This group of students couldn't volunteer locally during Covid - So they connected with Kenyan orphans instead. 


Do you remember online meetings during lockdown? The endless glitches, the false “freezes”, the funny and the excruciatingly frustrating moments? Well for some, this is ending as we return to normalcy, but for a special team of volunteers at Shrewsbury School and a motivated group of children in Kenya, this chapter of connection is just in the process of beginning.


During the height of COVID, as students were cut off from many local volunteering opportunities, the dedicated group of students and teachers, they were able to begin a connection with some Kenyan orphans, being cared for by Restart Kenya, a charity taking in abandoned street children which already had long established links the school, and “the essential need for technology meant we could get a valuable volunteering project off the ground when Covid was interrupting our lives in a spectacular way and all the associated rules and regs created large hurdles for our student volunteers” explains Mrs Pritchard, head of volunteering.


Connection across continents continues todays with different groups of students over the past few years using the buddy system to forge friendships and links across continents. In April next year, a group of students will spend their Easter Break in Gilgil, Kenya, volunteering to help the children and understand the work of Restart Africa.


And what makes this connection cherished, is that it doesn’t simply turn off when the screen goes dark. From sending personalized Christmas presents based on their knowledge of the children’s likes and dislikes to sharing snippets of their lives and culture, the barrier of a screen is no obstacle to the sea of human emotion.