Letters to Destiny Garden School

A few of our sponsors, or their children, write to their sponsored child at Destiny Garden School and we try to make sure all the children in the class are involved as we don’t want any to feel left out.  The letters are therefore addressed to the whole class and the teachers often used them as a teaching aid, not just for practice in English, but also for geography and general knowledge.  We do not expect sponsors to write letters and the number who do is very small, or just very occasionally; we would not be able to cope with many more! The Charity has produced guidelines on writing letters to sponsored children.

Trustee Nick’s Visit to DGS – July/August 2018 

Trustee, Nick Burton, visited Destiny Garden School with his wife, who is a teacher, and his two teenage daughters – see this link for his full report and further photos. Nick was representing the charity whilst his family did a week’s voluntary work at the school. Nick said the week I spent at DGS was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things I’ve ever done. I think all our feelings are summed up by a couple of comments on our daughters’ Instagram sites. Polly said that, in spite of their circumstances, the children were smilier and happier than any she’s ever seen. Maddy said the school was one of the most positive places she’s ever been, filled with the constant sound of children’s laughter.’

Guillermo and Marta visit DGS – 7 May 2018 

Architect Guillermo, who helped design the new Dining Shelter and Library, and his new bride, Marta, visited Destiny Garden School during their honeymoon.  He said “we had a really good time at DGS, and it was lovely to see the children and meet the teachers and staff.  The days that we were there we bought breakfast for the whole school and Marta gave a masterclass to the older kids about drug abuse and HIV. The kids are really aware of this issues and how easy is for them to get into.  The charity is doing a great job providing all these children with an education. Marta and I would love to come back in the future to stay longer.”

A new Dining Shelter and Office/Library – April 2018

The new Dining Shelter and Office/Library is now completed and in use. Destiny Garden School and the charity Destiny Children were very fortunate that volunteers from two top London firms – architects Allies and Morrison and engineers, Arup – gave up both their time and expertise free of charge to design the Dining Shelter.  A generous private donation and grants from the Rotary Club of Knutsford and the Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust enabled us to fund the project.  More photos and details about the construction can be seen on   this link.

Classroom Refurbished During the December 2017 Holiday

During the recent school holidays all classrooms were refurbished thanks to a generous donation from a local Mombasa company. All classes have been repainted, six are now fully tiled and four have new desks. The transformation is amazing!

First Dance Raises Funds for DGS – 16 September 2017

Nicky and Conrad Kelly, keen supporters of Destiny Garden School, Mombasa, came up with a novel way to raise funds for the school – they asked their wedding guests to pay a pound to select the music for their first dance.   ‘All My Loving’ by the Beatles came out of the hat and proved to be very appropriate!

From this initiative enough funds have been raised to provide a nutritious school lunch for all 470 children at DGS for 3 days.  This will be a great help and our  thanks go to Nicky and Conrad and their guests.

 

Treats for the Children at DGS

A few sponsors have sent funds via the charity for a treat for their sponsored child’s class or for the school as a whole.  We try to make sure all the children in the class or school are involved as we don’t want any to feel left out.  Funds have gone towards buying a cake for the class, often for their child’s birthday, or a gift such as a pencil or book each, or a special lunch for the whole school with meat or fish, or fresh fruit;  something they rarely have.   This is not something we expect sponsors to do but the occasional treat or gifts for the children brings much excitement and joy, as these photos taken this term show!

Letters to Destiny Garden School

A few of our sponsors, or their children, write to their sponsored child at Destiny Garden School and we try to make sure all the children in the class are involved as we don’t want any to feel left out.  The letters are therefore addressed to the whole class and the teachers often used them as a teaching aid, not just for practice in English, but also for geography and general knowledge.  We do not expect sponsors to write letters and the number who do is very small, or just very occasionally; we would not be able to cope with many more! The Charity has produced guidelines on writing letters to sponsored children.

A new incinerator for Destiny Garden School – March 2017

A generous donation from the Rotary Club of Knutsford has enabled Destiny Garden School to build a much needed incinerator.

