Jack Petchey Achievement Award : October winner

Monday, 09 November 2009.
Jack Petchey Achievement Award : October winner

Congratulations go to Bethany Mill (10H) for being nominated and chosen as this month’s winner of the Jack Petchey Achievement Award.


Bethany was nominated by her friends for ‘having a big heart, always smiling and being happy to help others.’ Her major achievement though, is through her work this summer at an orphanage in Kenya. This is her story:

“On 27 July, 17 people from Cornerstone Church in Black Notley and me, travelled to an orphanage in Karundas, Kenya. The orphanage is set up by a charity called ‘kidsalive international’, that has also established many other orphanages in countries all over the world.

Before we left we did a lot of fundraising to be able to buy all the supplies we needed to refurbish one of the three houses the children live in. The house we were decorating was called Rebekah House. There are roughly 85 children at Karundas; the ages can vary from newborn babies to adults in their early twenties. The house we decorated was home to the three youngest girls there and all the boys, aged three to ten.

When the team arrived the house looked awful, it was very dirty, the beds were falling apart and there were drawings on the walls. First we met the children, then, on the next day, we took all the furniture out the house and started to sand, clean and paint. After a few days, when everything had been painted white, we started painting the walls with white gloss paint and some walls with bright colours. While outside the wood from the old furniture was being used to make new cubby holes for the children as they didn’t have their own space. When it was all painted, that is walls, ceilings, floors and doors, we put together and brought in new bunk beds and put nice clean bedding on them.

On our last full day there was a grand opening of Rebekah House and each child their received a package of presents. They were all thrilled and very happy. Throughout the two weeks that our team was there we all played with the children and did our best to show them that they are loved and appreciated. It was an amazing experience and I’m so grateful for this eye opening opportunity.”

Bethany fundraised £280 herself to contribute to the two week venture. The kidsalive charity recognises that education is vital and funds the orphanage school. Children are educated for 6 years at the school, which also educates children from surrounding villages, not just the orphanage. Children live at the orphanage into adulthood, with some orphans attending university, but still have the orphanage as their home. Many local children start up their own businesses to sell items, like clothing they make, in the local markets. It is not easy for them to make a living and it is often a 3 mile each way walk to and from markets. However, with no companies nearby to employ them, they have to earn what they can themselves.

Bethany has donated her £200 to the kidsalive international charity and its representative, Mrs Sue Gillingham, has expressed her delight at the gift.