LOUTH business owner Jak Bakewell says his recent charity trip to Kenya gave him ‘the most incredible experience’ of his life.
Jak recently spent three weeks living with a family in Nairobi, Kenya, doing his bit to help with the growing HIV and AIDS problems in the area.
The 23-year-old former Monks’ Dyke Technology College pupil, now owner of the Re-Invention hair salon in Upgate, funded the trip himself and worked with charity Agape to make his dream trip become reality.
Prior to flying out on April 22, Jak spent countless hours fundraising and raised thousands from events in Louth, taking the money with him to ensure it went directly to the good causes.
Money raised from a fundraiser held at the Greyhound pub and a non-uniform day at Monks’ Dyke School helped to pay for things like basic stationary which he gave to the children.
Jak’s trip saw him working in IDP (internally displaced person) camps, HIV clinics giving tests and taking part in feeding programmes, and touring local schools, orphanages and churches to spread the message about hygiene.
“It was the most incredible experience of my life,” he said.
“It showed me how just a little bit of time can make a huge difference to these amazing people.”
Jak also visited the nearby Kibera, the second largest slum in Africa, where population estimates range from 170,000 up to two million.
Reflecting on his experiences on his return, Jak continued: “Despite them having next to no basic sanitation, in some ways their quality of life is almost better than ours, everything is much simpler.
“But the corruption and prostitution is unbelievable.
“Having said that, I would love to go back, but I also want to visit other areas and do what I can for other people.”
“I’m still in touch with some of the people over there,” he added.
“I’m hoping in the future I’ll be able to sponsor a visit from one of them to come over here and visit the schools.”