On Saturday 19 November, 26 members of Lewisham Scout District’s Kenya Team gave a presentation at Deptford Lounge of their trip to Kenya this Summer. The aim of the trip was to work with the charity Harambee for Kenya which has set up two safe houses for homeless street children in different parts of the country.
The packed hall of parents, supporters and distinguished guests heard from the young people of the team about the work that had taken place to help maintain safe houses and to improve their facilities. The audience also heard details of the three day camp laid on for 60 former street children and their investiture as Scouts at the grave of Scouting’s founder, Lord Baden-Powell.
Nathan, a 16 year old Explorer Scout from Forest Hill spoke during the presentation about going out onto the Kenyan streets at night to see first-hand the plight of homeless and desperate young people. He said he was delighted that they were able to take three young boys back with them to one of the safe houses where they would find a new home, security and an education. He added “Knowing that we have been able to affect these children's lives in such a great way is, in my opinion, one of the best things that we have all taken away from this trip.”
Brooke, a 16 year old Explorer Scout from Bellingham, said “I have so many great memories of the trip and I made so many new friends; I also got to see a lot of things, from wild animals to how people live in Kenya”. “I was pleased I could help to make a difference to the lives of others.”
It was the best three weeks of my life and I would love to go again!
Lesley Dann, one of the founders and a trustee of Harambee for Kenya, praised the work done by Lewisham District Scouts and explained how its involvement had made a very real and positive impact on the lives of the children they were supporting. She very much welcomed the fact that the Lewisham team is planning a similar trip to Kenya in 2020. She also added that ‘those boys will never forget you’, demonstrating the lifechanging impact that this experience has had on the young people over in Kenya.
Lewisham Scouts’ District Commissioner Vicki Armitage said ‘Scouting is also about bettering ourselves, it is about growing ourselves and knowing how the world can affect us, not just how we can affect the world. So as well as the boys in Kenya, who have a life changing experience and their lives improved, I hope that you guys have had a life changing experience too. I know that a lot of you have grown from this. So thank you guys for all the hard work that you have put into this.’