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72-year-old Yorkshire woman returns to Kenya to help build a safe house for young girls

By Elisha Atkinson

Hilary Parry-Davis and a picture of the child she sponsors in Kenya

Action Aid has approached a 72-year-old retired woman from Over Dinsdale, North Yorkshire to volunteer in a project in Kenya.

Hilary Parry-Davis grew up in Kenya and will be returning to the village of Mwakirunge to build a support centre for girls who have experienced violence.

The village of Mwakirunge has high levels of pregnancy, child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). The building will enable girls in the area to access physical, mental and legal support.

Action Aid approached Hilary because she has been sponsoring a young boy named Bouje in Kenya for 14 years.

Hilary said: “I received a lovely letter from action aid asking me if I would like to volunteer, so I looked into it and it didn’t take me very long to decide yes I think I can do that!

“Africa is in your blood, once you’ve been there, it’s the smell, the sounds, everything about it, so when this came up there was no doubt in my mind I had to go home.

“Women need to stand up, and these are young girls we are talking about, we need to empower them.”

Hilary has arranged a number of events to help raise money for the project including singing for the San Parelil choir.

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