Scots gran bakes 500 trays of tablet to help Kenya family living on beach

Margaret visited Kikambala last autumn

Margaret visited Kikambala last autumn

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WHEN Margaret Bayne heard that a homeless woman and her four children had been squatting on a beach in Kenya for five years she instinctively knew she had to do something to help.

Following a conversation with a friend who raised money to build a school in nearby Kikambala,a coastal community in Kilifi County, the retired social worker from Perth decided to put her formidable tablet making skills to the test to raise money to buy the destitute family a home.

Margaret in her kitchen.

Margaret in her kitchen.

Mrs Bayne set to work and made nearly 500 trays of Tablet – a Scottish delicacy similar to fudge - in her kitchen over the course of two years.

The grandmother of five sold the sugary treat to friends, acquaintances and members of the public in Perth and Dunfermline and managed to raise £5,469.

The astonishing feat means that Elizabeth Charo and her children, Philip, 14, Kezia, 12, Daniel, 10 and Caroline, 7, now have a roof over their heads.

Handymen in Kikambala, an hour’s drive from Mombassa, erected the basic but functional brick property in the grounds of Jack Well’s School that was bankrolled by the Perth fundraiser and Dawn Ann Halliwell.

Margaret Bayne

Margaret Bayne

Mrs Bayne, who battled through personal health problems to continue fundraising, explained that she named the two roomed house, which will soon have an outside dry toilet, porch and be painted white, Vanilla Cottage because she used the sweet essence in her baking and cottage is a Scottish word.

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She and her husband Bruce travelled to Kikambala last Autumn to meet and hand over the keys to Elizabeth who was left overwhelmed and speechless by the kind gesture.

Mrs Bayne, who is a member of the Church of Scotland, said: “I learned about Elizabeth and her four children through Dawn Ann Halliwell who has been building this school in Kikambala Kenya since 2010.

Margaret said she was thrilled and gobsmacked by how much she had raised

Margaret said she was thrilled and gobsmacked by how much she had raised

“She told me of the mother and her children squatting on the beach and I wanted to help.

“It touched my heart and I knew that I could really make a difference to the lives of this family.

“I am a Christian and believe that God has plans for all of us so I asked Dawn Ann how much would it cost to build a house.

“And I said I could make tablet to finance it.

“But I was told I was mad and it could not be done but I was determined to help this poor woman and her children who were living on a beach 20 minutes away from the school with no shelter.”

Mrs Bayne said she was very thankful to all the people who sold and bought her tablet for this worthy cause

She admitted that she was “gobsmacked” that she had actually managed to raise enough money to pay for a house in Kenya.

For more charity stories please visit The Scotsman Giving Back

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