CHILDREN from a school in Kenya ‘will think it’s Christmas’ when they open parcels from a Brooklands dental practice.
They include a pair of crutches for a little boy who is unable to walk without his brother’s help.
Maple Road Dental Practice’s ‘Happy Kit-mas’ appeal for sports kit for the Michael James School, near Mombasa, kicked-off at Christmas after the practice staff heard how the youngsters loved football but didn’t have kits to play in.
Generous patients, and Messenger readers, handed in shirts, shorts and footballs, plus raised more than £400 from raffling signed Manchester United and Manchester City shirts.
Altrincham couple, Kath and Mike Blears established the charity-run school named after their deceased youngest son, after being struck by the poverty they witnessed when visiting Kenya in 2007.
They said they were “overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness” in supporting the appeal.
Kath said: “The children will think Christmas has come.
“It will be such a wonderful, magical moment. Only children from the poorest families attend the school and they are football mad since we levelled a piece of ground for a pitch. They’ve all dreamed of owning a kit.
“Football brings such joy – these children have very little, but they love life.
“With space and funds for 60 pupils, only one child per family has a school place and now each will have a sports kit to share with their family and they’ll be so excited.”
Kath and Mike are taking the parcels to Kenya this month, along with toothbrushes and paste, which until recently the children had never seen, only read about in lessons on health.
And they explained the funds raised by Maple Road Dental Practice’s appeal, will also help transform the life of nine-year-old, Amos.
Kath said: “Amos had TB as a baby and his hip joint fused so he’s been unable to walk. He can only reach the school if his brother carries him the 5km journey.
“But he’s always smiling. He’s struggled along on splintered bits of wood but never complained. The money raised by the Maple Road team has bought a pair of crutches for Amos, and another set for when he’s older.
“And it will cover costs for him to stay in accommodation closer to the school. It’s a life-changing moment.”
Maple Road’s clinical director, Ian Hunt, said: “We’d like to thank everyone for their kind donations – patients, the Manchester United Foundation and IPro Footballs.
“Simple acts of generosity have made a huge difference. We know the children walk up to 7km each way to get to the school – one sets off in the dark at 5.30am – so to give them a little happiness, is very rewarding.
“They value the things we just take for granted - water, food, education and clothing – and treasure their few possessions.”