 when it had just begun, from pre-school to tertiary level, I graduated from the Technical University of Kenya with a Diploma in Community and Public Health in 2016 and got an opportunity to work with the Hospital Support Organisation in the same year under the ImPACT AFRICA PROGRAM as a Research Assistant Western Kenya Region, managing 10 health facilities on the global perioperative study assessing outcomes of perioperative and anaesthesia care….
I want to let you know how much I appreciate your support throughout my studies… Growing up in the slum was one of the worst things that anyone would ever wish due to its harsh environment, but through KARIBUNI I got the courage to move on step by step hoping that one day I would have a brighter future.
KARIBUNI has impacted on so many lives… at times the only meal that kept me moving was from the project; my parents could barely afford our daily meals….
I would also not forget to thank Makena Anampiu the senior social worker at the Kibra project. I sincerely appreciate the time she spent reviewing my career goals and (how) best to achieve them…… she never lost hope in me
even when I did not have hope in myself.
I had much to say but with the few words I say thank you.”

Other graduates include Eric from Kibra, who has gained a position with international auditors KPMG, Sarah from Tharaka who is a Clinical Officer working in a clinic; and Philip also from Tharaka who works for the water authorities there.

Walter Onyango, from Kawangware, graduating from university with a degree in Business Management, (Purchasing and Supply).

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!