We marvel, daily, at the amazing people in our own community who continue to work so selflessly in helping others. Take a look around and it doesn’t take long to notice; from the smiles on the faces of the amazing team behind the counter at Co-op to the teams shopping for you and sorting out your orders at Spar @ Hogshill, to the carers who daily go about their business looking after the most vulnerable, to the refuse collection teams who work hard to keep our town going – during such a difficult time! But there are more people that may not always be visible to us, doing extraordinary things, helping those who have far less than we do, and in areas far beyond our borders.
This week, we shine a particular spotlight on one person making a huge difference to a charity in Kenya, from right here within our own Community.
Daisy Russell is a joyful, spirited, beautiful soul who is currently working closely with the Beaminster Community Resilience Team to help those who desperately need support in and around Beaminster. But Daisy’s story and love of life has taken her to places all over the world where her desire to make a real difference to those who need it most, continues to shine. So, it was no surprise that when the team needed extra hands on deck to help with the support of vulnerable people in Beaminster’s community, Daisy was front and centre offering her help wherever she could. But Daisy’s journey takes her far beyond just Beaminster.
Having just returned back from an unforgettable trip to Kenya where Daisy volunteered at the local Kimta School in Kibira, a renowned slum in Nairobi, home to over 1 million people, Daisy has shared her story with us, and tells us more about the charity involved in helping African children who are disadvantaged through economic poverty, where projects include the provision of food, shelter, healthcare, education, life-skills and emotional support.
Working With Boo Charity
The Boo Charity, running from it’s headquarters in Hampshire, was setup in memory of Sarah Hicks, who spent much of her time in Kenya and sadly lost her battle to cancer at the young age of just 36. The aim of Boo is to provide children with care, whilst nurturing and developing opportunities to lift them from poverty so that they no longer need to rely on charity. A virtual, internet based, low running cost charity, they rely on a team of volunteers to help further their desire to make a huge difference in the lives of children who are struggling, and it was through the Boo initiative that Daisy decided to get involved.
The Students at Kimta School
The volunteers work with the school providing school textbooks, uniforms and has also started a food program at school where children receive breakfast and lunch. For many children, they simply wouldn’t have a nourishing meal if it wasn’t for initiatives like the Kimta school supplying a meal.
All of the students are trained in business studies and agriculture which not only provides a solid education foundation to enable them to progress into the school curriculum, but also are trained on important sustainability initiatives that enable them to become self-sufficient through knowing how to grow their own food, run their own business and more.
And once the students are employed, or have started their own businesses, Teachers remain in contact with them to continue the development of their personal confidence, professionalism and to continue growing as individuals.
Apart from the school life, Boo also runs & supports a number of other initiatives which includes a Life Skills Centre in Nyamache, a small village on the outskirts of the vibrant town of Kisii in Nayanza Province, providing critical support on things like life skills, vocational skills and micro-business skills.
Daisy tells us about a wonderful Hair & Beauty course run where they currently have 32 students enrolled where the salon offers services to the local community, bringing in financial revenue to be able to self-sustain and teach their students more about running a business, as well as a General Fabrications course which teaches students how to repair doors and windows and other critical trades.
How Daisy continues to make a difference
Although she may not physically be in Kenya, Daisy is still very much making a difference to help causes far beyond Beaminster’s borders. Forming unforgettable relationships with local students and fellow teachers, and families in Kenya, Daisy continues to do whatever she can to support the charity work and in particularly, raising funds and doing whatever is necessary to supply much needed food parcels to all those who need it. “I’ve had a wonderful response from people so far, not just from a donation point of view but just through encouragement in what we’re doing and how we are able to use various support networks already existing in our own communities here in the UK to support those even further afield,” she says.
And while she’s in Beaminster working alongside the Beaminster Community Resilience Team, Daisy still continues to run regular meetings online and doing whatever she can to ensure that people aren’t being forgotten about during such a difficult time.
We ask Daisy what else she needs and she tells us, “We are currently looking for more volunteers and people whom want to get involved with this amazing charity. Our biggest need is to help raise awareness of the plight of the people in Kenya. At the moment, while the usual projects are ongoing, the most critical need is food. As with so many other countries in need, especially during this lockdown period, the team and I are organising food parcels to be sent to families who live in the slums and who now do not have access to any meals. Families are quite literally starving while their movement is heavily restricted by government, and the message we’re trying to get out to our supporters is that for only £4, you could feed a child for a month, or for £20 you could feed a family for a month (and this includes sanitary items too!). Unfortunately, they are not receiving any government support either – so this is absolutely heart-breaking for many of us who have had the chance to work and live with these amazing people who are now struggling to survive!“.
For more information about Boo, visit their website here or, get in touch with Daisy directly on 07872 991 607
Well done, Daisy. You’re making us proud!