All the projects we do as Friends of Kipkelion are done in partnership with Friends of Londiani. Here’s a word on how that works.
Londiani and Kipkelion are basically the same geographical place. Kipkelion is the name given to the wider area – there are, for example, two parliamentary constituencies covering the area and they are called Kipkelion East and Kipkelion West. Londiani is the name of the main town in the area, and is something of an administrative centre.
Friends of Londiani (FOL) was set up in 2002 by a group of volunteers from Ireland. It is a registered charity in Ireland and has grown into a very strong organisation, spending hundreds of thousands of euros each year on development projects in Londiani and Kipkelion.
When we were setting up Friends of Kipkelion in 2010, we found out about FOL via the internet and I wrote to the trustees of FOL and asked if we could work together, as a UK registered charity and an Irish charity with similar aims. FOL’s response was extremely positive and we soon found that we shared the same vision for helping the people of Kipkelion in their development.
FOL has a permanent team of local people permanently based in Londiani, and they are able to find out from the people of Kipkelion what their needs and priorities are. Working with FOL, we are then able to establish which projects we wish to support, and Friends of Kipkelion then sends FOL the money to carry out the agreed projects. All the execution of the projects is done by FOL.
As might be expected, we spend a lot of time on Skype and emailing between the UK, Ireland and Kenya, and meeting up in all three countries, to ensure that the projects run smoothly. It’s a great partnership – and all to the benefit of the people of Kipkelion.