Find out more about Footprints by visiting - it will change your life!
Visit us on holiday
- for a day to remember
Let us show you a slice of the 'real' Kenya during your holiday.
If you are staying in the Diani area on holiday we welcome you to visit Footprints Orphanage for the day.
You will be collected from your hotel in the morning and driven the one hour journey up into the rural Shimba Hills, passing beautiful scenery and small villages along the way. Kerry will show you around Footprints Childrens Home and Footprints Academy where you will meet our 'family' of staff and children, and see how we overcome the challenges of our rural location, where there is no mains electricity or water supply.
You will be served a traditional Kenyan lunch and the afternoon can be spent visiting the local village or playing with the children before being taken back to your hotel.
We ask for a donation of 3000 Kenyan Shillings (approx £18-20) per person to cover the cost of transport and food and a contribution to our home.
If you would like to visit Footprints Orphanage for the day, call Kerry on 0711 344 129 or manager Patrick Wanjala on 0722 936 744 on your arrival in Kenya.
If you have any questions please contact us via email: email@example.com.
- stay for a while and make a difference.
Footprints Orphanage welcomes volunteers to stay with us in Kenya for 2 or 3 weeks at a time.
Volunteers will experience life in rural Kenya and get to know the local people and culture. They are able to make a real and positive impact to the children's lives through their support, teaching and care.
Candidates must be enthusiastic, caring and motivated and be over 18 years old. You will have the oppurtunity to...
Transport to and from Mombasa Airport, basic but comfortable accommodation and traditional Kenyan food are provided and we ask for a donation to cover the cost of this.
Further information can be found in our Volunteer programme which can be down
loaded from the 'Download Page' in the menu to the left.
All candidates will be DBS checked. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
A story of a husband and wife who spent some time in 2016 at Footprints.......
I was so profoundly touched by my time at Footprints that I wrote a blog on my return to work to tell my colleagues about our experience. This is what I told them.
When my wife Jo recently gave up her head-teacher job we decided this was an opportunity for us to do something special together. I saved my leave and recently we spent nearly 6 weeks volunteering at the Footprints Orphanage in the Shimba Hills, Southern Kenya.
The Footprints mission is to save and enhance the lives of orphaned, neglected, abused and vulnerable children in rural Kenya who have no place to go and are struggling to survive every day. They aim to give them a loving caring home and a childhood full of hope for a brighter future.
They currently have 30 children in their care – so it is small charity run by volunteers and friends of Kerry Watson, who set it up some 8 years ago. Jo’s school had raised funds for the orphanage for the past 4 years so we already had a connection of sorts. We wanted to go out there to see what we could do to help. Whilst it was obvious that Jo, with 30 years experience of working with children would fit right in, I was a little apprehensive about what I could offer.
All the staff at the orphanage are known as Aunty or Uncle to the children, so I became Uncle Rob to everyone for 6 weeks. How the other Uncles laughed at my feeble attempts to chop and carry firewood although by the end of our stay I was an honorary ‘African’. I had learnt how to make a rope out of palm leaves and carry a bundle of wood (admittedly a smaller bundle than the Aunties). The local community were asking who this ‘mzungu’ (foreigner) was working in the Footprints ‘shamba’ (garden) weeding the sukuma wiki (a type of cabbage). Whilst I threw myself into everything – helping in the kitchen, garden and doing basic maintenance we were there for the children.
Jo and I spent every evening after school and weekends with the children organising and supervising activities such as cutting out pictures, colouring, drawing and other art activities. Teaching the children new games, playing with them, listening to them read and helping them with their homework was a big part of what we did.
In Kenyan all children have their lessons in English and the children were so keen to shown us what they could do – and their reading ability was truly impressive. It was a joy to have so many children want to read to us and we in turn could help them with their English. As my wife said to them ‘how clever you are’ – being taught in English, being able to speak Swahili and also in many cases another tribal language too. I do not think I would have faired too well if my lessons were in French!
Imagine having over 20 children of all ages coming home after school and having to entertain, supervise and help them – at times it was chaos. It is the hardest time for the staff when the children are off school which is why next year we will go out during their school holidays.
The main project Jo and I got involved with was to create an under 5’s play area and a common room for the older children. It was apparent to us that managing all the children in one space was too difficult as their needs are so different. Once we had moved furniture, painted, got all the appropriate resources for each area, done some training for the House Aunties about the need for supervision, there was a suitable place for different aged children. It seemed to work and Kerry was thrilled with the outcome.
I have not mentioned that the children have a traumatic past as that is how they came to be orphans – some parents died of AIDS, some murdered, others suffering from mental illness and unable to look after their children. Some of the children are living with the legacy of HIV through no fault of their own. But Footprints has a family ethos and the children are happy. They are like children everywhere – 3 years olds have tantrums, teenagers can be rude and surly – but that’s as it should be. Normal.
The experience must have been profound, as we are now both to become Trustees for the charity.
But the reason I thought I would write this blog is to say simply that it is worth considering doing something different with your leave. Volunteering is a great way to do that, whatever you choose to do, if you throw yourselves into it you get so much back. Natural England, as an employer is so accommodating in allowing me to be away for that long.
There are so many worthy causes out there but if anyone is looking to raise money for charity please consider Footprints. My wife and I have seen how they are making a difference to children’s lives.
Day visitors bring donations.
Mr Ashit and his family visited Footprints in December for the day. He donated all of these wonderful bags of food.