9:00am Thursday 10th May 2012
By Julie Hayes
A YORK charity hoping to bring a dance group to the UK from Kenya has raised more than £7,000 towards the cause.
Walk Against Crime, set up by fair trade businessman Jeremy Piercy, aims to support a local community project set up in the Mathare slums of Nairobi, which gives teenagers an alternative to crime.
The organisation provides social activities, including a dance academy, to keep the young people off the streets where until recently there was a crime rate of 80 per cent. Because the teenagers have no work and cannot afford school, most get involved in theft, drugs and prostitution, usually around the age of 13 or 14.
In support of the good work of the project, Mr Piercy hopes to bring the dance group, of about ten people, to tour the UK from a base in York to give the teenagers the opportunity to travel.
Mr Piercy said they needed to raise about £25,000 before the group could come in July 2013.
To raise funds for the trip, the charity is doing the Coast to Coast walk, from Southport to Hornsea, along the Transpennine Trail, between July 21 and August 6.
The group will be accompanied by at least one, possibly two, community leaders from Mathare slum and one of their sponsors from Heavenly Treasures in the USA, who will be giving talks along the way, including one in York.
Mr Piercy said: “We’re getting more and more people involved all the time. I’m very pleased about the way it’s going.”
Participants can walk at least part of the route, or cycle, even just for half a day. Visit walkagainstcrime.org for further information.
The walkers will have a rest day in York on August 1, when Mr Piercy said they would walk through the centre of the city.
He is also organising events for the group while they are in York and would welcome suggestions for activities. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org The group is also holding a meeting on May 17 at The George Hotel, Huddersfield, at 1pm.
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