Our Aims: To provide continuous medical and educational support and resources to the impoverished Pokot people of North West Kenya.
The Yellowmen are a group of Sussex Rotarians and friends led by Eddie McCall who have been working in Central Pokot for the past twelve years. There are 35 Yellowmen of whom 12 are Rotarians. The Yellowmen team include doctors, nurses, engineers, builders, teachers, paramedics, a dentist, an optometrist, mechanics, linguists, students, a broadcaster and an accountant. They travel to the area twice yearly where they support local medical services and schools. Our projects to date have included:
- The building of a clinic in Tikeet
- The refurbishment of a clinic in Marich and a hospital in Sigor
- The supply of medicines and diagnostic equipment to 5 local clinics
- Medical seminars for local doctors
- A series of health clinics including an optical screening programme and a dental survey
- Support for local HIV groups
- The Yellow Bike Project
- The building of new classrooms and the refurbishment of existing schools
- A professional development programme for local teachers
We are a small registered charity which relies solely on donations and fundraising activities. 100% of all donations and monies raised goes directly to the project. We do not take expenses of any kind. Yellowmen pay their own travel and accommodation costs.
Eddie McCall, a member of the Senlac Rotary Club, initially visited West Pokot as part of a field trip in 2000. He was moved by the simplicity of the way of life and by the daily struggles faced by the Pokot people. In particular, he was struck by the lack of adequate health care.
In a run-down clinic, Thomas, a Kenyan doctor (the only member of staff) was attending to the needs of a refugee, a poorly dressed man of about 45. His hand was grossly swollen and was about the size of the average thigh. Having no land, animals or food, he had been reduced to eating charcoal to survive. When smashing the charcoal with his panga, he had badly injured his hand. Having no money, he had delayed coming to the dispensary until the pain was unbearable.
Eddie was appalled by the lack of resources.
The dispensary was almost empty. There were no anaesthetics, no injectable antibiotics and few bandages. Thomas had run out of clean needles and sutures. He would have to cut a number of holes in the man’s hand, push in some gauze ‘wicks’ to allow pus to escape, and hope for the best. He agreed when I said that the man might well lose his arm.
(The treatment was in fact a great success, the patient making a full recovery.)
To buy the necessary drugs to keep this clinic going for a whole year would cost only £508. This small sum would enable Thomas to look after nearly 300 local people.
Returning home, Eddie voiced his concerns to the Rotary Club who agreed to provide the funds to keep the clinic going – and so began the Senlac Clinic Project. Over the following years more money was invested in providing medical support. Together with Dr David Roden (a geographer and a teacher who had been closely involved with the Pokot for years) it was decided to build a second hospital and clinic to serve the Masol Pokot. A group of six Rotarians travelled to Pokot to begin the groundwork. Wearing their yellow tee-shirts, the Rotarians were given the name The Yellowmen of Kadongdong.