It was a whirlwind few days for Regina, our Social Development Manager when she visited Scotland last month. Regina’s jam packed schedule meant she managed to spend time in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Falkirk and Bo’ness; all within a week!
After a long journey from Nairobi and a good nights sleep, Regina’s first stop on her Scottish tour was Edinburgh where she visited the Aridhia and Johari UK office. Aridhia employees as well as pupils and staff from George Heriots School heard Regina talk about the Miale Projects and the various ways funds raised in the UK help support our social development and enterprise projects. Afterwards, Regina experienced her first British Afternoon Tea sampling the wonderful home baking made by Aridhia employees. Based on the multiple visits to the cake table we think she enjoyed it!
The next day Regina spent visiting Scottish Equity Partners in their Glasgow office. SEP are currently running a two year fundraising campaign to help in establishing the Miale Small Business Start Up Project. This will enable young adults on our Miale Projects to learn new skills and develop their own small business. SEP staff were very interested to hear about the projects progression and were encouraged by Regina’s dedication and enthusiasm.
“Regina’s visit to SEP was really inspirational and has made us appreciate how important our fundraising pledge for the Miale Start Up Project is to Regina and the young adults. Just the injection of energy and enthusiasm we needed!”
On Saturday morning Regina spent time with the coaches and kids from Giffnock Soccer Centre at their pitches in Glasgow. GSC have been supporting Johari for a number of years both financially and through donations of football strips and boots. It was great for the coaches and children from GSC to meet Regina and hear how their donations have helped the kids and young adults on our Miale Projects. Regina also watched some of the younger children during their Saturday morning training sessions!
On Sunday Regina met with teachers Vickie, Joanne and Alan who visited the Miale Projects in Kenya in 2013 . Their respective schools; Graeme High and Bo’ness Public have developed a strong relationship with Johari. They spent the day sightseeing in Stirling and enjoyed some lunch and a catch up! Regina loved learning about the history of Stirling Castle.
For the next two days of her trip, Regina spent time at Graeme High School in Falkirk with Vickie and Joanne. She had the opportunity to observe various classes such as Art, PSE and Drama and learnt about the Pupil Support systems they have in place; something Regina felt should be more present in Kenyan schools. She also enjoyed a lunch with Vickie and the pupils from Cute as a Button Craft Group who make various jewellery items to sell and raise funds for Johari. Another exciting aspect of her time spent at Graeme High was meeting the staff and pupils from the 'Bike Academy' which is a great initiative helping pupils to develop skills in bike maintenance. Regina came away with lots of ideas on how to establish a similar scheme within our Miale Projects and is looking forward to developing our relationship further with Graeme High. After school Regina managed to make a flying visit to the Falkirk Wheel before dinner with Vickie and Joanne!
On the second last day of her visit, Regina visited Bo’ness Public School with Laura and Ruth where she spent time in various classes including the Primary Three’s who have been busy fundraising for Johari over the past few months. Both staff and pupils loved hearing Regina talk about Kenya and they had lots of questions for her, especially ones involving African animals! Regina also got the chance to learn some Scottish Country Dancing before she left BPS! It was then straight off to dinner with Lesley Carroll, H.T at Grame High with Vickie and Joanne where Regina experienced her first taste of haggis and our national drink; Irn Bru! She loved it!
As quickly as she’d arrived it was time to head back to the airport to catch her flight back to Kenya. A jam packed week but we’d all had a great time catching up and developing future projectsThe schools and organisations she visited were all very encouraged by her enthusiasm and found it beneficial to hear first-hand how their support is helping the children and young adults on our Miale Projects. Regina made a great impact on the people she met and they are all inspired to continue supporting Johari. However it wasn’t just the people Regina met who benefitted from the visit. Regina was overwhelmed by the warm welcome she received from everybody she met during her week in Scotland.
“I want to express my deep appreciation for the support and the great times we had during my visit. It was the trip of of a life time and was a wonderful learning experience and a real eye opener. I consider myself very fortunate for having a chance to get such an exposure and I really value the knowledge and insight gained and your willingness to share it with me. Visiting the schools and organisations who are helping to support Johari have truly inspired me to work with sincerity and dedication. I feel more energized than ever and am looking forward to sharing my experience with our Miale kids.Thank you once again to all for this great gift.”
Regina Wambui - Johari Social Development Manager