A great celebration for Kenya!

30 April 2012
FOL celebrated in style last Saturday April 21st 2012 in the Maryborough House Hotel & Spa. The Kenya Ball is one of the main fundraising events for FOL and this year it was an extra special occasion as FOL celebrates 10 years of community partnerships. FOL have worked with communities in Kenya since 2002 to develop sustainable programmes that enable people to achieve an improved quality of life. Over the past 10 years, almost 400 volunteers from Ireland and other parts of the world have travelled to Kenya to work with the communities there on making improvements to conditions of health, education and provision of clean water. Friends, families, supporters, donors and invited guests were welcomed to the ball by Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald, Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork who started the evening off with words of welcome and support for the work of FOL. The Kenyan Amabassador was represented by Ms Kasiva Mbithihi, other guests included the FOL board of directors and representatives of Friends of Kipkelion, a UK based partner to FOL. FOL were delighted to have Anna Mainek and her husband, Wilson Langat, attend the ball during a two week visit to FOL in Ireland. Anna is the country director of FOL in Kenya and she and Maria Kidney, chairperson of FOL, spoke during the evening about FOL’s model of community development and how FOL sees itself as a catalyst for development, creating opportunities in which development is allowed to flourish. They shared stories with the guests which illustrated real changes that have come about in the communities since FOL first began to work in Londiani. Anna spoke about her own experiences as a member of the first women’s group that FOL met with in 2002 and how important empowerment and ownership are in helping communities to realize their dreams. FOL have established strong partnerships over the past 10 years with communities in Kenya and in Ireland, other NGO’s, Kenyan government ministries and volunteers and supporters in Ireland and in many other countries. This 10th year of FOL is a year to celebrate these partnerships and build on the relationships that have formed and are making a real difference to the lives of the people in Londiani, Kenya. Guests of the 8th annual Kenya Ball danced the night away to the music of She’s Electric and DJ Niall Cloake.