1st Fressingfield Scouts’ trip to Kenya will help ‘build a bridge’

Stephen and Tony from Mother's Mercy Home during their visit to Suffolk this year. ANL-151012-114442001

Stephen and Tony from Mother's Mercy Home during their visit to Suffolk this year. ANL-151012-114442001

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The leader of a north Suffolk scout group says a trip to an AIDS orphanage in Kenya will help “build a bridge” and “break down cultural misconceptions”.

The 1st Fressingfield Scout Group will visit the Mothers’ Mercy Home on the outskirts of Nairobi for the second time in three years for a fortnight in Easter of next year.

The idea is that this will be repeated constantly so we build this bridge between Kenya and the UK and break down these cultural misconceptions

Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne

A link between the two organisations was established nearly five years ago.

While in Africa, members of the scout group, who sponsor children in the country to go through school, will camp in the compound, engage in teaching English, work on the farm, go on camping trips and help organise sports events for their Kenyan counterparts.

Two children from the Mothers’ Mercy Home also enjoyed a visit to Suffolk as part of the programme in the summer this year.

Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne, scout group leader, said about £20,000 was needed to fund the three-year cycle including the trip, adding they were “well on the way” to achieving the total.

“The idea is that this will be repeated constantly so we build this bridge between Kenya and the UK and break down these cultural misconceptions,” he said.

“For the young people, it is life changing for them. It means they appreciate the differences and challenges they have got, particularly at the moment with different things happening with terrorism.

“On an individual basis it will provide both sets of young people opportunities to develop themselves, such as leadership skills and communication skills that, both here and in Kenya, increase their employability significantly.”

n The next fundraising events involving the group includes the 1st Fressingfield Gang Show at Stradbroke High School, tonight at 6.30pm.

The 1st Fressingfield Scout Group will also be bag packing at the Morrisons store in Victoria Road, Diss, on Saturday, December 19, and Sunday, December 20.

n For more information on the group visit www.fressingfieldscoutgroup.org.uk

n Got a story? We would like to hear from you. Email editorial@dissexpress.co.uk, or call 01379 658002