Christmas In Kenya For Kind-Hearted Joan

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Joan O’Regan with The Board of Governors of St Philip’s Secondary School in Kitale, Kenya and Yolanda Chakava.

ONE Tralee resident has decided to give up her comfortable Christmas at home to go to Africa in order to bring vital supplies to a school in northern Kenya.

Joan O’Regan, originally from Ballyheigue, now living in Castlemorris, is raising funds for her solo run to St Philip’s Secondary School in Kitale, Kenya by organising a cake sale on December 9, at the Bon Secours Hospital, from 9am to 3pm.

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Along with the cake sale, Joan has also been appealing to schools in the area to donate supplies.

While travelling, Joan is allowed to bring two suitcases, one of which will store as much supplies as it can hold for the school.

Joan’s involvement with St Philip’s Secondary School, came through her son Jack, who lives and works in Kenya. His fiancee, Yolanda Chakava runs a charity called, Haki Water, who provide safe water to disadvantaged people in Kenya.

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“People have been very supportive of what I’m doing,” said Joan. “A little effort from me could make a big difference to a lot of people, it is a bit of an effort, but I have a lot of very good friends who are helping me out,” she said.

“This year, I wrote to the school to ask what kind of practical things I could bring out, so I’ll be bringing over, paper, chalk and stuff for the science labs, things like that. I’ll bring as much as I can in the suitcase and anything after I will buy when I get to Kenya,” said Joan.

Two years ago, Joan organised a fundraiser for the upgrade of the water supply in the school and raised €7,700. That money brought pure clean water to the children of St Philip’s with the knock on effect being a huge decrease in doctor call outs to the school and overall a much better environment for students to learn in.

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