Langi Primary and Nursery School

Not long ago we identified a new school in Seme District near Holo Market that was desperate for help. It was completely run down and the children were lacking classrooms to sit in. The local community, have been very co-operative and helpful and gained the confidence of Ladies In Action.

Thus, Mrs. Shakuntla Shah and her sister came to the rescue and agreed to fund the entire construction. This was later changed and Mr. Sunil Shah, husband of Mrs. Shakuntla Shah funded the whole project which has costed over 5 million Kenya shillings.

Work in progress:

The school now has eight primary class rooms, two nursery classrooms, a library and administration block.

The community not only benefited with a brand new school but they also received assistance for the old ladies and orphans through medical camps and animal camps. In addition, the Women Groups received goats and day old chicks.

Thanks to Mrs. Shakuntla  Shah and her husband Mr. Sunil Shah for funding this very large project.

The goodwill does not stop there. On top of all the support receive from Shakuntla and Suni Shah, a great friend and supporter of Ladies IN Action, Sue Dean of Jersey kindly offered to build a water well and the work has already started with over 30 ft dug so far. The school will soon have its own water.


July 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm 2 comments

Library for Nyakongo Primary completed – Thank you Ngombe Wire!

At last the library is complete and been handed over to the school authorities.

They are now adding shelves. We have donated almost 950 library books.

The school is now complete with 8 class rooms constructed by the Ladies In Action and financed by the Klara Foundation Holland.

The Nyakongo Primary School and Ladies In Action are very grateful to you to make this a successful event.

March 16, 2010 at 6:41 am 1 comment


Ladies In Action are back in the field at the opening of schools in mid September.  A lot of areas have been covered and a number of new sites have been added.  Tobias Kadongo and Chotu Pabari covered a number of schools by de worming .This was done until first week of October when Chotu and Nejla went on a holiday to Turkey for almost 2 months. Sue Dean from Jersey Islands was very kind to cover for both Chotu and Nejla.

Sue did a tremendous job as you will see from the list below.

  • Total of 24714 pupils were de wormed and many were treated for wounds and ring worms.
  • The following schools benefited with school benches; mugs for porridge and cooking pots (sufuria):

New Apostolic                         5 benches
Salem                                       4 benches
Miracle Day Care                     4 benches
Joy Day Care                           5 benches
Joykeds.                                   Received 40 mugs and one sufuria for  feeding program.
Kids Star                                  received 200 mugs and one sufuria for feeding program
St Pauls Nursery Nyalenda received 50 mugs and one sufuria for feeding program
Miracle Day Care                     received 50 mugs and one sufuria for feeding program
Faith Harvest received 45 mugs and one sufuria for feeding program
Joy Day Care                           received 70 mugs and one sufuria.
LAngi Primary                        received 10 tables
New Hope                               received 50 mugs and one sufuria.
Melchizedek                             received 40 mugs and one sufuria
St Vitalis                                   received 120 mugs and one sufuria

All the above were taken care by Mrs. Sue Deans and our deep gratitude goes to her voluntary work. In addition to this Sue had to take care of Wycliffe and the other boys. Wycliffe had been readmitted at the Aga Khan Hospital and has received 4 units of additional blood. Our thanks goes to Shamir Badiani, Darryn Knobel, Natalie, Jennifer and Kathrin Battle for the units of blood they donated when Wycliffe was in need of fresh blood. At the time of admission at the hospital for second time his Hb was 2.4g/dl and after the transfusion it rose to 10.4g/dl

The final diagnosis is FANCONI ANAEMIA. The doctor feels that he may benefit from Haematopoietic Stem Cell transplantation. Right now he is in our care at our Milimani Compound. Jack and Mandela are with him as it is now school holiday time. The Hb dropped to 6.1 on 23 Dec but on 29 Dec in increased slightly to 7.4. This is a positive sign.

God willing he can go back to school in January 2010.

Talking about schools, we received an an excellent report of Jack. He go 4 A and 1 A- and ranks Number 54 in the Nyanza Province and 4th in his school. Jack has always been hard working and brought good results.

