‘For Men To Talk’ founder, Luke Newman, has returned home from Kenya where he helped build a better future for children living in a deprived environment. Luke, 41, has visited Nakuru, 85 miles north of the capital city, Nairobi, six times previously, but this being his first time since 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After heading to the Rhonda slums of the city, Luke visited West End Academy with other volunteers from Derby County Community Trust, including his Dad, Steve, from Gamlingay and brother Paul, formerly of Sandy, and his nephews Max and Fynn.
In two weeks, the team were able to help dismantle an old kitchen and design and construct a new one to help with the feeding programme in the school. This is extremely important, as for some children, this is the only meal that they will have that day.
They were also able to build a playground, with swings, and help with the start of constructing a double storey classroom.
Luke is the founder of ‘For Men To Talk’, which gives men with a mental health illness, such as anxiety, grief and depression a chance to talk with fellow sufferers and last year he designed, wrote and self-published a book titled ‘The Mental Health Moles’.
“During a break, I took the eldest class and talked to them about the importance of talking to family, friends or teachers about how they are feeling, especially if they were feeling low,” said Luke. “They all shared copies of my book and together they read a few of the chapters out loud. It was a beautiful and humbling moment. From the feedback that I had from the children later that day they got a lot from the book and discussion.”
The team also visited five homes of some of the school children and witnessed the tough conditions, such as no electricity and no clean water, that they live with on a daily basis. Many children, some under the age of 5, walk for over an hour to the school everyday to get a good education. Many of them have five or six people living in a 8 foot by 8 foot mud hut, with a single bed.
Having to raise over £2000 every year is extremely tough and Luke thanks all those who have contributed to that amount, especially Matthew Eden and Jim Eden from Eden Tyres & Servicing for sponsoring his shirt.
Luke has written a day-to-day blog on his trip and can read on the ‘For Men To Talk’ website at http://www.formentotalk.co.uk/our-founder-in-kenya-2022/
Derby County Community Trust are just one of a number of groups that partner with over 20 schools in developing areas of Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar with African Adventures and will be returning to Kenya in 2023. For more information, please visit https://www.derbycountycommunitytrust.com/fundraising-and-events/rams-kenya