Watton charity’s efforts to help Zambian orphanage
- Credit: Ian Burt
What connects a Watton industrial estate unit, a leprosy nurse and an orphanage in remote Zambia?
The answer is Ken and Pat Webb who, along with the help of manager Neil Starling and a group of trustees, support 100 children at a home on banks of the Kabompo River.
They run the Falconer Trust which was set up to support the work of Lilias Falconer, a nurse who founded the orphanage after taking in babies whose mothers' had died in childbirth.
Mr Webb's parents Henry and Irene formed the trust to send aid to Miss Falconer with Henry having been involved in supporting the orphanage from its early days.
When his father was unable to carry on Mr Webb took over the running of the trust.
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He hired a unit on the Threxton Road Industrial Estate near his Swaffham Road home to store the donated items and got to work.
Mr Webb said: 'I've been around it since I was born. It gets in your blood.
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'When my dad had to call it a day there was the choice of stopping it but that wouldn't have done him any good and if truth be told it wouldn't have done the orphanage any good.'
The Falconer Children's Home is 450 miles from the nearest township with a post office and government offices, Ndola.
They rely on the parcels of supplies sent by the Falconer Trust to keep them going.
The care packages, which contain tinned and dried food as well as clothing, nappies and other essentials.
Sixty parcels are sent around eight times a year at a transport cost of around £1,500 per batch.
Since the trust was set up in 1980 the Webbs have visited the orphanage themselves a number of times.
As well as a chance to bring some extra items they are able to see what life is like at the home and ensure everything is running smoothly.
It is also a chance to take photographs of the children to be used in thank you cards to the trust's supporters.
Mrs Webb said: 'They are a very big, happy family.
'Most of the workers are children who grew up there. Some of the women leave to get married but when their husband dies it is traditional for them to return to their village so they come back to the home.
'It is a privilege and a wonderful experience. We get to go where no tourists go. It took a few years to get their confidence but now we walk freely amongst them.'
The orphanage is currently run by Simon Samutala who arrived there at just two days old.
The Webbs have given talks and presentations on the charity around the country leading to donations being sent from all over the place to Norfolk for processing.
The trust happily receives cash donations as well as supplies as these can be vital to keeping the orphanage going.
• Anyone interested in finding out more about the Falconer Trust should visit www.thefalconertrust.org/index.html or contact email@example.com