As a new trustee, I made my first visit (together with my wife, Julia) to Gilgil and the schools connected with HSK at the end of July this year. This enabled us to see the infrastructure work that the charity had sponsored over the years, to watch the feeding programme in action and to be able to feed into the trustees our own thoughts on priorities both short and longer term.

Wherever we went we were most impressed by the enthusiasm of teachers and the aims of the schools (several of which had their mission statements prominently displayed). But, at the same time, we became well aware of some of the challenges they face. Here are some of the physical ones which we see on the television but are all the starker on the ground: poor or non-existent road access despite wide catchment areas, no mains water, no mains sanitation, limited access to electricity. HSK can’t do much about the first of these, but we can about the other three and we can help ensure each child gets at least one nutritious meal a day. We were proud to see what has been and is being achieved.

We were particularly pleased to visit Ngecho Secondary where we attended Speech Day in its newly built HSK sponsored hall. It came as a bit of a surprise for Julia and I to be asked to say something to the pupils and their parents, but we were able to build on an inspirational speech we had listened to earlier in which the children were told there was nothing they could not achieve with the right determination. Indeed, despite its rural location, 16 pupils from this school will go on to university this year.