prosource.it is proud to be the principal sponsor of the Gathimba Edwards Foundation and delighted to extend our relationship with its Founder, Myles Edwards whose passion and enthusiasm has already made a huge difference to many children in Kenya.
prosource.it operates a culture of empowerment and this culture is mirrored in the work of the Gathimba Edwards Foundation. Giving a hand up to some of the most disadvantaged youngsters, the charity's work makes a real difference at the individual level and aims to empower those least enabled to help themselves. The main beneficiaries are those people with no safety net and nowhere to turn and it aims to equip them with the basic requirements of life and offer them the opportunity to have and to craft a brighter future.
prosource.it is inspired by the work being done and wishes the Foundation every success in its efforts to make a difference to the lives of those less privileged.
What inspired the Gathimba Edwards Foundation?
A by chance meeting of two young athletes in 2009 has since led to the development of the Gathimba Edwards Foundation, a charity that prosource.it is proud to be the principal sponsor of.
Myles Edwards first met Gideon Gathimba whilst racing in a 1 mile running event which was organised by his Father, Mel Edwards for the opening of Aberdeen Sports Village in 2009.
(Gideon Gathimba far right, Myles Edwards fourth from right)
Gideon and Myles became great friends with Myles spending many weeks living and training together in Kenya. Gideon had often spoken about his desire to help disadvantaged children in Kenya and in May 2013 the pair saw a real opportunity to turn this dream into reality.
An inspirational visit to the Pavilion Village children's home in Karatina provided the catalyst for them to establish the Gathimba Edwards Foundation (SC044869). The Pavilion Village was home to 22 children at that point - most of whom have either been abandoned or abused by their biological parents or in some cases lost them due to HIV. The home, run by Gideon's close friends Pastor John and Agnes Murage, was in dire straits with no electricity, a lack of food, broken windows and school fee debts meant many of the children were unable to attend school.
(Pavilion Village beds in 2013)
Following that first visit to the home in May 2013, Myles made his way home inspired and determined to help these wonderful people. We are proud to say that all school fee debts have now been cleared meaning the 22 children are back in full time education, with several in college and university. Electricity has been installed along with new pillows, mattresses, stationery, clothing, cooking utensils, new floors windows. In October 2015 the foundation brought 51 volunteers over to Kenya to build a new 16 bed dormitory for the kids. GEF have found monthly sponsors for each of the children's food, clothing, education and shelter. Sponsors receive regular updates, photos and letters from the child they are supporting - something Myles is determined to ensure happens no matter how many children the foundation supports in the future. The foundation now supports 230 children across various parts of Kenya. For more info on sponsoring a child please click here.
"What inspired me to help the Pavilion Village was that despite needing so much they were so humble and proud that they didn't ask for anything", Myles said. "The visit gave me a feeling of determination that I had never experienced before and it was also very clear that small amounts of money would make a life changing difference to these children. It really opened my eyes to the commodities that so many of us take for granted in the UK such as duvets, a fridge full of food, electricity, an education, running water and comfortable clothing.
"My father regularly says that 'if we come across an opportunity to help someone in life, we must do so there and then as the opportunity may not come past a second time'.
This mantra was most applicable when I was in a rural Kenya town called Chaka at the end of 2013. I spotted a young girl, Judy Gathigia, with a plaster cast on one foot, hopping around on a worn-out, bumpy field on which other children were playing football on (part of the Chaka Youth Football Project run by Peter Githingi which the foundation also supports). Despite her impressive efforts to play, she looked upset that she wasn't able to participate fully and especially so when the games moved across a ditch to another field. She was left stranded so I went over and lifted her across to the other pitch. As we left Chaka that day I swore to myself that I would try my best to help the girl.
"Thanks to Peter Githingi we tracked down young girl's mother and were able to donate fully adjustable aluminium crutches to Judy Gathigia. I am delighted to say Judy is now walking with no aid or pain and we are supporting her school fees, uniform and food. Our 51 volunteers also built a house for her in October 2015 as a fundraising to build a home for her and her Mother.
"Children such as Judy may go through their whole life being denied the opportunities that we take for granted in the UK. It will be very exciting to see what Judy Gathigia can achieve and incredible to think that it may not have been possible had she not broken her foot in 2013.
"Our first priority was to fully fund and transform the Pavilion Village children's home into something very special but I am proud to say we are now committed to supporting 230 children and various initiatives across Kenya in areas such as Iten, Karatina, Chaka Kitale and Iruri.
“It was the personal connection and trust between myself and Pastor John that also motivated me to step in with some support. I have always been reluctant to support charities unless it is clear exactly what my donation would go towards so this personal connection is something I wish to remain at the heart of the foundation as it grows.
"There is still a huge amount to be done but together I believe we can open doors and create opportunities that will transform the lives of many Kenyan children."