African orphans read of Aussie kindness through Hamilton author

HAMILTON children’s author Lee-Anne Fairbairn is exemplifying the Christmas spirit by sending a personal present to hundreds of orphans in Kenya. 

Ms Fairbairn has despatched 300 copies of her book Oh Deer! Christmas Magic to children in the western Kenyan province of Nyanza.

The book, which has been translated from English to the Kenyan dialect of Luo, is a magical tale about Ruben who wishes for a new best friend for Christmas.

Ruben receives much more than he can imagine when Rudolph the reindeer arrives on a holiday Down Under. 

The author said the story was a heartfelt tale of compassion¸ unconditional love and belief that miracles can happen. 

“My message is just as relevant for children in Australia as it is for children all around the world,” Ms Fairbairn said.

“It’s an honour to have been approached to translate a story of hope and deliver it to children who often feel hopeless.”

Ms Fairbairn said she had decided to make the gift after developing a connection through Facebook with Daniel Simba from the Imani Initiative Development Group in Nyanza Province.

Mr Simba had told her of the more than 100,000 children orphaned in Nyanza province because their parents had died from the HIV/AIDS disease.

The Imani Initiative Development Group is building a school for children in Nyanza Province and asked for help.

Ms Fairbairn was owed a consignment of her book from her American publisher Balboa Press and thought its message of hope would strike a chord with the orphans. She asked Balboa to translate it to Luo and send it to Nyanza Province and the publishing house generously agreed.

Writing children’s books is the latest step in Ms Fairbairn’s career that has included teaching, child care and working as a Hamilton-based soils and salinity officer.

She is presently working on a series of children’s books called Australian Bush Track Treasures which encourage children to develop worthy values through stories that link animals to good personality traits.

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