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Local group bringing aid to Kenya

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Adrienne Pearson holds a postcard detailing the medical trip she and 10 others will take to Kenya this summer.

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Adrienne Pearson holds a postcard detailing the medical trip she and 10 others will take to Kenya this summer. Photo Store

A dozen locals hope to help a village in Kenya this summer.

A group headed by North Kildonan residents Adrienne and Matt Pearson will travel to the Mully Children’s Family Ndalani medical clinic in August to lend a hand for two weeks.

The Mully Children’s Family was founded in 1989 by Dr. Charles Mulli, a former street child who wanted to help those in a similar situation. Organizers say the foundation has helped 7,000 children and is working with 2,200 more.

"They provide medical services that are free to the surrounding community, and they also have created a self-sustaining method — they have their own agriculture, fishing, poultry farms," said Adrienne.

Adrienne, a wound care specialist working out of the Seven Oaks Hospital and occasionally St. Boniface Hospital, said five other medical specialists will be going.

She expects the non-medical personnel traveling with the group will be able to aid with activities ranging from helping to set up computer labs to aiding in recovery from recent flooding in the area.

Pearson said the group hopes to form partnerships with other professionals like doctors in the country, something uncommon among North American groups looking to help.

"It’s never been done before — this is sort of a pilot to see how this would work. This would create more sustainability and follow-up if they’re seeing people in the community, they could see people again," she said. "Most groups that go down go with a North American medical group, and provide all the doctors and services.

"We’re trying a different method so we can partner with them more and help with what they’re already doing."

Pearson hopes the partnerships are more permanent, as she hopes to keep up the relationships with locals even after the group has left the country.

As well, she is looking to help create a medical manual to give to other aid groups as a primer on the country.

The group is holding a fundraiser in an attempt to make its trip even more worthwhile. The event will take place May 10 at 7 p.m. at Calvin Christian School (245 Sutton Ave.) and feature a speech from MCF Canadian ambassador Arvid Loewen, who said money for the foundation with cross-Canada bike rides. Drumming group Chango will perform as well. There will also be prizes ranging from Winnipeg Jets tickets to a fly-in fishing trip.

Pearson hopes to raise $5,000 at minimum.

Tickets are $10 from travellers or at the door. All proceeds will go to supplies, as travelers are responsible for their own way there.

For more information, visit www.triptomcf.com

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