On a mission to give youngsters hope for future

Michelle Morris - a little bit dusty after working on the construction of the school for Project Riandu.
Michelle Morris - a little bit dusty after working on the construction of the school for Project Riandu.

A determined woman from Caythorpe is working to break down boundaries by helping build a school for deaf children in Kenya.

Michelle Morris (22), set off to spend two weeks taking part in Project Riandu, which aims to build a specialised secondary school with capacity for 200 deaf students to fully board.

Volunteers get to work on the construction of the school building for Project Riandu tllMsbU9DjdRbaqyfWbg

Volunteers get to work on the construction of the school building for Project Riandu tllMsbU9DjdRbaqyfWbg

The project also aims to boost employment opportunities and promote integration of deaf people in eastern Kenya.

Before setting off, Michelle learnt some Kenyan sign language and hit the gym to build up her strength and endurance for the gruelling but incredibly worthy mission. As well as the hard manual labour involved with construction, Michelle and other volunteers have been working to educate the local community, show compassion and promote the inclusion of deaf children.

Their message is that disability does not equal inability.

Michelle said: “There’s a real stigma attached to deafness in Kenya. Having a deaf child is often seen as a curse. Deaf children are bullied, abused and in extreme cases even killed; it’s heart-breaking.

Some of the students involved in Project Riandu in Kenya.

Some of the students involved in Project Riandu in Kenya.

“We’re working closely with the Mbeere Mothers Union in Kenya to try and change that culture. We want to show that we value every child and I really hope we can help to start changing attitudes.”

Her employer, private tuition business Tutor Doctor, has been right behind her and has donated funds and resource to the project, which is halfway to its £80,000 target for building materials.

To help the project you can visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/michellemorris1.