10 years of twinning

PUBLISHED: 12:01 04 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:30 25 May 2010

A LEAFY North Somerset village and a poverty-stricken East African tribe are not what you would expect to form a successful twinning.

A LEAFY North Somerset village and a poverty-stricken East African tribe are not what you would expect to form a successful twinning.

But 2009 has marked the 10th year of the unique aid-based bond between Hutton and Dabaso in Kenya's Malindi province.

And to celebrate the occasion a group of 23 committed villagers made the 4,000 mile journey to the country last month.

They went to revisit the residents and see the medical centre, library and 14 classrooms built with money provided by the twinning group.

The team also helped carry out some minor repairs to facilities as well as taking time out to play football and volleyball.

Chairman of the association Helen Orchard was one of the members who made the long trip.

She said: "We would like to thank everybody who supports this worthy cause, the members of the Hutton Twinning Association, the people who went on the trip and all the businesses and people in and around Weston.

"It is amazing how a little help can go such a long way in Africa and it never ceases to amaze us how generous people can be and sometimes it is quite humbling."

The association was launched when Helen's husband Mark stumbled across the village whilst taking a walk from the holiday resort he was staying at.

The boss of Clayton Construction was so shocked by the state of the rundown community amenities he vowed to help by raising money back home.

In the ten years, the group has grown in numbers to include doctors, teachers and builders, has overseen the construction of much-needed facilities and supplied materials such as mosquito nets.

Education grants have also paid for a number of the village's young people to train as librarians or teach and to go on to college or university.

In return, Mark and his team have been made honorary tribesmen by the local Giriama tribe, a status which has never previously been given to white men.

Mark said: "It was one of those things that was just meant to happen, it all just came together.

"They are great people to be with and love having a good time.

More from Weston Mercury

9 minutes ago

Weston boss Marc McGregor has hailed the performance Tom Llewellyn in the Seagulls’ defeat at Welling United, after the teenage starlet marked his first league start with a stunning goal.

Read more

Children as young as 12 have been caught running on the roof of a derelict factory and trespassing in the collapsing building.

Read more

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from October 4-16.

Read more
In The Dock

A six-year-old has raised more than £500 for a Wraxall charity with a sponsored hair cut.

Read more

The Government is set to invest more than £1million to improve pothole problems in Weston and North Somerset.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

Pantomime season will return to Weston-super-Mare next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A six-piece jazz band will entertain a Portishead crowd on November 30.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:41

Westonians have criticised North Somerset Council’s commercial investment decisions after the authority spent more than £50million on acquisitions this year.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a firefighter? If so, there is an event next month which will be a great experience.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

Drivers are having to take life-endagering risks due to high speeds in Yatton High Street, according to campaigners.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists