Eddie delivers Christmas gift to Nakuru children

Eddie with one of the newborns sporting a hat and blanket knitted by Minnigaff's Sarah Newton

Eddie with one of the newborns sporting a hat and blanket knitted by Minnigaff's Sarah Newton

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Creetown’s Eddie McGaw made his now annual trip to Kenya in October to deliver donations from the people of Galloway and beyond and help improve the lives of some of Africa’s most poverty-stricken children.

And in an effort to raise vital funds for next year’s trip, Eddie has had a booklet published detailing the 2014 trip.

Visiting the district of Nakuru has now become a permanent fixture on Eddie’s yearly calendar and the support, donations, sponsorship and kindness from people back home keen to help never fails to move him.

Joining him this year were three others from the UK but, for the first time, no one else from Galloway.

Eddie and friends split their time between two causes when in Nakuru - The Walk Children’s Centre and St Jerome’s Orphanage.

During the most recent visit, Eddie and a group from the UK were able to see for themselves where previous years’ efforts have been paying off with new toilets which they helped clean and fit this year, water to a wash basin to allow eight children at time to wash theirhands, two new goats at St Jerome’s Orphanage so the children can have milk, new desks for the classrooms, hats and blankets knitted by Sarah Newton from Minnigaff for the newborn babies in the hospital and clothing from locals - including Creetown Primary School jumpers and t-shirts and Hankook beany hats for the kids at St Jerome’s.

Eddie said: “The toilets have a 25-feet deep pit beneath them which was just a hole in the ground, nothing to stop the smell and flies coming out. it took at least 30 minutes working in that space before you got used to the terrible smell and conditions.

“We cemented around the new toilets and blocked the hole so no smell or insects could get out. There’s no running water there so no way of flushing the stuff away apart from someone pouring water down it.”

The pits can take around 25 years of waste. Yhe group fitted both boys’ and girls’ toilets which were much appreciated at St Jerome’s.

As a return visitor, Eddie has made friends in Nakuru who look forward to his arrival each year - perhaps because his pockets are generally full of sweets and treats donated by the people of Galloway and friends from his football circles!

And this year, Eddie was able to give the mother of one of the youngsters £21 which she used to start up her own business buying and selling food in the community.

Eddie said: “There’s a lot of interest from locals who want to go with me next year, in November. I’ve had about 10 names already which is great.”

Eddie offered sincere thanks to everyone who donated in any form to the trip, and especially to Paul Seymour, Sue Lewin and Allan Welsh.

Eddie’s booklet can be bought for £5 from McConechy’s in Minnigaff and from the Galloway Gazette office in Newton Stewart. If you’d like information about joining the group in 2015, call Eddie on 01671 402148.