March 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

A boy named Wycliff

Like so many others who were never given a chance in life, Wycliff’s  story is just another one of those poverty ridden lives that are overrun by the countless images and stereotypes of glue sniffing, dirt ridden street kids of Kenya. I hate what my country has done to the individual. I hate what poverty has done to all of us. The sound and sight of the child on the other side of the window screen is just as much a part of the decrepit social landscape as is the blaring chaos of insomniac matatu drivers and goats chewing away on plastic trash. And in order to see anything positive in the urban junkyard that our politicians have condemned millions of lives to, one has to look really hard; one has to rip off the layer of thick skin that clouds the eyes of the privileged; we have to shove aside the cliches that act as our protection against the reality of others.

And yes, it was just another regular day downtown Kisumu when we first met Wycliff. I will admit that had it not been for the obliged role of a fixer in search of another shot for the camera and another stereotype to fill a few seconds of film time, I would never have met him, at least not by name. He would have been just another street boy. But, that is what we were there to do. The Dutch filmcrew and myself were out to capture some additional content to put the documentary in context. This is Kenya and Obama is about to be the next President of the US. Of course it made complete sense to find some little street urchin, throw an Obama tshirt on him and ask him what he thinks Obama is going to do for his country.

There is no shortage of subjects when you are looking for a vagabond in Kisumu. Step out of the car and there they are. Carry a camera and there will be at least 20 kids high on glue and ready to share a laugh with you or get out of your way for a small fee. When Wycliff limped around all the bigger guys trying to get our attention, one of the crew spotted him instantly. The fact that this documentary actually had a practical and direct benefit to it through creating new markets for local products made it a lot easier on my conscience. The crew were clearly not here to edit the flies on the faces for a ten second guilt trip amongst the Dutch viewing audience. There was a purpose for this and that made it worthwhile. So grabbing the sensational street kid shot was not as much of  burden as it usually was.

Wycliff had everything the camera was looking for. He was cute and confident and not bombed out of his head on glue. He had a terrible limp. He came straight up to us and immediately said, ‘I don’t want money or food. I need school books. Please.’ Perfect. I said I had a job for him and if he accepted to tell us on camera what he thought about Obama, then we would take him straight to the bookstore and he could choose all the books he needed. Deal? Deal.

When Obama become’s president he will help all of us street children. He will take us away from here and give us food and good schools…

What happened to your leg?” asked one of the film crew

The police were chasing me one evening and I was running across the road and I was hit by a tuktuk…

Ten minutes later we were in the bookstore and Wycliff patiently wondered around and confidently asked the store keeper for a list he knew off by heart and no more. We paid, shook hands and drove away. It was a wrap and we  had evening sundowners to concentrate on.

The following day, we went to visit my folks and told them about our encounter with little Wycliff.  Dad reacted as soon as I described his limp and his approach. “I know him” said my father, “he approached us very politely a while ago and asked us for school books. When I told your Mom about him, she said we should try and get him off the streets but we could not find him after that.”

Could it be true? Could one of these blots in the landscape actually have a character, an identity, be a person?  For my folks, yes but sadly until today, not for me. Years of charity had rekindled my parents sense of being – it comes with a cost though and it had taken its toll on my mother a while ago. For me and I believe for most of us, the most that little boy on the street ever is, is a moment of frustration or pity. Then its over and we get on with our Nakumatt shopping.

That was about two years ago. Life went on for us in the way we know it and like it. For Wycliff, the last two years were the first two years of his life. My folks found him, found out his story, gave him a good wash and he began to live. He had a roof under his head and three meals a day. He went to school and his leg was reset so he could run around and play football like any other 10 year old boy deserves to. He was given what every child deserves: a right to live and a right to have an identity of his own. Wycliff was always special – he had a
look in his eyes of assurity. He knows what he wants and was going to get it. He performs well at school and despite having spent most of his life on the streets of Kisumu, he shed off the hardships and embraced his innate sense of respect and love that still breathed deeply in him. He soon became everyone’s favorite and grabbed Lia’s heart immediately. Lia has been coming back to Kenya regularly to assist the little charity my folks run and when she met him, she insisted on being the one to financially support him. His leg needed a
lot of work resetting as of course he had to live with a broken leg for the god knows how long that had deformed over time.

