An 83-year-old from the Lincolnshire town of Stamford has just returned from her latest trip to Kenya to visit the mission she has been supporting for the last 40 years.
Pat Gallagher took on the role of supporting the Catholic Mission in Wajir when a friend in Malta, who had started the mission work, became too ill to continue.
“I agreed to do it, but on the plane back I nearly bit my nails off thinking ‘What have I agreed to?’,” said Pat.
Although nervous, she received support from the then priest at St Mary and St Augustine’s Church in Stamford, Father Bill Saunders, who thought it was ‘a wonderful idea’ for the parish to support the mission, and Bishop James McGuinness who also gave it his blessing.
For her latest visit to see the people of Wajir in North-East Kenya, she was accompanied by her granddaughter, Victoria.
Many of the 86 children who attend the mission’s school in Wajir live in poverty. But were genuinely delighted by the gifts donated by people in and around Stamford which included recorders and bubble blowers.
Pat says that her fundraising priority is to raise as much money as possible which can be sent out for the nuns who run the mission to use for buying animals that help feed the children. Goats and cows are used for milk and meat, along with chickens.
As well as learning to milk goats, the children are taught how to grow their own vegetables and crops in the desert.
Clothes are also a necessity, especially for babies, so little outfits were taken out in suitcases by Pat and Victoria, along with books and stationery to be used at the school.
If you would like to learn more about the work of the Wajir mission work it will be discussed at a coffee morning at the United Reformed Church Hall in Stamford from 9.30am to 11.30am on Friday August 23.