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In September 2003, we visited a Primary School in Kenya with a delivery of books and pencils — there were over 300 children in the courtyard to greet us — we were treated like royalty!  The dancing, singing and smiles of the children won our hearts. 

On return to California, we could not get the school out of our minds.  After deciding how we could help, the first thing to be done with our contributions was to fill the potholes in the classrooms.  Our dear friend Tony Church, who lives near the school, kindly took on the job.   

Today, at our adopted Kenyan school, all classrooms have a fine cement floors; the rooms have been plastered and painted white; there is now a library with books about Africa, America, England (including Beatrix Potter books, of course!) and other parts of the world; the roof and exterior of the building have been painted; all rooms have new desks; they now have a playing field, complete with goal posts, uniforms and balls; there is a veranda around the school to keep the dirt out of the classrooms, especially in the rainy season; offices; more classrooms; water storage; kitchen and LUNCHES, new loos, wash basins and shower rooms; metal doors and windows (where there were none), and, a garden to teach them about eco-farming. 

Recently, our major focus is on providing Secondary Education to the top students. Forty-three students have been sponsored into secondary schools in the first two years of this program!

On Rose Tree Cottage Safaris, we always visit the school — members of our groups have contributed books, pencils, posters and funds. The children love to entertain us during our visits and show us their progress — the physical changes in the school as well as their academics!  The student’s pride in their school and themselves has increased proportionate to the attention we’ve paid to them and their surroundings, which is so rewarding for us.

 

It happened one safari...

Rose Tree Cottage African Children’s Foundation

Rose Tree Cottage

Today, one hears a great many sound bytes such as ‘Give back’ and  ‘Pay forward’; and, there is a lot of talk about ‘eco-tourism’.  We believe in all of that and are involved in this role in many ways. 



In England, we are members of various organisations and charities that we believe contribute to the well being of children, animals and the environment in order to ‘give back’ to the country we have loved taking people to visit for the past 25 years.


But, it is Africa where we put most of our ‘give back’ efforts and resources. From our first Safari, when we fell in love with the Maasai children who walked a mile from their menyatta, carrying their little stools to sit under a thorn tree and learn their lessons.  We handed out the supplies we brought — pencils, crayons and paper — all so basic, yet so loved by these little ones! 

We were ‘bitten’.  A Charitable Foundation was begun that would attest to our deep and spiritual feelings for Africa and her people.  Thanks to our patrons at Rose Tree Cottage, friends and many donors, this work is possible.
 
http://www.rosetreecottage.com