One tree at a time- in support of orphans

Adriano Ghirardello had been voted the best salesman by Toyota Japan in the year 1998 and when he was asked where he would take his award holiday, he chose Kenya and that marked the beginning of a journey that became a philanthropic mission. Ghirardello has partnered with his wife, Mrs Giovanna Grampa and formed Comitato Gaia Italy Omlus, a committee in charge of the couple’s philanthropic works. When the couple decided to permanently settle in Kenya and bought a plot in Kibokoni where they put up a modest house which they occupied they often felt a desire to mingle with the local people, real Kenyans in their own environment. But the couple were not happy with what they saw. There was glaring poverty in their neighbourhood. They were prompted to take action and hence the beginning of their philanthropic work. The couple has been to as far as Shanga Island in Lamu District where they have assisted residents with water and mosquito nets. They built a nursery school which also served as an adult education centre at Sabaki across the Sabaki Bridge. They adopted 50 orphans between Madzayani and Magarini village in 2004 and started looking for land to build a permanent children’s home. Following the acquisition of a plot in Pumwani, the couple begun construction of the Pumwani Children’s Home in 2006 where they are currently housing 36 orphans. Today the lives of 36 orphans have completely changed and they have acquired new hope for the future. The modern Pumwani Children’s Home easily stands out as one of the best in Coast Province. The couple is also building a polytechnic so that those who leave the home after attaining the age of 15 acquire the necessary skills required to work and earn a living. This will ensure that they do not go to the streets after their stay in the home but will be engaged productively to contribute positively to the local economy and earn a decent living. In response to his vision for the children, Ghirardello has planted valuable trees that include 8,000 casuarinas, 3,000 tissue blue gum seedlings, 500 cedar and 5,000 Jatropha plants so that when they mature, the home can start to sell poles to earn cash. The couple insists that all the proceeds from the sales must strictly go back to the home. The couple has also developed a farm at Misufini which serves as a demonstration integrated farm where multi-cropping thrives. Local people use the farm as a learning tool to adopt modern farming technology which could soon change their lives. This is the case of Pumwani Children’s Home where the philanthropic couple is gradually but surely changing the lives of orphans!

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