Friends of Londiani celebrates in style at the Kenya Ball

21 April 2011

The seventh annual Kenya Ball, took place on Saturday 16th April 2011.

The Ball, which raises much needed funds for community projects in Kenya, is the flagship fundraising event for the charity and saw people from all over Ireland descend on the Maryborough House Hotel & Spa in Cork. They were joined by Her Excellency Catherine Muigai Mwangi, the Kenyan Ambassador to Ireland; Lorraine Kingston, Deputy Lord Mayor and 6 teachers visiting their link partner schools.

The theme for this year’s Ball was based on one of the organisations most successful projects - the ‘Healthy Schools Programme’ which Friends of Londiani in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education implement in schools in Kenya. The aim is to reduce environmental risks to children’s health that arise from the settings where they live, work or play. During the night, a video of the work of this charity, highlighted how the Healthy Schools Programme empowers students to address the health issues in their schools through Student Clubs. A simple idea with far-reaching effects.

This school programme demonstrates the inter-related nature of the work of FOL. Founded in 2002, FOL works in North West Kenya on sustainable community projects in the areas of Water, Health and Education. Friends of Londiani are committed to contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in accordance with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The Healthy Schools Programme intertwines all those key ideals into one programme for children.

Volunteering was emphasised as one of the foundations of FOL by Maria Kidney, Chairperson of FOL during her address. In this the International Year of the Volunteer, FOL is delighted to announce that this year 5 volunteer projects will take place with almost 100 volunteers from 6 countries. Martin Ballantyne the Executive Director said “to see volunteers ranging from late teens to late 60’s joined together with Kenyan communities, working to a common goal is a wonderful thing and volunteerism in Ireland remains strong”. The atmosphere at the Ball was electric with Carrigtohill Gospel choirs singing, The Big Band, Kenyan dancers and volunteers reminiscing about their amazing trip to Kenya.

FOL was delighted to have members of Cork Chamber of Commerce, Midleton Chamber of Commerce and Cobh Chamber of Commerce at the event.