A HOLIDAY of a lifetime in Africa for one Wigan woman turned out to be life-changing in more ways than one.
Kath Forshaw, 62, of Beech Hill, travelled to Kenya in July after saving up for years to realise her dream of visiting the Masai Mara National Park.
However Kath, who works in the Information and Advice Office for Age UK Wigan Borough, was so moved by the plight of young orphans that she is now sponsoring a child through their education at the Ofiligi Integrated School just outside the town of Narok.
Kath said: “Most of them are orphans whose parents have died of AIDS. The government doesn’t pay for the schooling, and some of the older ones have to run the house and look after their brothers and sisters too.
“But they all seemed very happy little kids.
“They sang for us and showed us what they had done that day, and when we said we were from near Manchester they were all talking about Manchester United.
“One little boy said he was nine, and called David. My grandson is also nine and called David, and thinking about the contrast of their lives I just choked up.”
Kath is now keen to do her bit to raise awareness of the lives of children in Africa.
She said: “I don’t want to start asking for lots of donations because so many charities are doing that.
“Also I don’t think you can really appreciate it until you’ve seen it with your own eyes.
“But I’m going to be giving a talk with a slideshow to the Wigan Ramblers and Climbing Club. I’m thinking of giving a talk to Age UK’s Here and There club too, and I’ll ask for a donation to go to the school for both of those.”