Africa / CLA President’s Visit to Shanzu Orphanage, Mombasa
On the morning of Saturday 17 August 2019, I accompanied Council members and members of the Benevolent Committee of the Law Society of Kenya on a visit to the Shanzu Children’s Orphanage in Mombasa.
The Law Society of Kenya decided to support this orphanage and persuaded the conference venue – the Pride Inn resort, to also support the orphanage. Saturday morning was the occasion of the presentation of gifts of money and also of tangible, practical and useful items to the orphanage. The orphanage is run by the Sisters of St Joseph. The Mother Superior and Sisters were on hand with the children to sing a welcome to those from the Conference of LSK who had decided to attend. It was humbling to be greeted so enthusiastically.
We were then led upstairs to a classroom where the children provided more welcome dancing and singing, which was at once hugely impressive and also moving. The Chair of the CPD Committee of LSK, then encouraged those attending to provide additional cash support and an impressive total of 100,000 Kenyan shillings was raised simply by donations into a hat. Combined with a cheque for 400,000 Kenyan shillings collected by Conference delegates there was a hugely impressive overall donation of 500,000 Kenyan shillings and the Sisters and children were clearly overwhelmed by this remarkable generosity.
After more singing and birthday cake presented to one of the LSK Council members we then proceeded outside when the hotel gifts were provided and a group photo was taken.
However, the events of the morning were not yet concluded as the President of LSK – Alan Gichuhi, was invited to plant a tree, which he did most impressively – refilling the large hole which had been excavated for this purpose.
I was also both surprised and delighted and humbled to be invited to plant an additional tree in another similarly sized hole and my toiling with the task of refilling the hole must have been noticeable as I was then assisted by CLA Council member for East Africa – Maria Mbeneka, who provided some welcome assistance. There had been great care taken in advance to prepare a board marking the planting of the trees by both President Gichuhi and me, and it is gratifying to think that in the grounds of the Shanzu Orphanage the tree will grow and develop and bears a plaque signifying that the CLA were present on that occasion.
I thanked the LSK for allowing me to participate in this magnificent act of their corporate social responsibility. The generosity of the LSK was manifest and hopefully will leave a lasting and enduring legacy for the Shanzu Orphanage and will also allow the LSK to maintain a continuing level of support.