From Collie to Kenya

Helping hand: Collie local Lauren Jackson has called on the town's help to donate shoes and hearing aids for people in rural Kenya.
Helping hand: Collie local Lauren Jackson has called on the town's help to donate shoes and hearing aids for people in rural Kenya.

A TRIP to Kenya inspired local woman Lauren Jackson to reach out across the world for a noble cause. 

Ms Jackson called on the community to help collect good-condition shoes to send to people in rural Kenya. 

The 21-year-old University of Western Australia graduate is also collecting pre-used hearing aids for a Kenyan charity to refit for deaf children. 

Ms Jackson said she was inspired to help whilst volunteering as a teacher in the African nation last year on behalf of International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ). 

“I raised quite a bit of money when I was over there – about $4000 – and I gave that to the children,” she said.

“I came home and decided that I wanted to do more when I was over there and so I ended up starting a charity which is registered in Kenya and my host mum and dad are also part of that charity as well as two American girls that were also living there.” 

She said she and her fellow volunteers were humbled throughout their stay by the local community’s kindness.    

The charity, The Children of Maasai Educational Programme, has linked with Pemberton-based charity The Three Musketeers Children’s Fund to send goods and services to Africa. 

Ms Jackson said the comparisons between Kenya and Australia pushed her to help people and communities in different places.

“Something that Collie has in common with that Kenyan community is that it’s really close-knit and people know you are and will help each other out,” she said. 

“In Collie someone might get you firewood and in Kenya someone might buy you a chook.

“I have a passion for helping other people, maybe that comes from living in Collie, and I think there is a lot of need in the world that we can help out with.”

Ms Jackson collected a total of 94 pairs of shoes for the latest shipment over the past couple of weeks, and thanked everyone for their support. 

Ms Jackson said the charity is developing a scholarship for a person of primary school age in Kenya designed to cover their school and university fees. 

This story From Collie to Kenya first appeared on Collie Mail.