Widow's pledge over charity trip to Zambia

Retired nurse Ann Keene, pictured with her late  husband Peter during a previous trip, has jetted off to Africa to help orphan families

Retired nurse Ann Keene, pictured with her late husband Peter during a previous trip, has jetted off to Africa to help orphan families

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

A SOUTH Lakes gran has set off on an inspirational trip to Zambia to help build homes for orphans – honouring a promise she made with her husband before he died last year.

Retired district nurse Ann Keene, from Kendal, is undertaking her third trip as part of the Habitat for Humanity charity’s housing programme, an adventure she was to share with her husband Peter. He died of pancreatic cancer.

Previously, she and Peter had joined volunteers on two other Habitat ‘builds’ in Nepal and Malawi.

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Ann, 64, said: “We had hoped to go together to Zambia, but Peter was diagnosed with cancer last July on our return from Malawi and died at home in January.

“I know he would want me to continue with this amazing work and go to Zambia as we had planned – and I know he will be with me in spirit.” Ann flew out with a team of volunteers from all over Britain to spend a week in Lusaka, working with local people to dig foundations, mix mortar, lay floors, build walls, install windows and doors, plaster and paint.

Ann said: “It’s truly an amazing and unique experience. It is such a privilege to work alongside local people, sharing their enthusiasm and excitement as the build proceeds.”

Rebecca Martin, chief executive of the charity, said providing shelter for orphans and vulnerable children is one of our leading programmes in Africa.

“We have already helped more than 84,000 orphaned and vulnerable children and their carers.

“Thank goodness for people like Ann, who are prepared to give up their time and fund their own flights and costs to help us make a difference.”

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