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24 September 2014
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   Inside Out - West: Monday 9th October, 2002


The Kenya container

A week ago it was just another container in a Somerset car park. Now it’s an artwork bound for an African village ..

The graffiti artists gave a final flourish and "Jambo Dabaso" (Hello Dabaso) was spelt out on the roof of the container.

On one side a map of the UK, a badger and an owl and on the other Africa burning in a sunset.

The container is the latest African aid project from Hutton Twinning Association.

The graffiti illustrates the tie of friendship between the North Somerset village and Dabaso in Kenya.

The challenge

The challenge was to fill the container with aid.

I spent two days with the Hutton team sanding and priming the container. Everyone had a story about Kenya.

"Since the last consignment arrived, no children have died from dehydration"

Peter Maksimczyk

The local GP, Peter Maksimczyk explained how he’d run a daily clinic from a mud hut.

As we battled against rust he underlined the need for medicines.

He’d just had a letter of thanks for the last consignment sent to Dabaso.

Wire brushed and rubbed down, the container was ready for Keith Drinkwater’s power washer.

Improving lives

Last February Peter constructed a new medical centre for Dabaso.

Mark Orchard and Tessa Dunlop
Builder Mark Orchard gives Tess some top tips on village aid

Block built, and plastered out its a far cry from the mud hut where Dr. Peter examined patients three years ago.

Now it needs cupboards. Builder and white van man Mark Orchard took me to a local supplier.

He’s been given a thousand pounds worth of kitchen units.

Village aid

Mark was the man who started this village to village aid programme five years ago on a family holiday.

He visited Dabaso and heard how the village was collecting money to build a classroom, and learned that it would be ten years before they had the funds.

He persuaded four west country builders to return with him and build the classroom.

Back home he suggested that Hutton should twin with Dabaso.

Supplies bound for Africa in the container

Leaning against the counter at a builder’s merchant in Weston-super-Mare, I couldn't help wondering whether all this activity was anything more than a gesture?

As we loaded the flat pack kitchen, World leaders were gathered at the Global Summit in Johannesburg struggling for answers to the divide between the World’s 'haves' and 'have Nots'.

"Ah," said Mark, "They’re talking about it, we’re doing something."

"We only want to send good stuff," Mark told me. Driving back Mark listed the donations they still needed; school books, a generator, gardening tools, a computer, the list went on.

We need your help

The greater the response the quicker the container will be filled and ready to go.

There was one last question. Why was so much effort going into covering the container with graffiti?

Mark had the answer. He is concerned about corruption and the "Kenyan 10%", the cut Kenyan officials expect!

He’s negotiated safe passage for the container but he wants it to stand out, then if there is a problem "it can easily be spotted!"


Hutton Twinning Association
Hutton Post Office, Hutton, Weston-super-Mare, BS24 9QQ

See also ...

On the rest of the web
Dabaso village
Kenya Tourism and Hutton twinning
Mark Orchard

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