Scots builders complete African mission for orphans

Runner Myles Edwards (front) with children at The Pavillion Village in Katarina and Kenya
Runner Myles Edwards (front) with children at The Pavillion Village in Katarina and Kenya
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A team of workers from one of Scotland’s largest house building firms have returned from Africa where they built two homes for orphaned and abandoned children in Kenya.

The Stewart Milne Group flew 19 employee to Africa just over two weeks ago to build a 16-bed dormitory and a three-bedroom house for the Gathimba Edwards Foundation.

I cannot believe how much the Stewart Milne guys achieved in such a short space of time.

Myles Edwards, 1500m runner and charity founder

The roofers, plumbers, joiners, site managers, factory operatives and technical supervisors from the firm have now returned to the north east after completing their mission in the impoverished village of Katarina.

One of the charity’s founders, Myles Edwards, Scotland’s 1,500m championship runner, praised the “really special bunch” who worked on the job.

He said: “I cannot believe how much the Stewart Milne guys achieved in such a short space of time.

“Thanks to their efforts we now have proper accommodation for 20 more young people. The tradesmen worked tirelessly, choosing to opt out of visits we had arranged in order to get the job finished.

“They are a really special bunch, a credit to themselves and to Stewart Milne Group. All they cared about was using their skills to change the lives of the children in our Pavilion Village.

“The charity and these families in the village of Katarina will forever be in their debt.”

As well as providing the labour, Stewart Milne Group also sourced and shipped around £4,000 worth of tools to carry out the work.

These tools have been donated to the Gathimba Edwards Foundation and are being stored on site, ready for use on the next construction project.

Myles added: “We will now not need to buy tools in the future and can instead spend the £4,000 on helping to give Kenyan children a brighter future.”

The Gathimba Edwards Foundation was set up by Myles and Kenyan international athlete Gideon Gathimba to transform the Pavilion Village children’s home in Katarina.

It is home to 23 children who have been orphaned or abused or abandoned.

Pavilion Village suffered from a lack of food and basic facilities, including electricity, as well as crippling school fee debts.

Fund-raising by the foundation has made dramatic improvements and thanks to Stewart Milne Group and over 30 volunteers from the UK, the majority of the children are now properly housed.

Glenn Allison, chief executive of Stewart Milne Group said: “Everyone at Stewart Milne Group is immensely proud of our employees whose efforts made sure that the two new-builds were completed in two weeks, making life so much better for so many young people. They received tremendous support from colleagues before and during the trip which has made this a very satisfying and memorable initiative to mark our 40th anniversary.”