Meet shoe sisters Felicity and Sharline. They may live 4180 miles apart – but their polar worlds have collided, thanks to a pair of sparkly trainers.
Felicity lives in Ely while Sharline lives in Nakuru, Kenya’s fourth largest city. At Felicity’s school, kids average 30 to a classroom while at Sharline’s, it’s more like 50.
Seven-year-old Felicity never has to worry about where her next meal is coming from. Nine-year-old Sharline is lucky if she eats three meat meals in a year.
Yet the two girls’ lives have been woven together, thanks to a pair of sparkly sneakers.
They were among a huge bundle of clothes and school supplies brought over to Kenya by a team of Ely College students volunteering at Ungana and Jubilee Academies, two schools situated in Kenya’s slums.
The shoes were mostly donated by people across East Cambridgeshire, with some coming from as far away as Devon.
This week the Ely College students have been busy giving the schools a makeover as well as handing out the gifts they’d brought over with them through African Adventures, an organisation enabling schools to volunteer.
The experience has been life changing for everyone involved.
Many of the children at the two Kenyan schools would not have any underwear or shoes to wear were it not for the generosity of Ely residents.
When Felicity saw a photograph of Sharline wearing the shoes she’d outgrown, she burst into tears, mum Nicky Evans told Spotted in Ely.
“She said she wanted to get all the children sparkly shoes next time and some bars of chocolate.
“She was genuinely upset that these children don’t have the things other children take for granted.”