In 2006 the firm decided to extend its charitable work to other parts of Africa and started to work with Peter Kilesi, a Kenyan community worker, to identify a suitable project.
Dol Dol is a remote town in Kenya’s windswept highlands, about 200 km north of Nairobi. Leigh Day got to know the area through its work representing Masai pastoralists who were injured by munitions left lying on grazing lands by the British army while carrying out training exercises nearby.
Leigh Day now supports some 50 orphans with the costs of their primary education. The primary school in the Laikipia District has over 600 pupils, with boarding places for 120. While primary education is free to all in Kenya the associated costs such as for uniforms, books, food and stationery still have to be met by families. The position of the many children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in the area is even more precarious as, although they often have extended families to act as guardians, they are usually last in line for any spending on education. In the Masai community these children often end up herding grazing livestock. We work with the Africa Educational Trust to help with the primary education of HIV/AIDS orphans and also contribute to the costs of the secondary education of a number of children. We also support a number of children through secondary school.
In the summer of 2010 we also started a sponsorship programme designed to send two people each year to Kenya to assist on projects at Dol Dol school for a month at a time. The projects include teaching English through games and spoken activities, running debating and other clubs, as well as sporting activities for the children. As well as the partnership contributing to these projects, fund-raising also goes on in firm, the latest example being a project to stock a community library at the school.
Partner and head of the clinical negligence department, Russell Levy, is a board member of the Africa Educational Trust.