Wycliff joined the group of boys that Ladies in Action have been looking after for several years. He became one of the extended family members that my folks have adopted along the way and he thrived in his newly deserved environment. I don’t know much about how he has spent his time on a day to day basis as I have had this terrible ability to close out any emotional entanglement with the gutters of our society. In fact, I will be honest enough to confess that despite his new life starting through a coincidental meeting with myself and five others, I rarely asked about his well being. I knew he was in good hands and that was enough for me. I am no different to most of us. Hard skinned and wired to have a short enough memory that will allow myself to enjoy a cappuccino without an inch of remorse while looking at the fleabags sliding their dirty bums and glue plastered lips across the 4wd drive cars parked across from me. Life goes on…

Until Su called a week ago: “Wycliff is very ill and we have had to admit him in hospital…” Like Lia and my folks, Su is one of those exceptional characters that has chosen to devote a part of her life to doing something for the less fortunate of Kisumu. These are characters that are not paid do-gooders. They just do. A few days later, I received an email from Su, copied to my folks who are on holiday in Turkey:

On 11/21/09 8:36 PM, “Susan Deans” wrote:

“Dear Friends,

Sorry to give you such a poor start to the day, but things were bad. My hope this morning was you may get back in time to see Wycliff. However to quote”what a difference a day brings”, he has had one unit of blood, which he should have been given five days ago. He immediately has perked up and the new blood cells are kicking in against the infection, his temperature is down and Grandma Salome with Frederick have been brought by Father Martin’s diver Lucas and they chatted all afternoon.

Father Martin was concerned the family may have wanted him at home, but as he had perked up dramatically, he did not appear like a dying child and in the end this was not an issue. However he is a sick lad, Dr Shiroya is his, taking over from Dr Amolo who we could never pin down. The prognosis is not good, but with regular transfusions and steroids he may carry on for some time. The ultimate cure would be a bone marrow transplant. Not available here I understand.

The diagnosis is leukopenia hypoplasia He also has gardia which has caused the diarrhea. He will be given two more units of blood and all being well will return to Our Lady of Grace when that is completed. Talking to Daktari Tina, our compound pediatrician, l she tells me that cases she has known have the transfusions and do well for a while then they become more frequent to maintain the blood picture. His hemoglobin must be up today as he is a changed boy.

Love Sue”

Does the story end there? It were if it were just a story but I would like to think this flow of disjointed ramble as having a bit more of a purpose, much like the documentary that brought Wycliff to my parents lives.

He needs helps. He needs a bone marrow transplant and Kenya does not do bone marrow transplants yet. He is surviving on blood transfusions but we don’t know how long for. We are willing to do what we can financially do get him out of the country and give him a chance at life but we can’t do it on our own. So yes, I am writing for help. Can you help Wycliff? 

If you would like to help in any way, please email:

November 24, 2009 at 7:41 am 4 comments

Animal Clinics on the Coast with Camp Kenya

Just to provide a brief update on our animal clinic projects which have spread all the way to the Coast. Our son who is working for Camp Kenya has also been running several livestock and wildlife programs in and around Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary and around Tsavo National Park so we decided to make a financial contribution and also provided a large box of veterinary supplies. They ran a total of 13 animal clinics and treated hundreds of goats and cows in an area which has virtually no support for farm animals

As they write in their blog:

The summer season is in full swing and even the goats and other farm animals are not to be spared. Out at Camp Mwaluganje, we have been increasing our community outreach and this season we are running several free animal clinics thanks to a donation of veterinary supplies and about 180£ from a charity called Ladies In Action which will go towards covering part of the vet’s cost.

You can read the rest of this post by clicking HERE

You can also view several photos from one of their clinics by clicking HERE.

We would like to thank the Klara Foundation and their supporters for making the animal clinics a big success. We have now managed to spread from the west to the east of Kenya!

August 25, 2009 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment


mandela & daisy boys july 2009 034When our little Nelson Mandela stood in front of us, my husband was the first one to proudly stand up and say, “THE SECOND BEST STUDENT IN STANDARD SIX!’

When my eyes followed  the direction he was looking at, and finally comprehended what he was reading, it was the badge pinned on Mandela’s chest. My own  chest swelled out so big I could hardly content myself with pride, tears in my eyes. I gave Mandela a hug , and keep on repeating like a broken record, “We are so proud of you”. Mandela had this beautiful smile, looked in good health and taller. We were at his school visiting our four orphans.

