Retired Weymouth Teacher Changing Lives in Kenya
10:28am 20th September 2012
Over 4 thousand miles away, severely disabled children are going to school for the first time, thanks to a retired teacher from Weymouth.
Andrew Dukes first went to the impoverished Maara District of Kenya with an expedition group in 2010.
Very few children there go to school and those who suffer mental and physical disabilities are kept out of sight by families who feel ashamed.
Andy found the trip so overwhelming he wanted to help so with the help of some friends and colleagues from local schools and hospitals around Weymouth and Dorchester, he set up the Donna Kelly Unit.
There is already one School set up in the area for children with disabilities, but Andy felt more needed to be done.
The Kenyan government pay for the teacher at the Donna Kelly Unit that now has 18 students. Teaching assistants and transport for some children is paid for Andy and his team.
Andy wants to do more to help the rural communities out there and already runs an outreach programme to help the severely disabled children - and in some cases adults - who can't make it to the Donna Kelly Unit.
Mr Dukes says he was shocked to see so many disabled youngsters out there.
Andy is hosting an event next Thursday (27th September 2012) to raise awareness about the Donna Kelly Project. Anyone can go along and it's free to attend. Anyone who would like to find out more or even get involved is encouraged to go along.
The event is being held at Pilgrims House, Hope Square in Weymouth (DT4 8TR) from 7:30pm.
If you can't make it along, you can contact Andy by email on firstname.lastname@example.org OR give him a call on 07786542034.
The School gets its name from a woman from Weymouth. Donna Kelly spent many years working with children with special needs during her life, and her daughter continues that work today.