Meet the finalist: Gathimba Edwards Foundation

Gathimba Edwards Foundation, one of our 2019 Elevator Award finalists in the Enterprising Communities category, turns FIVE this month. As the charity celebrates this milestone we caught up with Founder, Myles Edwards, to hear more about the charity’s journey to date and how he feels about being nominated.

Congratulations on being nominated, how does it feel?

To be nominated for an Elevator Award for the second-year running is a huge honour for our team, our supporters and our children. It is something we are very proud of and do not take for granted. 

Happy fifth anniversary! How has the charity developed over these five years?

'Asante sana' -thank you in Swahili. GEF has developed in many ways over the past five years. From a couple of friends trying to raise funds for 22 mattresses we have grown to support 372 children, built 34 houses, provided children and their families with counselling, seminars, sports coaching, holiday camps, business start-up capital, farming projects and also employed 10 people. We work as if it is still the beginning of our journey, there are so many more children in need in Kenya and in Aberdeenshire that we believe - and know - we will support one day. 

What motivates the team to get out of bed every day?

There is no shortage of children who need our support. Every moment we sleep is a moment that we could be doing something to change the life of a child and their family. 

Your determination to change the communities and lives of others you operate in is truly inspiring. What challenges have you faced along the way?

A major challenge for us is raising enough to match our ambitions. We know of so many children who need our support but without enough funds we can’t change the situations they are in. We work day and night to raise as much awareness and funds as possible to create safer environments and brighter futures for each one. There are also many other challenges on the ground in Kenya. Sometimes our team has to play the role of parents to many of the children who have perhaps lost their parents, been abused or been abandoned. Alcohol addiction is also a huge problem for many adults in the areas we work in and this brings challenges when we try to deliver support to the children. However, our team understands the strengths and weaknesses of the communities here and always finds a way to get the support to the right destination. 

As a finalist in this year’s Elevator Awards, what benefits do you see as being nominated for an award such as this?

The benefits are two-fold. Being nominated for an award of this stature gives us motivation and confidence that we are working in the right way and will continue to do so. It also provides us with priceless awareness which in turn can generate support that gets our children off sleeping on the mud floor and into comfortable beds, new houses and to school to get the education they deserve. 

 

For a full list of nominees, visit our finalist page. 

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