RAITH Rovers’ championship fever may be sweeping across Kirkcaldy, but in one of the world’s poorest areas the team are already the winners.
A smile was brought to the faces of some of the most deprived children in Africa when a Kirkcaldy health worker visited Kibera - the biggest slum in the continent - armed with dozens of strips from the Kirkcaldy club.
Amy Neill, an occupational therapist at Whyteman’s Brae Hospital, travelled to Kibera, in Niarobi in Kenya, after hearing from a friend about the desperation for volunteers to help out at schools and orphanages.
Before she left, she asked Raith Rovers to donate some old strips so she could take them with her: “When I first took the strips out of the bags the kids were so excited - their faces lit up and they couldn’t wait to get their hands on them.
‘‘For them it’s always first come first serve for everything, so they all wanted one straight away.”
Amy (23) split her class of 130 pupils - the average class size at the school - into different teams, meaning whichever team won could keep the strips on for the rest of the day.
“I think if they could have kept them on forever they would have,” Amy continued. “For many of them their uniform is their only set of clothes - they have nothing and expect nothing.
‘‘It’s nice to know they now have the strips to wear while they do PE.”
The Mashomoni school and orphanage is vital to the wellbeing of the children in the area: it not only provides them with education, but also with their only meal once a day.
“There are more than 500 pupils at the school, but there are hardly any staff,” Amy added. “They want to keep the school open all year around because for the pupils the school meal is there only meal that day.
‘‘Most have their meal on a Friday, and don’t eat anything else until they return to school on Monday. I can’t explain how little they have - even basics like toilets and houses don’t exist there. So, the smallest thing in your eyes can mean the world to them.”