3 million people are estimated to be living in Kenya with mental disabilities…and of these, fewer than 1% are receiving an education*
(*source: Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped)
Primary school children with mental and physical disabilities find it impossible to cope in typical class sizes of over 100 pupils; yet these are the lucky ones – many such children don’t make it to school at all. Reasons for this include:
Social stigma – parents choose to hide their children away from society, believing their disability to be a curse on their family.
Vulnerability – many children are locked away for their own protection.
Lack of hope – most parents do not understand that, with support, their children can be educated and live fulfilled lives.
Kivuli Trust was set up because we believe these children have a rightful place in society. We built the hostels for the children at Gilgil Special School to ensure that they have a future.
Our hostels act as safe havens, providing children with regular meals, proper beds and the care and support that they deserve and thrive upon. We work in partnership with local government who provide the classrooms and specialist teachers.
Our aim is to teach these children essential life skills such as brushing their teeth, cleaning themselves, washing their clothes and performing simple chores about the home. The helps them to become more readily accepted into their families and into their communities.
Who we are…
Kivuli Trust is run by volunteers. We ensure that every donation goes directly to the projects.
Paula Pape. Paula was pivotal in setting up the Gilgil Special School. Without her, Kivuli Trust would not be here. For many years, she oversaw the operations of the hostels and helped ensure that the highest standards were in place. She sadly passed away in April 2023, and the trustees continue to honour her by ensuring all the great work that she did, is built upon and the highest standards are maintained in her name.
Ryan Pape. Ryan was born and raised in Kenya and has been Chairman of Kivuli Trust since 2008. His main focus is on the construction and maintenance projects, which he is able to oversee from his base in Nairobi. When not supporting the work of Kivuli Trust, Ryan is Country Manager for CBRE Excellerate in Kenya.
Georgie Harding-Newman. Georgie has been involved in various community projects in Africa since 1998. In 2005 she spent a number of months assisting in the Special Unit of the Gilgil Township School in Kenya. Georgie has fundraised for various charities, including Raleigh International and a 2004 Tsunami Appeal.
Liz Turnbull. In her previous role as Head of Community Action at Oundle School, Liz first visited Kenya and Gilgil Special School in February 2014 with teachers from Oundle School and The Phoenix Special School in Peterborough. She has visited a number of times since then and has set up the Kivuli child sponsorship programme in conjunction with Rhoda. Liz has organised a number of fundraising initiatives for Kivuli and trips for visitors from the UK to see the work of the staff and meet the children. Her own three children have also visited and each sponsor a child. In retirement, Liz now spends more time out in Kenya with her husband Nick.
Katie Yiannakis. A resident of Kenya for over 10 years, and in Gilgil for 7. Katie has previously worked in the charity sector in the UK with the aim to build skills and capacity and has worked across many different sectors as a fundraiser and bid writer.