Kenya orphan appeal launched in St Ives

THE image of a woman walking several miles to allow the severed head of her husband to be buried near his family has led a St Ives man to launch an appeal for people in Kenya. A campaign has been started to help victims, and especially orphaned children,

THE image of a woman walking several miles to allow the severed head of her husband to be buried near his family has led a St Ives man to launch an appeal for people in Kenya.

A campaign has been started to help victims, and especially orphaned children, of the ethnic violence which began following the country's disputed elections.

Former teacher Jonathan Salt is managing director of Ojemba Travel, based in St Ives, which specialises in study tours to Auschwitz in Poland.

He received a plea for help from a friend in Kenya. He and the Kenyan bishop, the Rt Reverend Philip Anyolo, studied theology together in Innsbruck, Austria, in the 1980s.

Mr Salt said: "Philip was faced one morning with 30 children on his doorstep looking for help. One woman walked to a displaced persons camp in Homa Bay for several miles, carrying the severed head of her husband in a basket to ensure that at least his head could be buried in his tribal homeland.

"Many of the children there have witnessed the most awful scenes. They have seen their parents butchered. They need help to begin a new life.

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"Money is needed to help settle them into educational and therapeutic programmes, and also to settle them into new families.

Reverent Anyolo added: "We already have a high prevalence of HIV infection and many orphans, and now with the violence as well there are a lot more children to look after.

"Unless we can organise workshops and education these young people who have arrived with us might lose direction totally. We would appreciate anything that anyone will give to us."

Jonathan Salt, who taught religious education and German at St Ivo School and St Peter's School in Huntingdon, has set up a bank account called Aid to Kenya.

"These children need our help," he said. "We cannot begin to imaging how traumatised they must be, and our help is needed to help them recover and prepare for a peaceful future in Kenya. Philip is a very genuine and spiritual man, and would not make this appeal were it not really necessary. Any help you can give will be very gratefully received and the money will be going directly to those in need in Kenya."

Huntingdonshire secondary schools, St Ivo, Hinchingbrooke, Longsands College and St Peter's have already pledged their support.

INFORMATION: Donations maybe made at NatWest in St Ives. The bank account number is 1753 4941 sort code: 60.18.17. Cheques can be posted (made out to Aid to Kenya) c/o Ojemba Ltd, First floor Chapel House, Chapel Lane, St Ives PE27 5DX.

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