Christmas gift to Africa needs a little extra help

Kim Ross is presented with a Christmas Shoe box by dance students Harley Brazell-Dunn and Rylie Sweeney.
Kim Ross is presented with a Christmas Shoe box by dance students Harley Brazell-Dunn and Rylie Sweeney.

A WOMAN is appealing for help to get a fantastic cargo of donated goodies to youngsters in an African orphanage.

Hartlepool resident Christine Sneddon decided to help the Cannan Centre in Mombasa, Kenya. She said her heartstrings were pulled after she and three of her daughters visited the centre on a family holiday.

 She decided to help the orphanage children by sending them packages for Christmas, and when she asked for people to donate goods, students at KR Dance in Hartlepool responded in style.

 They filled dozens of shoe boxes with items ranging from socks to vests, pencils to sweets, and cuddly toys to toothbrushes and toothpaste.

 But Christine hadn’t reckoned on the cost of getting the 77 kilo package to Kenya. At the moment, it could be as much as £1,600, she said.

 Now she’s hoping to come up with an alternative. She explained: “I am wondering if there is a lorry that is perhaps going somewhere that way.”

 Mother-of-four Christine, 50, who works as a childcare co-ordinator, was on a family holiday to Kenya in September when she visited the orphanage which has 21 children aged from five to 13.

 She said: “It is rundown and it is also a school for the children who live in the slums.

 “The only clothes that the children have is the pair they are wearing and another pair on the washing line. It pulls at your heart and you just want to protect them.

 “I thought it would be nice to send them something across and put some presents together.”

 When she put forward the idea of gathering goods together, the Hartlepool-based dance studio KR Dance agreed to help.

 The children at the dance school filled the boxes and dance school owner Kim Ross said: “They have been fantastic. I had put up a notice saying to the kids that if anyone was interested, would they help.

 “They have loved wrapping everything up.”

 Christine inquired about the cost of sending out the packages. She said she was quoted a price of £1,600 but she’s now hoping a kind-hearted person may come up with a cheaper alternative.

 “If there is anyone out there who is going to Kenya, perhaps a lorry could take them out for us,” she added.

 Anyone who may be able to help can contact Christine on 07930246397.