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Three Peaks Challenge with a Twist
20th February 2017

On the 10 March, two former Oundle School pupils, Barny Dillarstone and Hugo Laffey will be completing the Three Peaks Challenge (with a twist) to raise money for the Kivuli Trust, a UK charity which supports the work of Gilgil Special School in Kenya. 

Barny commented, “The additional challenge I have set myself is that I will be carrying a wheelchair up all three peaks; a fitting twist given the little boy I sponsor through the Kivuli Trust, Ian, is confined to a wheelchair having been born with spina bifida. Given my background in sport, as a keen CrossFit athlete, I am hoping to raise money to supply sports equipment to the school and also to put together a plan for some physiotherapy for Ian, and other children like him, who might then be able to regain some use of their legs.

I visited Gilgil Special School for the first time in October 2016 and was immediately struck by how happy and well looked after the children were in what is a wonderfully safe and nurturing environment.” Given my background in sport, I'm hoping to raise some money to provide some sports equipment for the school. More importantly, I'm hoping to put together a plan to have some of the children receive physiotherapy, in particular, Ian, who with some help might be able to regain some use of his legs!

The Kivuli Trust (Kivuli meaning ‘shelter’ in kiswahili) has built and operates two hostels specifically for children with mental and physical disabilities who attend Gilgil Special School. The hostels act as safe havens, providing the children with regular meals, proper beds and the care and support that they deserve and thrive upon. Working in partnership with the local government, who provide the classrooms and specialist teachers, their aim is to teach these children essential life skills such as brushing their teeth, cleaning themselves, washing their clothes and performing simple chores about the home. The helps them to become more readily accepted into their families and into their communities.

Kivuli Trust founder and trustee, Ryan Pape commented, “The hostels have made a profound difference to the attitude of the local community towards disability. Parents have seen that their children really are capable of learning essential life skills and therefore now accept them far more readily.  They also realise that many of the children are capable of much more than that – and indeed a number of the children from the Special School have made such progress that they have now moved into the mainstream Primary School. Crucial to this success has been the involvement, from the outset, of all the key stakeholders in the community.”

To sponsor Barny and Hugo please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/barnydillarstone

For more information about the Kivuli Trust, including sponsoring a child visit: http://kivulitrust.org/

Background on Kivuli

The first hostel was opened in 2008 in the grounds of the Gilgil Township Primary School.  A second hostel was opened in 2014, and together they provide overnight care for up to 64 children with mental and physical disabilities who would otherwise not be able to attend school.

The project began as the Special Unit of the Gilgil Township Primary School. There were less than ten children being educated in a small run-down building beside the playing fields. Many of the children had physical as well as mental disabilities making them especially vulnerable on their daily journeys.  Sadly a number of the girls were raped along the way. The building of the hostels has utterly transformed this dismal situation. The children now have a clean, safe and secure environment from which to learn from.

Today the Special Unit has grown into a school in its own right with over 110 children, more than half of whom are housed in the hostels. The school is called the Gilgil Special School. Awareness of the Trust’s work has spread to the wider community prompting more parents of disabled children to come forward and enroll their children in the school. Gilgil Special School has been recognised as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ by the Kenyan Government.

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