How orphaned street kids inspired new Hackney charity

A HACKNEY woman was so moved by the heartbreaking stories of orphaned children in Kenya she has now launched a charity in their honour.

Kate Mitchell, of Stamford Hill, launched the charity Jalia on Monday after first volunteering in Nanyuki, central Kenya, in 2009.

There, she heard the incredibly stories of children such as four-year-old Joseph who was deaf, HIV positive and had been living on the streets with his brother.

“I completely fell in love with him,” Kate admitted.

“The home had around 50 children and everyone had a hard start in life. Many were rescued street children, others had been abandoned and they had all experienced abject poverty.”

Last year Kate returned to the Centre for Exceptionally Deprived Children (CEDC) in Kenya, paying for one youngster, Kevin, 16 to attend high school.

“Kevin brought himself to the children’s home which was exceptionally brave. He wanted to go to school but his older sister was barely able to feed him let alone give him an education,” Kate, a Hackney Council Parks Department worker, said.

Most Read

“Now he’s finished his first year of high school and he wants to be a doctor or lawyer.

“I think it was Joseph and Kevin that inspired me to launch the charity.”

The charity – Jalia means ‘empower’ in Swahili – aims to raise �300 per student to provide them with schooling, uniforms and materials.

Kate said: “For the children we work with in Nanyuki an education cannot be taken for granted. Many Kenyan kids simply can’t afford to go to school.

“We believe that all children have the right to an education so that they are able to empower themselves.”

To donate, visit: