The Three Hills Action Trust is a small charity which helps to support an impoverished village, Neema Nguuni, in Kenya. It focuses on the health, welfare and educational development of the children and the adult community.
The village is out in the Bush, more than an hour’s drive North of Mombasa (and a lot longer when walking!) and to the west of Shanzu and Mtwapa (see where is it?). It is in the district of Nguu Tatu which means “Three Hills”.
The Trust was founded in 2010. Since then we have piped water to the village, set up a food programme to ensure the children get a well balanced meal every day, built a Nursery School , built latrines, set up adult literacy classes and a Women’s Group and much more.
We are delighted with what has been achieved in only three years but we need to do much, much more.
We want to help the village and also the district of Three Hills to develop. We don’t want to engineer social change nor manipulate to suit our rather than the villagers’ objectives. We want to do things at a sensible pace working with the villagers and in the words of an important colleague in the village, achieving success: “One hill at a time”
These are our main objectives
We began with a limited aim to help the schoolchildren but this has developed into broader objectives to help the village and also the district of Three Hills to develop.
We wish to assist the villagers and their neighbours to improve the health of all and the education and welfare of the children and the Community by, for example, helping:
- the provision of village school buildings, teachers and teacher training, learning materials and of course the necessities of food and clothing for the children
- to develop further, adult literacy and educational programmes, skill development and self-help ventures
- to continue to fund the supply of potable water and irrigation projects directly or via other charities
- to resource group activities especially sports for the young and adolescents by providing essential equipment and support
- to help to facilitate community projects
- to help provide improved sanitation, medical care and guidance eventually to extend support to other schools and villages in the area.
How we started
In November 2009, Jim and Marian were enjoying a safari holiday but were the only members of their party to volunteer to journey up country to the village of Neema Nguuni in the district of Nguu Tatu (in English: “The Three Hills”).
What they saw and heard disturbed but moved and enthused them:
- There was no direct water supply and women had to travel to collect a vessel full of fresh potable water
- Children attended school often exhausted and mainly for the small bowl of weak porridge which was their only meal of the day
- The school was open to the elements with a small mat provided for the children to rest
- There were almost no facilities connected to the school and the teacher was neither qualified nor trained
- Animals were distressed and weak from lack of food and water
- The land was arid and far too dry to grow sustainable crops let alone enable them to sell any surplus
- Sanitation and Health were poor. There was no local access to medical care.
Despite this people seemed resilient and hardworking. Jim was especially moved by an enthusiastic but sick child called Nickson who was not helped as none could afford the treatment. In addition to being determined to help, Jim shared a passion with Nickson (both are obsessed by Chelsea football club!)
When well enough, Nickson walked a round trip of over 10 miles to watch his beloved Chelsea on the nearest TV! The memorabilia Jim has sent has given Nickson pleasure he could not have imagined. Needless to say other children and adults support other teams. Nickson now is a thriving, strapping, lad! (Please see The enjoyment of life).
Immediately after returning Jim and Marian began to persuade, cajole and enlist others to support, raising funds ready to support the objectives of what has become the Trust. Above all he sold the pictures he’d painted and was both amazed and gratified with the money paid and the appreciation of the quality of his work. As a result prints were made and sold.
They soon enlisted members of the family who have provided ideas, this website and the logo etc.; neighbours and numerous friends and acquaintances in the Deepings, London and elsewhere. All have contributed with specific help, like collecting goods for resale for example at car-boot sales and via Ebay and Amazon.
Very soon and much to our surprise and joy, we were and are helped still, by for example schools like West Town P.S. and Winyate P.S. in Peterborough, Booth Ferry P.S. in Goole and Dover G.S. for Boys. Through other contacts and to our delight we have been sponsored by and supported by Plumbs, Freeplay, Barclays Group HR department and charity groups and many others who had no connection with any of the Trustees. Please see our Thanks for your support page (with our and the thanks of the villagers).
Jim and Marian have supported numerous charitable causes throughout- often linked to children’s welfare. both have a sound practical background especially in sales. They enlisted and were joined as Trustees by Alex Bell a language teacher and her husband John, a Management Consultant: four ordinary people we think who have accepted the responsibility for Operations (Jim), the money (Marian as Treasurer), as Secretary (Alex) and Chairman (John).
We want to stress that no-one receives a fee and almost all expenses are funded by the Trustees NOT the Charity! We aim to spend all donations received to support the Villagers and School.
Please give online now using our Just Giving account
We are grateful for support from: