FINDING four small children tied to trees in Africa has been a shocking and disturbing experience for Cookstown man Rodney Davison.
Rodney is a missionary currently stationed with F.A.M.E (Friends of Africa Missionary Endeavour) around 200 km north-east of Nairobi in a semi-arid area of Kenya.
F.A.M.E. started up a child rescue centre catering for AIDS orphans which caught the attention of a group of knitters from Desertcreat.
Heather McIvor from the group, which is run in the Parish Hall, said the women have decided to donate their knitted children’s clothes to the premature baby unit in Craigavon and Rodney Davison’s charity in Kenya.
“We come together, knit and have a cup of tea,” she said. “Rodney had found four small children tied to a tree left to die in Kenya, so we thought we could so something. He’ll be home for three months over the summer, so we hope to send the items back with him,” she said.
There is a very high percentage of people suffering from HIV/AIDS and as a result there are many children who have been orphaned.
In 2006 FAME established a child rescue centre, the only registered one of its kind in the whole district and it caters for the needs of 167 children plus another 37 outside the centre.
Writing from Nairobi, Mr Davison said: “Just last week we rescued three children from a town 60km away who were sleeping each night on the street. One of them has special needs and he was tied like an animal to a wooden cart to prevent him from
wandering off. These children are now safe and well in FAME care.”
The orphanage is supported financially by people across Northern Ireland including Cookstown.