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Keith Rowe (1970-2002) has been involved in East Africa since 1991 when the now General Lord Dannet rang him and suggested he might like to take some Cadets to Kenya to join in the Green Howards training.

Keith’s response was very much the affirmative, but he did point out that it would be of huge educational importance if they could also undertake some sort of Aid Work.  This is where the Army stepped in to give their full support for whatever Aid work the CCF undertook.  It is therefore from here that he set up support work for the Nanyuki Orphanage and the Disabled Children’s  Unit at the Nanyuki Primary School.

From this time until Keith left the College, small groups of Cadets were taken to Kenya (usually 8-10 in number) to carry out construction and improvement work at the two sites - for example building two play areas , set up a shower unit, fitted out a classroom for the disabled children, set up a simple Kitchen and Food preparation area and financed and helped the Royal Engineers to build two classrooms at the Nanyuki Orphanage

Each trip always ended in a week’s Safari in the Aberdare Mountains and the Rift Valley around Lake Naivasha.  Keith believes that over this period of time over 100 Scarborough College Cadets made the trip to Kenya.

Since leaving the College in 2002 he has worked as a senior Youth Worker with the North Yorks County Council and made two more trips to Kenya, again sponsored by the Army.

In 2008 Gail & Keith moved over to West Yorkshire to the village of Luddenden where they now have a variety of animals on their 3 ½  acres of land.  After they had been in the village about a year Keith got involved with the Wakefield Diocese Support Project  for the Mara District of Tanzania.  He was then asked to be the Parish Link Officer for the Project and first travelled out to Tanzania 2010 to set up a Link with the village of Mmazame, not far from Lake Victoria.   The village was very much in need of help, as the support  given is centred on the village Church, which  has been fitted out and is now very much used as a community building.

The basic ethos of the project is to work with the villagers to help them to become self-sufficient.  To raise money for the project they have involved the two local Primary Schools as well as Rotary and a large number of individuals.  This ethos of working together is the basis of all that they do, it is the two communities working together to get to know each other and learn from each other all summed up in the Swahili phrase Bega Kwa Bega (Shoulder to Shoulder)

Since 2010, small groups of adults from the Luddenden area have travelled out to Mmazami to work with the villagers on a variety of projects.   These include setting up a water harvesting system from the Church, finance the sinking of a well in the village.  Setting up a solar powered power system in the Church, starting a nursery school for the 3-7 year olds. Building a house for the Parish Priest.  Setting up a community sewing project for the woman of the village so that they can earn money for their families.  They have also set up a Community Goat Farm so that again the villagers can begin to earn some money from the sale of excess milk.  The Project has  also financed the construction of five small shop units so that the products of the sewing projects and goat projects as well as produce from the newly started Market Garden can be sold to passers-by to bring money into the village.

It was the last trip that Bishop George Okoth of Musoma took Keith aside to inform him that in recognition of what he called the unique approach to Aid Work that they had developed around Mmazami, he would like to grant Keith the status of Lay Canon  of Musoma Cathedral.  Musoma is the Regional capital of the area, and that is where the story ends so far.

Many congratulations to Keith. Well-deserved recognition for years of important work in East Africa.