Thank you Graham & Pathway to Hope Fundraiser Wrap Up
In 2016 I received a phone call from a gentleman who said he was a farmer from Mt Beauty and he had heard about what WFWIA was doing in Africa and could he help? We had lots of follow up phone calls, he said he would like to get his church, the Mt Beauty Uniting Church involved and maybe they could sponsor a child. I offered to visit him and speak, if they would like at the Church. My husband, Maurie. and I subsequently went for a few days to Mt Beauty and we met this wonderful Graham Clutterbuck. It was a terrific weekend, Maurie and I both spoke at the church, had morning tea with the parishioners and were told they would like to sponsor a little boy called Maxwell. We had dinner with Julie at the farm, with the Rotary Group and received a wonderful donation. When speaking with Graham, I told him about the needs of the girls who could not afford basic sanitary needs like undies. This really registered with Graham and he next rang to say he was going to try and get donations of underwear for the girls and also the boys. He started with a box at the supermarket in Mt Beauty but soon the word spread all over Northern Victoria and boxes for “Knickers for Nairobi” appeared in many shops throughout the countryside. Graham also spoke on country radio and appeared in the press. It was huge. I often got calls from ladies on distant farms asking where they could drop their donation. Graham also received many financial donations as well and he used these to pay for the transporting of the boxes (that he packed) to Kenya. All in all about 14,000 mainly girls undies were sent to Nairobi with a prayer for their safe arrival – another miracle as the Customs in Kenya charged a very small fee – also covered by Graham’s donations. Graham and Julie went to Nairobi and were at the Centre when the wonderful gift was presented to the girls and boys of Kibera. Graham always said it was one of the proudest days of his life.
In May 2018, Ben Mbasa visited Australia as a representative of WkW. During his time here we once again went to Mt Beauty to meet with the caring people of the Uniting Church. Ben stayed at the farm with Graham and Julie and it was a wonderful experience for him. We had two great days there and a most enjoyable dinner with the local people on the Saturday night.
When Graham was in Nairobi, he heard about the small stoves that could be bought for $40 and were safe for use in the Kibera shacks and only needed limited fuel.
So again, with Ben at Mt Beauty, Graham decided he could get finances for these stoves and set about with a great plan. A plan that was once again very successful and the first lot of stoves were purchased and given to the women of Kibera. I often refer to them at the Clutterbuck Stoves.
Two years ago, Graham rang me to say that despite never having smoked he had lung cancer. What a shock that was. Graham a strong, middle aged man, seemingly healthy, farmer, it just did not seem fair. Because of his health, Graham and Julie moved to Clifton Springs to be closer to family. And the inevitable happened, with Graham’s assistance, the Uniting Church at Drysdale also contributed very generously to the purchase of many more stoves and each year many families of Kibera have been lucky to have a Clutterbuck Stove.
Over the past months, I have had many amazing phone calls from Graham – always positive, always hoping for a longer life, always asking about Maxwell and what is happening at the Centre of WkW. He never complained, I could not believe his faith in his fate. He even rang to say goodbye, I knew that I was speaking to an amazing man – he just asked for prayers. We also laughed, he did not cry over his plans for his funeral, and I think his plans are hopefully for more stoves from that day. He also forwarded money so that every Christmas for the next 4 years, Maxwell and his family will have food and a gift. Maxwell is 16 now and his future sponsorship is assured.
Graham died on Mothers Day 2022.
WFWIA and WkW send their deepest condolences to Julie and family. WFWIA has lost a wonderful supporter, a generous kind donor, someone who really cared for the families of Kibera and we and I have lost a true friend. We will miss him.
Pathway to Hope Fundraiser
Our Pathway to Hope Fundraiser was held on Sunday the 1st of May and was an amazing success!
The event was attended by more than 110 guests and it was lovely to see many of our supports after such a long time.
The African market was full of jewellery, bags, cards and Kenyan oddities and was the favourite place all afternoon.
The auctions, raffle and sponsorship (8 children sponsored) all provided extra entertainment.
We thank all who generously donated items, for our raffle, auction & silent auction.
Our thanks to Jeanelle and Dean who generously donated the event at Glamp. What an amazing venue. The drinks and the fantastic food – we hope those in attendance tried the wallaby it was delicious!
The committee that organised the day worked very hard for its success and are delighted to say it raised nearly $34,000. This is an wonderful effort for a Sunday afternoon event. Once again the generosity of our supporters was amazing and we are so very grateful to you all.
There are still many children needing sponsorship so please pass the word to your friends, it makes a huge difference to the lives of children without hope of ever going to school.
We look forward to our next function, but we thank all who supported ‘Our Pathway to Hope Function’ in so many ways.
Our wonderful committee.
The fantastic African Market