Previously the school dealt with its waste by burning it on an open bonfire.  The new incinerator will now provide a safer and more hygienic environment for the school and children, and will have many benefits which include reducing the dangers of fire outbreak,  reducing smoke pollution, assisting in disease control, controlling rubbish and maintaining a tidy school compound.

Our thanks go to the Rotary Club of Knutsford.

Swing into Spring Ball – Saturday 11th March 2017

A very successful event organised by keen supporter, Elizabeth Wright, which raised over £2,000 for Destiny Garden School. Hollin Hall, Kerridge, proved to be an ideal venue and the fabulous live 9 piece Band – ‘Bring on the Swing’ – certainly got everyone swinging.

Many thanks to Elizabeth and her helpers, and to all those who supported the event.

Tracy’s Challenge – The Results!

Tracy Norton's Challenge

Tracy Norton’s Challenge

A huge thank you goes to Tracy who raised over £2,000 for Destiny Garden School – this will be enough to provide a nutritious school lunch for all 420 children for 11 weeks.

Tracy raised these funds by challenging herself to “live on £1 a day” for 21 days. We asked her how she achieved this:

What made you decide to do this particular challenge? Why Destiny Garden School?

It was completely spontaneous! I have supported the school for a few years and always look forward to the newsletters and updates. When I received your email about the funding problems DGS were having due to the drop in the exchange rate and how Destiny Children might not be able to fund the school lunches beyond March or April next year, I felt compelled to do something to help. I spent a few hours racking my brains thinking of things I could do (sponsored run, cake bake etc) then decided that given it was all about providing food for the children, I would repeat a challenge we did in the office last year to live on a pound a day and this time, extend the time from 5 to 21 days and see if I could get people to sponsor me. I never expected quite so much support and it has been a very humbling experience.

We are very lucky here in the UK. We have unlimited clean drinking water and the shops are crammed full of every type of food we could ever need. To think that the money we have raised (about £2,000) will help to feed the beautiful children at DGS for an extra 8-10 weeks is such a great feeling and I am hopeful this will help the school through a difficult patch and the exchange rate will level out in the meantime. What I love about supporting Destiny Children is that I know for sure that all the money raised goes directly to DGS and that it makes a real difference to the lives of the children at the school. That’s so important.

What was a typical day’s menu?

Breakfast – a pear or a banana or a small bowl of porridge oats (made with water and a small handful of frozen berries)
Lunch – lentil, tomato and potato soup or  instant noodles or split pea soup
Dinner – veggie chilli and rice or veggie curry and rice or stir fried rice and veg

Did you suffer from lack of energy or fatigue?

Not at all. I actually ate very well for the whole 21 days.  I think it helped massively that I eat a mostly vegan, gluten free diet normally anyway so I didn’t need or miss expensive products like meat or cheese etc. I ate a LOT of lentils, potatoes and rice!

Did you lose any weight?

Yes, I lost a total of three pounds in weight and to be honest I felt great. I ate very healthy food for the full 21 days and drank gallons of water.

What did you miss most?

The biggest thing I missed was my coffee.  I had a few days of caffeine withdrawal headaches in the first few days and I got really fed up of drinking plain water in the last week.

veggie shepherds pie

veggie shepherds pie

How difficult was it?

I would describe it as challenging rather than difficult. I really had to think it through and plan what I would eat.Everything was cooked from scratch and I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen prepping and cooking. I cooked big batch quantities at the weekends (veggie chilli, soup etc) and froze individual portions for lunches and dinners in the week.

I got a bit bored with the restricted range of ingredients – it all became a bit ‘samey’ after the first 10 days, but I certainly didn’t go hungry and it really opened my eyes as to what’s possible on a limited budget (with a bit of creativity!).

I absolutely couldn’t have done this if I hadn’t used the dried herbs and spices from my cupboards – I’m no good with bland food!

Would you do it again?

Yes definitely! If I thought it would help, I wouldn’t hesitate, but unfortunately, I think I have may have exhausted my pool of sponsors as I approached absolutely everyone I could think of.  I was blown away by everyone’s generosity.

