Outside interest: Kenyan nursery school support

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 2 Mar 2016

Duncan ChadwickDavid Lock Associates' partner Duncan Chadwick supports a nursery school called Jipe Moyo, Swahili for 'place of hope', about 30km outside Mombasa, Kenya.

How did you get into supporting Jipe Moyo?

A good friend of mine, Anke Jenkins, was raising money for the school about five years ago through a Canadian charity called A Better World Canada. I was inspired to help try to make a better life for Kenyan children and the wider community.

What does it involve?

There has been fund-raising, which is important, but I have also been out to Jipe Moyo three times in the last four years to take out books, work in the market garden and help build a new toilet block and outdoor play facilities at the school.

Why do you do it?

I do it to try and do something to improve the education, quality of life and facilities in this rural part of Kenya, where about a third of the kids are orphans living with other family members in pretty poor conditions. The kids now have uniforms, books, pens, teaching and a meal a day; this is in stark contrast to what they had when the charity first started work at Jipe Moyo. Everyone is always happy to see us and grateful, which is kind but so humbling.

What’s the toughest thing about it?

We are helping 120 children and about 200 families around Jipe Moyo but this is just one small community with many, many others suffering poverty, deprivation, no electricity, no running water and little or no food each day. There are parts of Mombasa that are some of the worst I have ever seen anywhere in the world.

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

To see progress and improvement at the school is great, as is seeing children get the best results, as education is seen as the key to a better future in Kenya. To have made so many friendships with people at Jipe Moyo is also very rewarding.

Are there any similarities between your day job and your outside interest?

In a general sense, working with people, dealing with growth and development and building communities are similar to both. In a practical sense, project management by working with builders to make plans and projects deliverable, viable and then implemented properly is also similar.

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com