The Air Cadet Junior Leaders Kenyan Expedition


The JTYAF was privileged to provide the funds for a life changing volunteering project for six Air Cadet Junior Leaders (JL's)  from Course XIV.  Their expedition to Kenya in August marked the third successive year of JL and JTYAF support.  Laura Scott from

Patchworking Against Poverty

is the inspirational lady behind the project, with which we are so proud to be involved.

JLs at Dubai
JLs at Dubai

The Air Cadets Junior Leaders Course is physically and academically demanding and requires real commitment and determination.  The course which culminates in the award of a Level Two Certificate in Team Leadership from the Institute of Leadership and Management is the toughest but most rewarding of the Air Cadets leadership courses – any Cadet that makes it through has the makings of a very successful leader.  John was fiercely proud of his link with this great course and the JTYAF is privileged to have the opportunity to continue that support by assisting in the further development of these talented young men and women.

Samuel Jackson, Luke Womersley, Harry Clubb, Jordan Cawer, Lawrence Page and Christopher Raj (pictured at Dubai Airport on the journey out) were selected for the Kenya expedition based on the quality of their applications and their performance on the course.  They recorded their experiences while they were in Kenya in a blog which gives a real insight into their work, the ups and downs and above all their achievements.   The JL 2013 expedition blog closed with these words "This trip has been a dream come true for us and will leave us with many happy memories. We hope we have made you proud and lived up to your expectations. Still continuing to climb as high as we can dream..."

We are extremely proud of the 2013 JTYAF Kenya Team, they have achieved so much and made a difference to the lives of literally thousands of people living in poverty.

In Phase 1 of the project the team worked at the Wema Hospital in the Kawangware area of Nairobi where they:-

  • Replaced the delapidated incinerator with a new one
  • Converted a container into the 'John Thornton Assessment Centre' which will eventually house an x-ray machine (pictured above)
  • Provided a new fridge to replace the rusted one, which is used to keep medical supplies

At Grace's Care Centre, home to more than 60 orphans and a school for hundreds of children, the local authority had issued an order to renovate the kitchen otherwise the centre would be closed.  They were also in desperate need of desks and chairs for the secondary school children.

  • The team built two classrooms full of desks and chairs for the children
  • Refitted and tiled the kitchen and provided a stainless steel worktop

Phase 2 of the project moved to Kisii in southwestern Kenya where the group were joined by 5 doctors, 2 pharmacists, 2 dentists, 2 opticians, 1 women's health nurse, 1 laboratory technician, 4 translators, 4 drivers and vans, 2 armed police and 2 tents - mobile medical clinic ready to go!

kisii medical camp team
kisii medical camp team
  • The medical clinic treated 4500 people in 6 locations in 6 days
  • Delivered 2 babies
  • Assessed and treated over 1000 children
  • Sponsored numerous patients for diabetes and hypertension
  • Conducted 900 blood glucose tests, 2000 malaria tests, 1200 HIV tests and 50 smear tests
  • Provided 100's of patients with new glasses
  • Arranged for 11 patients to attend Lions Eye Hospital in Nairobi for cataract operations
  • Removed 100's of rotten teeth
  • Provided education on sexual health and rape to 100's of women and school children
  • Provided and fitted over 300 years of contraception
  • Gave out 7500 condoms
young man in kisii
young man in kisii

It is evident that Patchworking Against Poverty is making a huge difference to the lives of thousands of people living in poverty in Kenya and the JL's are playing a very important role in the project as Laura explains.

"Kenya was and always is a big adventure, this year we were able to provide Wema with a drainage system, a new store room, a new incinerator and a new assessment centre which we hope one day to house an X-ray machine in. Graces care Centre houses over 60 orphans and provides a school for hundreds of children living in poverty, they were told to renovate the kitchen to comply with government regulations otherwise they would be forced to close. The were also provided with school desks so they could start term with somewhere for the new secondary school pupils to write on.

Kisii medical camp was awesome.  We worked together as a group and saw over 4500 patients in 6 days.  The JL's settled in great with everyone and were able to provide essential help with the running of the camp as well as keeping spirits high!

Without the JL's dedication, constant commitment and hardwork in Kenya we would not have completed these projects. I was proud to take them out there, they showed respect for the community and for the projects JTYAF and Patchworking Against Poverty are part of."

If you would like to learn more about this fantastic project and what was achieved this year please watch this.