Devoted Chesterfield volunteer writes African memoir

Kevin Morley, who's written a book about his volunteering in East Africa
Kevin Morley, who's written a book about his volunteering in East Africa

A Chesterfield man who has devoted his life to helping the children of east Africa has written a book about his extraordinary experiences.

In 2015, Kevin Morley and his wife set up the Saltergate Children’s Home in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

One of the children contracted pneumonia and was in a critical condition.

One of the children contracted pneumonia and was in a critical condition.

However, Kevin’s association with the region goes back to 2005 when he first travelled to Africa as a volunteer.

And it is these memories which Kevin draws on in his book, ‘Inside Eritrea – A Volunteer in East Africa’, which he will signing copies of at Chesterfield library on Thursday, October 5, from 10am to 2pm.

He said: “There were lots of challenges and there was a point where I felt like coming home.

“Having a Derbyshire accent sometimes didn’t help and the use of corporal punishment in the schools I worked in was difficult to come to terms with.

‘Living in an African village starts to take its toll.’

Kevin Morley

“Then there was the challenges of living in an African village with dogs running around and donkeys braying at all hours.

“It starts to take its toll after a while.”

Despite this, Kevin stayed, met his wife Rebka and moved to Ethiopia in 2007.

After they had a daughter, Hannah, in 2012, they moved back to the UK to protect her from the dangers of the volatile region.

The children playing with each other.

The children playing with each other.

And it was when he was taking her to pre-school in Chesterfield that the idea for the book began to take shape.

“I relate a lot of my experiences over there to my upbringing in Chesterfield and Grassmoor,” said Kevin.

“The kids in the African villages were playing the same games I used to when I was growing up.

“I think it helped me relate to them a lot better than maybe other people could.”

Kevin Morleyand his wife Rebka

Kevin Morleyand his wife Rebka

Kevin and his wife set up the children’s home two years ago which now looks after 22 children.

The children include 12-year-old Robuma who has no arms and 14-year-old Delina who is HIV positive.

Kevin says he is keen to get more people involved in the work of the children’s home, either through donating money or sponsoring children and families.

He is also available to provide talks to groups and can be contacted on 07789 975460 or kevinjosephmorley@yahoo.co.uk.