Today is our last day in Kenya - Blog by Alicia McKee

Today is our last day in Kenya and I have spent this morning packing what little I have left to bring home. I came here with two pretty big suitcases full and will be going home with next to nothing, yet I still wish I could have given more.

During the time I spent with the children at the Island School, I often found myself thinking about my own little boy and how my approach to parenting differs to how its done here. The truth is, there actually is no difference at all. We all want the best for our children, we want them to be healthy, to thrive as much as possible and to ensure they make the most of the opportunities available to them. Unfortunately, the parents here don’t have the luxury of reviewing Ofsted reports and discussing catchment areas to decide what school would be best for their child and this is why its so important that we make this school the best it can be. The parents and the children deserve to feel like they are getting the best start in life and that shaping their own future is possible. Yes, there are other challenges to face but if the children are given a good education in the right environment which nurtures and develops them I believe they can achieve anything.

Its no secret that many of the families here are living in extreme poverty but until I actually saw it with my own eyes, I had never really understood how bad it was. When we first arrived, I was quite emotional and there was a part of me that just wished I could fix everything for them. I suppose that’s the William Hill way really, we see a problem and we fix it. Now I see that this isn’t about fixing a problem for them, its about giving them the tools to do it themselves. Project Africa isn’t just about making a financial contribution, its a long term commitment to changing the lives of this community and educating them on how to sustain it for themselves.

The journey I have been on over the last couple of weeks has been incredible. I have done things I never thought I would do and worked harder than I have in my entire life. To say its been tough is an understatement but I have loved every second and have some great memories that I will treasure forever.

Thank you William Hill for a wonderful opportunity, it has been amazing!

Alicia McKee