Founder Kerry Watson - My Story
I was born in 1964 to Peggy, an unmarried mother who gave me up for adoption. At 8 weeks old I was adopted by Sheila and Ron who later divorced, however during my early childhood I grew up in a loving environment. I had many questions about my biological parents, which throughout my life brought me many emotional issues which I fought to deal with and had to finally accept.
It was after this 'dark' period of my life in 2007 that I took time out from my own personal life to work as a volunteer in a remote village in Kenya which was affected by severe poverty. My time was spent helping at a local school where I interacted with the teachers and children, trying to understand the difficulties facing families and communities in the rural village. I was humbled by the community’s relentless hard working daily life, without electricity and running water and their efforts to find food and water to survive day to day.
The plight of children in Kenya is overwhelming; many have been orphaned as a result HIV/AIDS and wander the streets alone in towns and villages, begging for food. Some are abandoned by their parents because they cannot afford to feed or care for them.
The experience was life changing and I returned to Kenya in January 2008 with a vision to build and sustain a home for children who have not only lost their parents or been abandoned, but lack even the basic needs of shelter, food, water, education, security and a sense of belonging to a family life. After purchasing an acre of land from a local farmer I came back to the UK to begin the huge task of fundraising and convincing people here in the UK of the difference we could make to a few of these desperate children.
The 'journey' began and it took nearly 3 years of determination, hard work, self-belief and the support and encouragement of many people in the UK and in Kenya but in April 2010 Footprints opened its doors to its first five children.
It’s been an amazing personal journey with many challenges but nothing is as satisfying and rewarding as seeing children with so much trauma in their early lives, smile and laugh again and have security, happiness, success and hope for the future.
I have been blessed with two very precious children of my own, Lee and Lauren, and I am now a grandmother to Lauren's daughter, Macey.
With my own children Lauren and Lee - 2010
My vision becomes a reality.
With my beautiful
Making the vision come to life!
In the beginning every day was a stuggle, fetching water, caring for all of the children's needs and building.
Now in 2019 Footprints cares for 40 children with love and commitment.
Who will the coming year bring in to the family?
Uncle Patrick has been instrumental to the development of Footprints as the Manager.
He enjoys spending time with the children and developing the home.
Recently, he has developed the farming projects and overseen the refurbishment of the matatu and purchase of an SUV, making getting around much easier.
With so many children there is always so much to do.
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Footprints Orphanage is a registered UK Charity. No. 1126967