Project Riandu – Important Information

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Letter Writing Support Pack

Dear Volunteer,

We thank you kindly for your support of Project Riandu. By committing your time and hard work, you are helping the Project Riandu Team get closer to succeeding in their mission to build a secondary school for deaf teenagers in Riandu. This will provide the students the education necessary to improve their employment prospects which in turn will help them integrate better into society.

This pack aims to support and encourage you to contact wealthy potential donors (celebrities, sports stars, large business owners etc.) to ask for donations. We include information about the project, key facts, sample letters and tactical advice. Please write as many letters as possible; you never know which one may bring back lots of money. We really appreciate your help; this is a chance for you to help re-balance the inequality deaf Kenyans face.

Best wishes,

The Project Riandu Team, 2015


1. Important Information

2. Phase One Review

3. Sample Letters

4. Thank you

  1. Project Riandu – Important Information

When you are asking someone to donate, you are asking them to believe their money is being responsibly used to do good in the world. You therefore need to be able to explain why the project is valuable and worth investing in. Volunteering and aid work are complicated to get right, good intentions are not enough, so do make sure to learn what makes this a responsible project.

Here are the key things you need to know:

VISION: To contribute to the integration of the deaf and hearing impaired in eastern Kenya by building a specialised secondary school; with particular focus on boosting employment opportunities.

MISSION: To build a specialised secondary school in Riandu with capacity for 200 deaf students to fully board. Phase Two aims to build:

PROGRESS: Phase One saw the completion of one kitchen, two classrooms and two dormitories. The school opens in January 2015 for the 8 current students. Teachers have been appointed by the Kenyan government and their academic year starts in January.

PHASE TWO PLAN: to build more classrooms, a science lab, teachers’ accommodation, dining room, basketball court and further accommodation. We need £150,000 to achieve the building plans of Phase Two. £50,000 should be raised by the volunteer group and £100,000 should be raised by applications to businesses, celebrities and trust funds. We aim to take 30 UK volunteers to Kenya to work alongside Kenyan volunteers and contractors on-site. They will work hard and engage with the local community.


  • Locally Initiative The project was envisioned by the Mbeere mothers Union. They are a large group of women within the church who fundraise, initiate and run social justice projects. This is important as it was their wisdom and insight that recognised the need for this project. We are supporting their vision and their project.

  • Locally OwnershipThe project is headed by a committee in Kenya consisting of the school’s principle, members of the Mothers Union and leaders in the local church. The Mothers Union have already fundraised for and started a school group of 8 deaf students who meet with teachers in a local retreat centre. They have invited us to be involved to build the school to cater for more students; we are providing the support they requested.

  • Real NeedMainstream schools in Kenya are mostly not set up to cater for deaf students. There are five secondary schools for deaf students in Kenya, none of which are in the east. There is a local primary school for deaf students with 150 students, with no local secondary school provider, students are currently leaving school with an incomplete education. The government are committed to funding the running costs of schools but will not commit to the building costs.

  • Genuine RelationshipsThis partnership project is based on a long-standing friendship between the Peter Cowley Africa Trust (PCAT) and the Mbeere Diocese. PCAT was set up in honour of Peter Cowley, a wonderful man with a passion for the area, having taught there in 19?? Since he passed away in 1992, his capital has been invested into a trust fund to support grassroots projects within the Mbeere Diocese. The trustees (Andrew Cowley, Michael Cowley, David Eldridge and Malcolm Macnaughton) have visited the area regularly to work with the local church members to support the projects. Peter and Ali Macnaughton are running the support from the UK. They have both visited Kenya several times and met with the local team. They are advised in their work by PCAT. The strength of these relationships enables good communication and understanding of how we can work together best for the benefit of the deaf students.

  • Equal Access to Education – As recognised by the Millennium development goals, education is of crucial importance to improve the standard of living for those in poverty. Education provides great employment prospects and empowers communities. As a marginalised group, the deaf and hearing impaired in Kenya are in particular need of education to empower them to be able to participate in the economic market. The specialised school and teachers trained in deaf education will be able to provide the targeted education necessary to provide the students with greater opportunity at post-education employment.

  • Listening partnership As a team, the Kenyan and UK teams are committed to working together to support the deaf students. We work hard to ensure all cultural complexities and issues are discussed and resolved.

  • Cross Cultural Engagement – With the Kenyan and UK volunteers working together on-site and living together off-site we wish to learn from each other. We are committed to facilitating real friendships between the groups and joint engagement with development ideas. We will visit other grassroots projects as a whole team to learn about this more.

  • Responsible Volunteering – We feel passionately about getting volunteering right. We understand that whilst development is good in theory, there are many complexities to balance in order to achieve a sustainably positive outcome. We believe that volunteering can be done responsibly and endeavour to provide this opportunity. The points made thus far of the values of the project support this aim. We also seek to prepare the volunteers in development theory, cultural awareness and specific understanding of this project. We want the volunteers to understand that the main benefit they are providing the project is their fundraising and that we hope they will return from the trip with a commitment to supporting further projects and realising the impact the way they live their lives in the UK has upon the rest of the world.Do make sure that people know ALL the money you fundraise will go to the cost of the build and that you are paying for your own trip. All publications made for the project are funded by private donations specifically for that purpose.

  • Sustainability It is important that this project will provide lon-temr support to its vision. Therefore we must ensure that the school will continue to assist to integrate deaf students into society. The government are committed to continue funding teachers (they already employ two). They will also supply the running costs, along with the Mothers Union. The Project Riandu team will work carefully to terminate its involvement in a way sensitive to the need to ensure the school is successfully managed independently.

  1. Phase One Review

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  1. Sample Lettersbacoadnjklv<m

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am contacting you with an invitation to be part of an ambitious and greatly needed charitable project in Kenya.

Project Riandu aims to build a secondary school for 200 deaf children in Riandu, Kenya. We are a partnership with a local Kenyan team and a UK based student team. The project is being facilitated by The Peter Cowley Africa Trust (Charity no. 1037257). We share the vision for the success of this project.

The school is an important provision as, despite the 600,000 deaf people in Kenya and the 73 primary schools, there are only 5 secondary schools for the deaf - none of which are in the Eastern part of the country. Having seen this need, the local Mothers’ Union initiated this project and invited us to be involved. They already run a primary school for deaf children in Mbeere.

The school will be built both by local contractors and UK-based student volunteers over the next three summers. The building is being designed by a student architectural team, which is supported by Samantha Worrall, a practising architect. She is a specialist in designs for schools with special needs provisions.

It is important for the project to be sustainable. Whilst unable to provide the build cost, the Kenya government are committed to fund the ongoing staff and running costs upon completion. The local primary school for deaf children will be the main feeder of students. Upon success of the project, thousands of deaf children will gain access to high school education that they would not have had otherwise. This increases their employment prospects significantly, which in turn will increase their standard of living. This is particularly important as deaf people in Kenya are often ostracised due to a lack of community understanding.

Our hope is that you will support us with this project. We are in great need of funding as the build this summer requires £80,000 for materials. The volunteers are funding their own trip costs completely. We can offer official sponsorship opportunities such as advertising for your business on our websites and publications. Details of these offers can be found enclosed. We can also provide further details of the build and costs if requested.

We are very excited for the potential of this project and hope you find it worthy of your support. Our dedicated Kenyan and UK teams are working hard to ensure its success.

