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New Life Nyambene Spring 2019

Charles Westendarp

It is with great sadness that we bring you news that the Chairman of our UK board of trustees and one of the founders of our charity Charles Westendarp passed away shortly before Easter.

Charles cared deeply for all of the street children in our care and followed closely each child's educational progress and the ups and downs in their lives. Shortly before he died he was so happy to hear from the staff in Kenya that one of our primary school children Harrison Mwenda had come top in his class in his test results; that one of our teenagers Christine had finished her college course and was already independently working and doing well; and that Wilfred Muthomi - who was the focus of our Christmas appeal - was already in his second month of a three month rehab. programme. Charles was particularly proud of the street children the charity had supported right through the education system and into tertiary education - such as Winifred Kathambi, currently doing her final placement for her teaching degree, and Patrick Mwenda, in his second year of a degree in medicine.

Reacting to the news of Charles's death, our Youth Support Worker Patrick in Kenya explained how the children, with no parents of their own, saw Charles as a father: "We are so sad about the sudden news of the passing of our beloved dad. We are together in prayers in this trying moment...The children are so down but we are still encouraging them. May God bless you and strengthen you."

Co-founder of the charity Miriam Westendarp, speaking of her loss, said: "Charles leaves an irreplaceable gap in our work for the vulnerable children of Maua. Not only did he know them all by name, having visited them often, especially in the early years when we were getting established, but he really cared about them each individually and was constant, persistent and methodical in all the details of their daily needs. His personal generosity was exceptional, particularly when it came to working to bring justice in a corrupt society, whose inadequacies necessarily impact most those at the bottom of the social order."

"It would go a long way towards plugging that financial gap if you would consider a donation in Charles's honour, in memory of his untiring devotion to this work. We have many pressing needs, including our 6 children who finished secondary school in December who are still waiting for the funds that will enable them to go on to college and university courses on their road to independence. They are Martin Kinya, Benson Mwangi, Evelyn Makena, Miriam Mukiri, Fridah Kawira and Joy Waithera."

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Wilfred Muthomi successfully completed his program

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