Katie pours a cuppa to help Kenyan children

Sinead Kelleher

The plight of children in Kenya has touched the heart of Katie O'Connell, from Killarney, so much that she will return to the Africa country next week to run a summer camp for impoverished children.

This is Katie's 4th year returning to Embulbul in Kenya to work with the Kenya Education Project, but for the past 10 years she has travelled extensively in Africa including volunteering on animal conservation projects. 

However, in recent years her focus has turned to the Kenya Education Project through her close friend, Triona Sheehy, whose father, Eddie, founded the Kenya Education Project.

"Everything is so hard for the children out there and I came up with the idea of a summer camp for them so they can just be children," explained Katie.

"Education and sport is their only way out."

Last week Katie, with the support of Eddie and Triona hosted a coffee morning in the Royal Hotel in Killarney, to raise funds for the Kenya Education Project, to help those children.

The funds will primarily be used to support a food programme that the charity has recently began to support full-time and which provides meals to impoverished children as well to fund the other work of the Kenyan Education Project, including Katie's summer camps. 

Katie, who is a barrister will fly to Kenya this Friday, to spend the week with the children and even plans to teach them Irish dancing -a  skill she actually learned herself so she can show the children the steps. She has also collected Irish dancing shoes for the children. This year she will only spend just over a week in Kenya as she is getting married in September to Cllr Patrick Connor Scarteen.  

The coffee morning was a huge success and raised €4,000 for the Kenyan Education Project and Katie has thanked everyone for their support especially the Scally family of the Royal Hotel who opened their doors for the event.  "I want to thank everyone for their generosity for our fundraiser," she said.