Five years ago when we were visiting one of the remote schools as we do as part of our charity work, we were introduced to Mandela.
Mandela, was six years old , with a fragile body had not much energy, to walk and talk, and wore a pair of broken glasses that were so thick, you could not see his eyes. His body language said: let me be, I’ve had enough of this miserable life.

He was the last child of almost a dozen, and is HIV positive. His parents had already passed away from AIDS related illnmandela & daisy boys july 2009 027ess and the rest of the family could hardly feed themselves, and it was obvious he was the one getting the least food, when there was any. Later on, he said his best days at home were when they had a guest and ate rice which was not often. After many days battling with my conscience, we sent for Mandela, (you see we were already fostering six other orphans).

That was five years ago. Now Mandela still wears a pair of thick glasses and he will always will, but he is healthy, happy, and looks wonderful. When he smiles you can see a bright full moon on his face. When I rumble and grumble about , the stress of our charity work, and many times our own children ask me why I do it, I suppose now I have an answer: FOR A SMILE, which feeds my heart with so much hapiness that wakes me up at 3am in the morning .

But before I go back to bed and hopefully to sleep  just one more  very important word to all of you: Thank you for your moral and financial support which helps to bring smiles to the faces of our orphans like our MANDELA and fills our heart with warmth and pride. I hope you are sharing the same feeling with me NOW AND FOREVER.

mandela & daisy boys july 2009 032

July 31, 2009 at 1:21 pm 6 comments

Never a dull moment…

June has been a bit quieter without volunteers and deworming in Nursery Schools.  The Kenya Government carried out an exercise of de-worming primary schools this term . So Ladies In Action and Klara Foundation  has been quite busy de-worming children in Nursery Schools in Manyatta and Kondele.

The Following schools have benefited on the de-worming program

Jenali Nursery School                                   35
Manyatta Faith & Hope                                45
Meeda Home Based Care                            75
Magadi Catholic Centre                                80
Golden Bells Junior School                           70
Exodux Nusrery School                                 80
Little Hearts                                                   28
Citystar Junior School                                   112
Jack & Jill                                                      80
Kings “N” Queens                                         230
Little Angels Nursery School                        55
Voice of God                                                  63
St. Tereza of Avilla                                        40
Gateway                                                         50
Umoja Nursery School                                   40
Precious Nursery School                               88
Britons E.C.D.                                                65
Children of God                                              40
St.Jedidah                                                       50
St. Marks A.C.K.                                           70
Lizpat Juniour                                                66
Millennium Nursery                                      19
Tunnel Nursery                                              50
St. Michael                                                     60

We were approached by a community coordinator in Nyahera requesting a medical camp which was  carried on 20th of June and a total of 259 men, women and children were treated.  There was quite a number of wounds on school children. Assisted by Lataben Shah and Nishaben Haria and two doctors,  Dr. Frances and Dr. Willis, myself and and Tobias Kadonga made this event a success. Our thanks to Lataben and Nishaben who ran the registration and pharmacy .
Ladies In Action have found another run down Primary School called Langi Primary School.  A community meeting was held with concerned community members and the CDF committee . After lengthy discussions the conclusion was that a partnership was formed of three parties to rebuild the entire school which will be funded by Mrs. Shakuntla Shah and her sister Ramilaben Shah (both of Indian Origin). Block making has already started at the school compound.  The partners are Mrs. Shakuntla Shah, Mrs. Ramilaben Shah , CDF and local community.

More goat purchasing was done on Friday 26th June at Kombeywa and 14 women benefited. There is a plan for some more on Tuesday June 30th.
Nyakongo Primary School is now complete thanks to financial support from the Klara Foundation. The school has been very fortunate to receive donations from but Khethshi Dharamshi & Co Ltd of Nairobi which will help us to build a library. The school has already collected materials like sand; ballast; hardcore; murram and bricks. Construction is soon to start.
On Monday June 29th we visited the Gee E.C.D. with the Chairman of CDF.  The population of the area is 5400. Out of this they are estimating 2000 orphans. The 50 children have no class room and are currently using the side of the church plot. The community has agreed to bring materials like sand; ballast; murram; and hardcore; Depending on the availability of funds we shall try to build them a classroom.  The children received clothes and bananas.

July 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

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