Scottish charity worker marries at Kenyan children’s home she helped rebuild following armed robbery

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
St Jerome’s Centre Managing Director Gemma Steele married Shaun Mackinon in Nakuru.

A Scottish charity worker has married her partner of 12 years at the Kenyan children’s home in Nakuru where she works as Managing Director.

28-year-old occupational therapy graduate Gemma Steele, tied the knot with 32-year-old salmon farmer Shaun Mackinon, at the St Jerome’s Centre near Nakuru where the South Uist couple were joined by more than 400 guests from the local community.

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
Gemma Steele and Shaun Mackinon were married at the St Jerome’s Centre near Nakuru.

The ceremony featured a mix of Kenyan and Scottish culture with African dancing and music with bagpipes.

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
Gemma and Shaun’s wedding brought the sound of Scotland to Kenya courtesy of the bagpipes.

“It was a wonderful day celebrating not only our marriage but ten years of The St Jerome’s Centre,” Gemma told Brits in Kenya.

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
The wedding was held at St Jerome’s Centre near Nakuru.

“We served 450 people on the day as well as 20kgs of cake! For many it was their first wedding and it was a chance for some of our friends and family from the UK to witness first hand the work they have been supporting for the last decade,” she added.

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
450 people joined the happy couple on the day and they enjoyed 20kgs of cake.

Gemma, who was crowned an Unsung Hero in the Sunday Mail’s 2014 Young Scot Awards, was instrumental in fundraising to rebuild the orphanage after it was attacked by masked men wielding machetes over six years ago.

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
Gemma and Shaun celebrate their wedding at St Jerome’s Centre near Nakuru.

The raisers pulled Gemma from her bed and held her and the 16 orphans she was caring for at gunpoint, before stealing £1,500.

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
Guests travelled from Scotland to join Kenyans to celebrate the wedding of Gemma and Shaun.

Despite experiencing such a terrifying ordeal, Gemma was determined to get the home back on track and improve security for the youngsters, ­spearheading the building of a new St Jerome’s Centre.

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
Gemma and Shaun with the bridesmaids.

Relocated to Murunyu in 2015, on the outskirts of Nakuru, the construction project was run by Orkid Studios and staffed by volunteers.

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
Some of the guests at Shaun and Gemma’s wedding.

The new centre has the capacity to accommodate forty children in a light and spacious home suited to their needs, employing 9 local people fulltime including a Manager, and 3 “mamas” to provide guidance, love and support as well as some home cooking.

Gemma Steele wedding at St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru
Post wedding drinks to celebrate Gemma and Shaun’s union.

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