KIND supporters in North Wales have sent £700 to a headteacher of a school in Africa to help her to buy food and goods for those in need.

Lilly Pendo runs St Ronnie’s Academy in the village of Shanzu, a school founded by former Prestatyn postman Ron Cavie.

The school, located in a suburb of Mombasa in Kenya, had to close on March 13.

Life has become difficult for the teachers and the two cooks at St Ronnie’s as their salaries are normally paid out of the school fees parents pay. This is on average 2,000 Kenyan shillings [roughly £16 per three months].

Rhyl Journal:

Lilly and her daughters [Michelle and Milka] have been making masks to protect people in the village against the virus

Many parents have lost their jobs as factories, hotels and shops are closed due to the pandemic.

Ron said: “Lilly goes to the school from time to time to check all is ok and there is a watchman there all the time he lives at the school now full time.

“Lilly says she is praying all will be over soon and the staff will be taken back as soon as St Ronnie’s Academy can open again and it is safe to re-open. It will be very difficult as the parents will have no money to pay any fees. In Kenya, there is no furlough - people are living the best way they can.

“Lilly is keeping strong and giving as much support as she can.”

Ron has been supported by Rhyl Pavilion and has also been running a virtual quiz on the Central Beach Club’s Facebook page.

“The response has been amazing,” Ron said.

“I’d like to thank supporters from Central Beach Club and all those at the Pavilion Theatre for their amazing donations,” Ron said.

“We have on average 70 views for each quiz.

Rhyl Journal:

Teachers and cooks from the school come to Lilly’s house to receive their share. Lilly will then go to the people most in need

“I also have a little quiz in my road. Everyone has been so kind and up to now, we have raised over £700 which was sent to Lilly the other week.

“The money makes an amazing difference.

“Lilly can buy lots of food including rice, flour, cooking oil, veg, fruit, bread plus baby food. The people are so grateful.

“Lilly will go to the supermarket and the open markets to buy the food. Her next door neighbour goes with her as they buy in bulk and take it home.

“The teachers and cooks from our school come to Lilly’s house to receive their share. She will then go to the people most in need to give them a share.”

Ron said unlike UK, there is no virtual learning facilities for children in the village.

“There is only basic learning taking place,” he explained.

“Children have the books but with no digital tools, like laptops, it is difficult for the children and with the social distancing in place, its not easy for Lilly to have contact at the moment.”

Ron and Lilly are very much hoping the school can re-open in September.

“Lilly as made a list of all the items that will be needed to buy before that will be possible,” Ron said.

“This includes aprons gloves, masks - for all staff - as well as buckets, new mops, washing bowls , many bars of soap, bleach, washing powder, disinfectant, paper towels, hand wash and more.

“They will have info to follow advice from the Government The area has been hit very hard they can not travel to any other part of Kenya, they must not leave the Mombasa area.

“Lilly sent me a message saying that coronavirus is still on the rise but in Shanzu, there has been no positive cases for a while so that is good news.

“Lilly is strong and she and her four girls are ok. She is aways positive and she and her girls are making masks out of material she gets from her sister who is a Seamstress.

“They are all pulling together in this difficult times as we all are.

“The village is so glad that we in the Prestatyn area are doing out very best to help.”

Rhyl Journal:

Ron Cavie with Lilly Pendo during one of his many visits to the school

In a video message to say thank you, Lilly said: “Jambo to all kind people in Wales.

“I am happy I have been able to help people by giving them food that they need.

“And this is because of the kindness of Ronnie’s friends in Wales.

“I feel so blessed and I hope St Ronnie’s Academy will be soon opened again.

“Hotels, jobs, factories and places of working will also be open so that people will go back to work.

“Many people are jobless due to Covid-1.

“Thank you for your support and prayers."