William Hill is committed to working closely with a remote Kenyan community to provide them with a clean water supply, medical and educational facilities.
We believe this will significantly improve the lives of the children and adults of Ol Maisor, a small village in northern Kenya, home to Samburu, Turkhana and Kokoyo tribes.
Our October 2013 team had some hard acts to follow as the previous three teams (October 2012, February 2013 and July 2013) had really pulled out the stops at the school and their efforts meant that we had built three houses for teachers, renovated many classrooms and built a library for the school and local community. We are delighted to confirm that yet another team of William Hill colleagues did what we do best and made it happen at the Island Primary School. You can learn more about the personal experiences of the team in our blog section www.williamhillprojectafrica.org/project-africa-october-2013/ but it’s safe to say the team left the school having completed more houses for teachers, built a kitchen complete with bio-gas, set up a crop farm, gave lessons on dental hygiene and the importance of clean water as well as assessing the older children to make a decision on who would be sponsored through secondary education.
During this visit we built three more teachers’ houses and helped set up a crop farm on the school grounds.
We also trained the children in the benefits of clean water and set up rudimentary water taps around the school for hand washing.
We also had the two classes take exams in maths and English so we could ascertain the children we would support through secondary school.
We also set up a new kitchen to replace the crumbling twig and mud hut the cook, Celina, currently uses.
A hard working team from retail and UK Group built more teachers houses in the summer of 2013. We took more books for the library and met the two librarians who had been away to train at the nearby town, Rumurvti.
Our trip doctor, Peter, made sure every child was de-wormed and he set up a walk in surgery to treat the locals whilst we were there.
Most people cannot afford to visit the doctor and Ol Maisor does not have its own doctor or dentist – the nearest are in Rumurvti 20 kilometres away.
We also took a professional cameraman with us, Claudio Von Planta, who captured our progress on film.
The next group of colleagues went to Ol Maisor four short months after the first. The group consisted of William Hill people from the UK, Bulgaria, US, Israel, Manila and Gibraltar. During this trip we decorated and stocked the library and built a house on the school grounds for the headteacher, as well as building school buses. We also bought new leather shoes for every child – for many children the first shoes they had ever owned as well as a ruck sack filled with essential school items.
The first time William Hill team spent two weeks in Ol Maisor and made great progress during that time. The main task was to build a library, a five metre square Library! They managed that and more as they also built a Head teachers’ office and Staffroom, built plenty of desks and painted every classroom.
The group committed funds from the William Hill foundation to renew every floor of the eight classrooms. This work took place after the group had left the school and the new concrete floors replaced the dirty and stone floors.
Robbie Savage, the William Hill Foundation Patron, was part of the team and he enjoyed teaching football skills to the children.
We also gave the school a smart new bell.
The children and local adults love the library we’ve built. (October 2012 Project team) Building the library has been a huge success. It’s become the hub of the community and we’re seeing children from other schools using it as well as adults. At weekends there is a queue to get in! The school is waiting for electricity to come to the area and then the library will open till 9pm. Fundraising and donations by William Hill colleagues, friends and suppliers has meant we have been able to grow the stock of books at the library and we will continue to do so.
The work to provide clean water to the community is well underway. Essentially rain water will be captured by oversized gutters that will drain into a series of 10,000 litre water tanks. The water tanks will have a bank of taps on them that the children will use to access clean water.
The school will also have two 600,000 dams that will capture the overflow from the tanks as well as pumped water from the nearby river, which is polluted and is the only water the locals currently have access to.
This water will be purified by a simple filtration process and will allow the whole community access to clean water.
Secondary school education is not free so we’ll sponsor two of the top children from Island School when they leave. We’ll pay for their education, board and living expenses in time for the new school year next February.