Leaving Newtown for a new life working with Kenyan children

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

A PAEDIATRIC nurse from Newtown will be leaving Mid Wales for a new life in Kenya as a volunteer in a children’s home.

Chris Saunders, 30, has been working with orphans and street children in Kenya for 13 years.

He has raised more than £200,000 to help transform the children’s home at Siaya in Kenya to the Amani Village of Hope.

Since 2004, Chris has worked alongside the Amani Director, the Rev Kenneth Wachianga, and his family in developing Amani Village of Hope.

During this time Chris has seen the children’s home grow from 10 children living in a mud hut, to 120 living in the “village”.

Chris, who is giving up his nursing career at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, to go to Kenya said: “Amani means ‘peace’.

“The children rescued by Amani have either lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS, have been abandoned or have been neglected or abused.

“Many of the children are also HIV positive and others arrive at Amani with chronic malnutrition or severe health complications.

“Every child rescued is provided with an education and the children are supported up to college / university level to enable them to gain employment and become independent and self-sufficient.”

To help this, Chris has formed a charity, Amani Village of Hope, which is based in Newtown.

When Chris arrives in Kenya next month, top of his list of things to do will be to dig a borehole that can provide the children’s home and surrounding community with fresh clean water.

Many parts of East-Africa have suffered from a drought over the last 18 months

Chris added: “Amani depends upon a hand dug well and strategically placed large rain water storage tanks.

“During the dry seasons each year, the well and rain water tanks run dry and this forces the staff and children to make numerous daily treks to collect water in buckets from unclean sources, with the danger of health risks through contamination.

“In 2017 it’s completely unacceptable to think that so many people are still without access to clean drinking water and other basic rights to sanitation and health.”

n For more information on Amani Village of Hope, visit their website www.amanivhuk.co.uk or email: amanivhuk@gmail.com

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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