Login Register

Volunteer pays tribute to Chronicle readers

STEVE Scott is still coming to terms with being back home in Mid Cheshire after two years of voluntary work in the Kenyan village of Kangondi.

STEVE Scott is still coming to terms with being back home in Mid Cheshire after two years of voluntary work in the Kenyan village of Kangondi.

The culture shock is understandable, as Steve left the East African heat for the somewhat cooler climes of a winter in Mid Cheshire.

But any trouble he may be having acclimatising is more than compensated for by the good news he has returned with.

Steve originally went to Kenya to teach motor mechanics at a school, but he soon found himself taking on a far wider set of tasks.

As well as fundraising for the borehole, Steve also worked with many self-help groups, Government ministers and disabled people and took on a host of other things.

He became involved with the Vyulya Community Development Project, the only fully integrated training facility in the whole of Kenya, where a variety of subjects is now taught.

He is leaving an area now filled with hope and optimism - ­ a far cry from when he arrived two years ago.

"We got all the money we needed for the borehole and the army will drill it later this year," said Steve.

"Its value can't be overestimated. If you just look at the one small village of Kangondi, there are about 1,200 people desperately in need of safe, clean water.

"There are lots of other villages dotted around with similar needs, so about
5,000 people may end up using the borehole."

Steve paid tribute to the generosity of Chronicle readers in supporting the appeal and explained how your donations will make a difference.

"The donations raised have been incredible. We have just sent another lorry-load of things to Kenya ­ about seven tons worth.

"This included things like computers, school equipment and boxes of shoes and most of this has come from Chronicle readers. People have been so generous and it has been genuinely appreciated by people in Kangondi.

"You can't imagine the difference this will make to people's lives. Just having things like books to read will make such a difference for them.

"They really did have a brighter Christmas thanks to the appeal. We kept some of the donated toys to one side to make sure that every child would receive at least one Christmas present and the churches were going to give them out on Christmas Day.

"Some people donated suits and the men in Kangondi can now go to church in them. Having a nice suit gives them self- respect and standing in the community.

"The children now have pens and paper to draw with rather than having to draw in the dirt and it was fantastic seeing them running around with new dolls and pushchairs.

"In total, about 18 tons of supplies have been sent out there and it¹s all been really good stuff that will make a difference."

And the work won¹t stop now Steve has returned home. His legacy is the continuing project to make the polytechnic a fully-fledged centre of learning.

"The project will continue. The institution was at death¹s door, but it has now been turned around," he said.

"There have been so many community ventures and the teachers are now equipped with the things they need to teach. Women's groups regularly use the facilities and the project is a focal point for the whole community."

After two years living and working in the village, leaving was a big wrench for Steve and he hopes to return to Kangondi as a visitor one day.

"It¹s difficult to believe that it is at an end; it was pretty tough leaving," said Steve.

"When it started, I was looking for a challenge to get away from the rat race. I never imagined it would turn out to be such a life-changing experience.

"It is amazing to see how people¹s attitudes have changed.

"Two years ago it was a very poor area that had suffered from a two-year
famine, but at least now the people there can see things happening in the

"I think for the first time in a long while, they have got hope.¹


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
Contact Us
Full contact details