We look forward to hearing from you,


Dear Ms Harley,
I am writing to make an application to the Kirby Laing Foundation on behalf of Project Riandu, Registered Charity number 1037527. This charity has a clear and specific goal to achieve by 2017: the building of a fully-equipped, self-sustained secondary school educating 200 deaf students in the village of Riandu, eastern Kenya. The Peter Cowley Africa Trust, a UK-based charity that delivers grass-roots projects in Kenya was appealed to by the churches and the Mothers' Union of Embu county to help tackle the severe social challenges that deaf teenagers in Kenya face. Whilst there are currently 71 primary schools for deaf children in Kenya, only 5 secondary schools exist to provide those students with the continued education they need and the Eastern province lacks any secondary school provision for the deaf at all. Indeed, only 12% of deaf children have the opportunity to attend a special educational needs secondary school. The deaf in Kenya therefore represent an unskilled population, suffering crippling high unemployment rates and little hope for the future. Improved secondary school provision would help to adjust this social imbalance.
International student volunteers are working with the local community to execute this ambitious building programme, phased over 3 years, and due to commence in August 2014. Peter Macnaughton, a Nottingham University architecture student is organizing a network of student volunteers to fundraise throughout the country for building materials, resources and contractors' fees. Mr Macnaughton is also running a similar project in South Africa giving extra scope to what we know we can achieve. Meanwhile the Nottingham-based architect Samantha Worrall is overseeing the design process. In Kenya planning and fundraising are already under way, and the local team is looking forward to welcoming the volunteers from the UK this summer. 
The school will not only provide the best quality facilities, but also a home for two hundred students in dormitory style accommodation in a safe and secure living environment during their school terms. Once established, the school will be funded by the government, so will be able to autonomously deliver the needs of deaf children in eastern Kenya indefinitely.
Thank you kindly for your consideration of this application. Please find enclosed the proposal and all relevant information. Please feel free to contact Kate Pooler via email at if you would have any questions or require any further information.
Yours sincerely,

Peter Macnaughton

Project Manager for Project Riandu

We look forward to hearing from you,


Dear Name,

I am writing to you to tell you about an exciting project I will be taking part in this summer! I will be travelling, along with a team of twenty others, to a small village in Kenya called Riandu from the 16th of August until the 14th of September. The main part of the project is to build, alongside the local community, a specialised secondary school large enough for 200 deaf students. Currently there are 71 primary schools for deaf children in Kenya, with only 5 secondary schools in the entire nation providing the higher education needed for these children to progress; leaving them with little opportunity for the future. We will be working closely with the Anglican Church and Mother’s Union in Kenya, who see first-hand the need and have already taken steps towards making this vision possible. But there’s still much more to be done and this is where we need your help and support!

For me to be able to take part in the project this summer I need to raise a further £--- towards the building of the school. I am therefore in the process of asking family and close friends like yourself if they would like to support my involvement in this exciting venture. Once established, the school will be self-sufficient, however in order to build, we need the financial support of people like you! As long as we are able to construct the school, the community will be given the opportunity to provide this much needed service of secondary education for deaf children for years to come. I am sure you will agree that this is a fantastic, hands on opportunity; allowing us as a team to experience first-hand the African culture and gain a better understanding of poverty in the developing world.

The deaf in Kenya not only struggle with high levels of unemployment but still suffer discrimination from those who do not understand their situation. It is our hope that through building this school this will not only provide education for the students but also for a changing of attitudes towards deafness in Kenya. It is therefore my hope that you would consider giving a donation. This is a cause close to my heart so any support you can offer would mean so much to me!

If you feel as if you would like to make a contribution, you can donate online through my MyDonate page at:

Or if you would prefer to send a donation in the form of a cheque, then please make it payable to Peter Cowley Africa Trust.

Many thanks and best wishes,



Please get going contacting anyone and everyone who may think may donate. Send gift aid forms (encourage them to use it) and a print out of the Phase One Review with every letter. Make sure to follow contact for the letters you send and to give information on how to donate. Let them know how to contact you if they want further information.

They can donate by cheque to ‘Peter Cowley Africa Trust’, please get them to indicate it is for Project Riandu when sent. They can make a one-off payment directly to the bank account or set up a direct debit to:

CAF Bank

Sort Code 40-52-40

Account Number 00002839
We will also have an online fundraising platform with MyDonate. We will send out these details when it is set-up.
Emma Rosa Rob is co-ordinating this group writing letters to celebrities and businesses, please check with her who you wish to contact so she can track it and make sure we don’t contact people twice. Her email address: and you can find her on facebook.

  1. THANK YOU!!!!

Thank you for believing in this project; we are very excited to have you on board. The world is an unfair place and the deaf children in eastern Kenya do not have the privileges we do. The work you are doing is a step towards re-balancing this inequality. The deaf students are very excited for their school. I particularly remember a girl called Elizabeth; she is deaf and spoke of how hearing friends would ignore and bully her. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up. She needs and opportunity for education for this to even be a possibility.

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