Friday, April 18, 2008

For a Grandmother

Like many South Asians in Kenya, our great grandfathers crossed the Indian Ocean in dhows at the turn of the 20th Century in search of new opportunities. Three generations later, South Asians who settled initially in East Africa can be found in every corner of the world. With little or no connection to India, East Africa and in the case of my family, our roots are in Kenya.
My father chose to stay on. Many of his brothers settled in the UK and his oldest brother went as far as Australia. My grandmother was born in Kisumu, settled in Kitale where she married my grandfather and eventually emigrated to the UK.
When she passed away, her sons brought her back to her motherland by taking her ashes to India where they were spread across the Ganges. But she was more Kenyan than anything else, hence, my mother and father suggested that a school should be built in her name.


As the founder of Ladies in Action, my mother was keen that her memory should be marked through life and what better way to do it than provide a space for children to receive what they deserve.

The Pabari brothers and their one sister came together and funded the construction of an entire school on the outskirts of Kisumu. It's almost ready and and I know my grandmother would be smiling with joy, ear to ear...

In addition, students have been provided with decent school uniforms and all classrooms have been furbished with desks and chairs. Sue Deans, our partner who runs the Kisumu Orphans Education Fund and was instrumental in helping us with the post election crises appeal and support also contributed £2,500. Thank you Sue...


It was my father's sixtieth birthday the other day. He retured just before christmas last year which was days before the country exploded with senseless violence due to the elections. He has since dedicated his time to charity and him and my mother now run Ladies in Action with the assitance of volunteers like Tobias and Ren and support from well wishers all over the world. For his birthday, he planted 300 trees at the school. I am truly proud to be a Pabari...


4 comments:

Colleen Perrin said...

You should indeed all be proud to be Pabaris. What an inspiring and incredible thing you have all accomplished together.
Congratulations to all involved.
I hope on this blog or at Ladies in Action, you will keep us posted on what will be needed from this point on.

Sukuma Kenya said...

Thanks very much Colleen. As you know so well, there is so much pleasure in giving...

seinlife said...

It's people like you that inspire each and every one of us to be better and build a better tomorrow for our children and the world we leave behind.
congratulations and carry on with that spirit my brother!

Kingwa Kamencu said...

Gosh, your family is amazing!! And they have you to be proud of as well, you're one of Kenya's biggest unsung heroes. Keep the fire burning, Kenya's greatness shall rise from the ashes. You are an inspiration.

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