Forty children aged five to 10 have started school for the first time thanks to the efforts of a group of four Redland people who have just built two classrooms in Kenya.
Sue Shearman of Thornlands said she had to help after taking her son to Mozambique in 2004.
“I was overwhelmed by the poverty we saw and could not come away without doing something to help. My husband and I started sending goods over to the children and soon after started a sponsorship program for orphans in Rwanda,” she said.
Ms Shearman said this led to becoming a registered charity Precious Little Diamonds Inc through which orphans in Kisumu Kenya could be sponsored.
“Our vision is to build an orphanage, school, medical centre and community centre as funds permit,” she said.
In June, Ms Shearman and husband Ross, Brad Given and Ruth Linskey will travel to Kenya to provide beds and mattresses for children to sleep on. They also are setting up a woman with a sewing business and supplying food as part of a feeding program for the widows.
“As the colder weather arrives, the children sleeping on mats on the ground become sick. Many are sleeping on mats on the dirt floor and with the cold weather coming sickness becomes a big problem,” Ms Shearman said.
“One of the highlights for the children will be a lunch party with food like fish cakes, samosas, hot chips, soft drinks and cakes kindly donated from another Queenslander with a produce farm and bakery in West Kenya.”
Ms Shearman said she had been on mission trips to Mozambique, Philippines and Kenya since 2004.
The group is connected with Pastor George Okuta who now runs the PLDI team in Kisumu and looks after the children with his wife Jacky. All donations over $2 are tax deductible and can be made via preciouslittlediamonds.com