A Brief History of the Projects in Kenya
run by
The Rotary Club of Horbury & Ossett Phoenix
The Emley African School Project

Most countries in Africa are in desperate need of clean water, schools and assistance in the eradication of disease. Kenya is no exception and Horbury and Ossett Phoenix Rotary Club have worked for 13 years in villages on the east coast of Kenya to bring to the local inhabitants clean water and to achieve a better standard of life and education for their children which is the key to the future. Close co-operation between our Yorkshire Club and the Kenyan Rotary Club based in Diani is ensuring that we identify those in most immediate need and most importantly to ensure that the money we are able to raise and donate is spent wisely and without waste.
The following is a brief history of the development of our association with Kenya and the work we have been fortunate in carrying out.

 Kenya Coast1995

Alan Longbottom, a teacher and member of Horbury and Ossett Phoenix Rotary Club, visited GAZI, a small village about 40 miles south of Mombasa, with a party of Yorkshire School children. Their visit was to see the work being done in the development of mangrove technology by a scientist called Kairo.

Alan saw the poor condition of the village and in particular the lack of education facilities for children and with the help of Rotary began to raise funds. Alan was President of Rotary in 1996 and nominated GAZI School as his overseas charity

GAZI School was completed and Alan together with three other members of Rotary attended the opening.
Lack of clean water is a problem throughout the African continent and Rotary paid for and installed 2 Water Pumps on Wassini Island. The people here depend on collecting rainwater in large tanks , and if the rains fail, have to transport it from the mainland in 5 gallon jerry cans.

One of the Rotarians who visited the Gazi school opening with Alan was Jim Donnan, a doctor living in Emley. Jim and his wife, Rosemary, took equipment to GAZI School and together with Alan Magaoni before developmentvisited MAGAONI School earmarked by DIANI Rotary Club and Allan as a Rotary matching grant project. Matching Grants are important to clubs like ours as it means with the help of Rotary International we can double up the money we put into these essential projects. This school was in dire straits with no roof, an earth floor and no desks or equipment Through Kairo, a devout Christian, Jim and Rosemary made their first contact with the Kenyan Assembly of God (KAG) Church and this persuaded them to start fundraising for a NURSERY School in Msambweni, a small town near Gazi. The aim of building this school was to provide an education for children who otherwise would have none ,particularly girls. Additionally, although the school is sponsored by a Christian church, the majority of its pupils are Muslim, reflecting the local population.

Rotary commenced fund raising to enable matching grant backed by South Woodham Ferrers Rotary Club (Essex), a local South Woodham Ferrers school, Archbishop School Canterbury and a Canadian Rotary Club. This project was now becoming truly international.
Kairo was beginning to achieve world recognition for the work he was doing in Mangrove technology and during a visit to Europe he was able to visit Yorkshire and attended services at Emley Church. Contact was made with the Church Schools of Wakefield and the Emley African Schools Project (EASP) was founded by Rosemary Donnan and Friends

Books, medical supplies and computers were shipped in a container to Mombasa financed by Phoenix and Emley African Schools Project. EASP had donated £700 for purchase of books and school equipment but this was swallowed up by container importing and handling expenses. This highlighted the difficulties involved in sending equipment to Kenya. Much of the equipment was distributed by Diani Rotary Club over 12 month period assisted by Alan and Jim. 2000 Jim and Alan assisted in the Polio Plus campaign, a Rotary project aimed at eradicating Polio throughout the world.
They visited Magaoni School to see progress and identify the need for further funding for school refurbishment.

Ukunda_exam_2They saw the work in progress at Ukunda Polytechnic and promised supplies of equipment such as sewing machines and lathes

2000 to 2001
Matching grant funds were received by Diani Rotary and refurbishment of Magaoni School commenced

Alan together with John Butcher, South Woodham Ferrers Rotarian attended the opening of Magaoni School The Matching grant yielded more money than was required by Magaoni and the balance was used for equipment for Ukunda Polytechnic and Mshui School which had been suggested for refurbishment by Diani Club

Extra funding was secured from Rosemary & friends (EASP), Horbury and Ossett Rotary, South Woodham Ferrers Rotary, their local school and Diani Rotary. Alan moved out of this country and Jim took over the projects
kag school_2KAG Nursery School was opened by Rosemary and Jim Donnan, and Dilys and Michael Williams (fundraisers from Emley) and promises were made regarding funding for a Primary School on a new site across the road from the nursery school.
Nursery School tables were donated by Horbury and Ossett Rotary. Visits were made by Jim to gauge progress at Mshui School, Ukunda Polytechnic and Wassini Island


Money was sent to Diani club for further development of Mshui School

Jim and Mike Williams from Emley (EASP) visited Mshui School and identified the need for a water well near the school

2003 (Nov)

Jim, Mike & Dilys Williams and John Butcher attended the opening of Mshui School. Work had started on the water well and Diani Rotary had agreed to supply cement for shoring in view of sandy soil.

Jim, Rosemary and their children visited most of the projects. Jim ran a first Aid course for KAG teachers and adults. Rosemary ran English literacy sessions for children and adults in the Nursery School. Materials and general sponsorship from Horbury and Ossett Rotary Club.


Jim & Rosemary, Mike & Dilys were joined by Mike & Lisette Gill, also from Horbury and Ossett Rotary, visiting KAG School, Gazi School, Wasini Island as well as a clinic, a maternity unit, other schools and projects run by Diani Rotary.

Horbury and Ossett Rotary had by now sponsored 15 desks in the KAG School and the education of one child whilst individual club members plus other contacts instigated by Rosemary were now sponsoring over 40 children.

thumb jim running first aid course 2Jim ran a First Aid course with materials donated by Horbury and Ossett Rotary including the restocking of a Rotary donated First Aid box.





A literacy afternoon was held in a community of Leprosy sufferers. A private donation allowed the laying of a concrete floor and the building of walls for their meeting hut.

Horbury and Ossett Rotary sponsored benches, writing materials and a blackboard to enable Adult literacy classes to be regularly held in the Leprosy Community

Local authorities acknowledged the permanency and commitment to the Leprosy community and allocated a teacher to enable adult literacy lessons to be held. This community has now been named the Blessed Camp. It was previously called Tumbe meaning despised people.
Jim & Rosemary visited in May to view progress on many of the projects. At Mshui School, their water well is finished and they have started a school gardening club where children will learn the skills of tree management.
The Ukunda Polytechnic is efficiently using the equipment donated .
The Tumbe Leprosy Community Centre is working well and some of the adults have already gained first stage literacy qualifications
The Diani Rotary Maternity unit is completed

Rotarians Jim & Rosemary Donnan, Mike & Lisette Gill, Chris & Annette Taylor, Nick & Jan Hunter as well as Mike & Dilys Williams from Emley visited Kenya in November to visit all of the existing projects and through Diani Club to set up new projects.
We continue to search for the best way to assist the Leprosy sufferers living in Tumbe. During the years that they have settled in this village, many have married and now have children who do not have leprosy. They do not own land or houses, they have no source of income and rely totally on charitable aid from other local villages who themselves have little to spare. Many are seen begging in Mombasa. Many of the children do not go to school, and some are sponsored in KAG.

Diani Club have identified the village of TIWI as being in need of a fresh water well and in June Horbury and Ossett Rotary sent the required money to them.

The well is now nearing completion.


Written by Michael Gill,

International Committee Chairman - The Rotary Club of Horbury and Ossett Phoenix


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