Children's Holiday Camp
With the generous gift by Sir Ali Bin Salim of a plot at Likoni for a camp where needy up-country families with children could have a coast holiday at minimal cost, the League was called in to help. By 1930, in spite of the scourge of locusts that year, £500 had been contributed towards the cost of simple bandas and furnishings. Throughout the '30's money was raised for the Holiday Camp. The League also arranged annual "camps" for children without their parents until the War.
1934 was the first year in which money was donated towards Cancer Research. The league has continued to support this work as one of its premier concerns up to the present day.
The benevolence work of the EAWL started in 1931 as a Fund for necessitous maternity cases, who, because there was no maternity ward in the Government Hospital, were forced to use private and more expensive accommodation. This fund was carried on for several years and in 1934 relief for other cases of need was begun. These were the years of depression in Kenya. Much of the money contributed was used up-country in districts like Kakamega. Here farmers were trying their luck in the gold-fields while their wives struggled on at home.
In 1935 an EAWL Scholarship Fund was started to send young people overseas for training. The Scholarship Fund has now been discontinued but other work of the Benevolence Committee carries on.
The League has supported and organized the arts and crafts, cookery and sewing sections at Agricultural Shows and other exhibitions all over the country since the very early days. The first mention of such an exhibition was the East Africa Show in Nairobi in 1921 at which the EAWL organized the Women's and Children's Section. Plateau and Trans Nzoia Branches are first mentioned as helping their local show in 1927. Exhibits were sent to the Dar es Salaam Show in 1929 and 1930. In 1932 the EAWL had a stand at an Exhibition of Kenya Products organized by the Government. From then until the present day every Agricultural or Trade Show in the country has had its Home Industries Section, in nearly every case organized by the EAWL.
The basis for much of the work of the EAWL in future years had been laid in the 1920's. For the next ten years of Mrs. Turner's Presidency this work was strengthened and new projects were initiated.
Mrs Dorcas Aubrey MBE
Mrs Zandra Fawcus
Outstanding among the work of the branches in the 1920's. and 1930's was the establishment in Nakuru, in 1927, of an African Baby Welfare Clinic, which was attended by large numbers of women with their children, and carried on for many years. A similar Clinic was opened in Kitale In 1926.
Also in 1933 Mrs. Dorcas Aubrey started her sewing classes for African women with the help of the Ruiru Branch. The next year cooking and domestic science classes were held. This was the start of the Homemakers Society.
It is impossible to detail all that the many branches were doing during the decades, but Trans Nzoia succeeded in getting a "sick bay" built at the Kitale Government Primary School, and up-country members helped and visited their Government African Hospitals. Nakuru also started an Employment Bureau.
Some long serving Branch Chairmen have been Mrs. Marjorie Dudgeon, Chairman of Rongai Branch (pictured to the left) for 40 years and a founder member. Mrs Paterson (pictured at the bottom of the page), 20 years Chairman of Nanyuki, and Mrs. Ella Coulson(pictured to the right) who started the Lumbwa Branch in the 1930's. Mrs, Coulson was a past councillor.
Mrs J.M. Dudgeon
Mrs Ella Coulson
Lady Eleanor Cole and Mrs. Zandra Fawcus, early League members who were in England at the time, were involved in the start of the Associated Countrywomen of the World, known in 1931 at Rural Women's and Homemakers Organization! Lady Eleanor also represented the League on the National Council of Women in England. and put forward Kenya's views on many committees in London.
Mrs. Arthur Fawcus, first DVP of Njoro/Elburgon Branch in the Twenties, represented the EAWL at the ACWW Conference in Stockholm in 1933.
1930 "Help and Advice to Women and Newcomers to Kenya" - Written and published by the EAWL to acquaint newcomers with conditions and unforeseen dangers in the young country.
1932 Brochure of Kenya's Products - Produced at the request of the Government
to promote Kenya products. Foreword by Lord Delamere.
1939 "Help Yourself to Keep Healthy" - Written by a member and approved by the
Medical Department, printed by the EAWL. "Protection Against Air Raids."
In 1933 a Red Cross Room was opened in the Memorial Hall, where lectures, demonstrations and courses were held. As a result, a number of trained Red Cross workers were ready when War broke out.
Mrs. J.J. Paterson, Branch Chairman of Nanyuki for 20 years.