I know you did one large shop at the start of the challenge – what was on your shopping list ?

  • Tinned tomatoes x 3
  • 1kg bag of frozen chopped mixed veg x 3
  • 750g baby potatoes
  • Baked beans x 2
  • 1kg bag of cheap rice x 3

    Veggie Chilli

    Veggie Chilli

  • 1kg porridge oats
  • 500g dried green lentils
  • 500g dried red lentils
  • 500g dried split peas
  • Supermarket own brand decaffe coffee
  • 400g frozen mixed berries
  • 250g dried marrowfat peas
  • 2.5kg potatoes
  • Bag of onions
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • Fresh ginger
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 red pepper
  • A bag of pears, net of satsumas and a bunch of bananas
  • And 5 packets of 18p instant noodles!

Total : £ 19.92

I used my own cooking oil plus various dried herbs and spices from my cupboard.

I also spent another £1.05 in the last week on a small bag of potatoes (69p) and a sprig of broccoli (36p) leaving me with 4p over!

Can you let us have some of your recipes?

Unfortunately, I am not sure about the recipes for the veggie chilli and the lentil soup as I generally make things up as I go along and am notoriously bad at trying to write recipes down for people (I never measure anything and I just kind of throw things in whilst going along!).

I managed to make lentil falafels, home made ‘chips’ (technically chip shaped roast potatoes!) and some home made veggie sausage or burgers made with left over veggie chilli or veggie curry mixed with mashed potato, onions and bound together with oats.

African Evening – Saturday 8th October 2016

A very successful African Event took place on Saturday 8th October and raised enough funds to give all 420 children at Destiny Garden School a nutritious midday meal every school day for ten weeks!  The fantastic Kontaani Drumming Troupe treated us to a thrilling session of African drumming to get us all into the spirit of the evening, and Sens, an African dancer, got folk up onto the dance floor to have a go at African dancing. In keeping with the African theme, there was food from North, West, South and East Africa, together with an African quiz, an auction of African handmade items, a film clip of DGS children demonstrating a traditional African dance, and a  game of Elephants and Lions!   A night to remember for years to come. Our thanks go to all those who made it such a success and to the United Reformed Church for their wonderful venue.  Link to see a video clip of the event 

New Desks for DGS – 3 May 2016

Destiny Garden School children return back to school today after their April holiday and thanks to kind donations some will have a new desk. Making the desk units has provided work for the local carpenter – they are designed for 2 pupils but often have to be shared by 3 or 4 pupils. The School still needs another 24 Desk units.

A Cooking Pot for DGS – 4 February 2016

Donations from three of our supporters enabled Destiny Garden School to buy a much needed cooking pot. Photos show the DGS cooks hard at work producing a school lunch for all 420 children.

Letters to Destiny Garden School

A few of our sponsors, or their children, write to their sponsored child at Destiny Garden School and we try to make sure all the children in the class are involved as we don’t want any to feel left out.  The letters are therefore addressed to the whole class and the teachers often used them as a teaching aid, not just for practice in English, but also for geography and general knowledge.  We do not expect sponsors to write letters and the number who do is very small, or just very occasionally; we would not be able to cope with many more! The Charity has produced guidelines on writing letters to sponsored children.

King’s School Pupils Raise Funds – 14 January 2016

Year 5 pupils from The King’s School, Macclesfield, raised funds at their Christmas sale which have bought much needed security lights and fire extinguishers for Destiny Garden School in Mombasa. These items are essential for the safety and protection of everyone at Destiny Garden School and our thanks go to all the Year 5 children for raising so much.

Black and White Ball – Saturday 5 December 2015

A very successful event organised by keen supporter, Elizabeth Wright, which raised over £4,000 for Destiny Garden School. Adlington Hall Hunting Lodge proved to be an ideal venue and the fabulous live 9 piece Band – ‘Bring on the Swing’ – certainly got everyone swinging.

Many thanks to Elizabeth and her helpers, and to all those who supported the event.