Welwyn Garden City teen helps out in the slums of Kenya

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 July 2013

Beth Kirby handing over pencils to Good News School in Kibera, Nairobi

Beth Kirby handing over pencils to Good News School in Kibera, Nairobi


AN 18-year-old girl is braving Kenyan slums and gruelling conditions to visit youngsters benefiting from a Welwyn Garden City charity.

Beth Kirby flew out to Africa a few weeks ago, and will meet all 47 kids TheRedRubberBallFoundation has helped get secondary school education.

Her father, Neil, founded the charity last year and told the Welwyn Hatfield Times how proud he was of big-hearted Beth.

The 51-year-old, of Welwyn Garden City, said: “This time she is on her own and she has spent two or three days in the slums.

“You almost can’t prepare for what it is going to be like. She has spent three days as a teacher in one of the schools, it is just a little primary school helping English and maths.”

Neil said the conditions in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, which is the largest in urban Africa, are hard to fathom with a railway line bisecting the shacks.

He said: “The conditions are just grim. It is loud and it smells.

“Beth said she had to walk down the railway and she asked someone ‘what happens if a train comes?’ and they said ‘you just jump out of the way’.

“The railway line is six inches from the houses, and when I say houses they are tin and wood shacks.”

While she is in the country Beth, who is awaiting her A-level results, will undertake a 225-mile journey to Nairobi, Nakura, and Mundeka before heading back to the UK around August 6.

As well as visiting the Kenyan youngsters supported by the charity, Beth will stopover at a farm and could even meet Barack Obama’s grandmother, Sarah.

Neil said: “It is brilliant because it was her idea to go out.

“She has also done stuff with the guides and helps out Applecroft Primary School [in Welwyn Garden City] when she is on holiday.

“She is really good with little kids and goes into other schools [during her travels] out there.”

For more information on the charity log on to www.redrubberball.co.uk/foundation/

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