A WOMAN from Largs raised the money to build a home for a teenager living with cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

Caitlin Gillespie, 22, was working in Kenya at a school for children with disabilities when she was inspired to help Moses' plight.

When the former Largs Academy pupil heard how Moses' family-of-six had been living in a single rented room for eight years she was determined to help.

The family were unable to afford a home of their own, with all their income spent surviving and keeping his brothers and sisters in school.

In a bid to help, Caitlin and her friend Lois Lomax began their own appeal for the 18-year-old.

She explained: "We shared his story with people back home and we raised quite a bit of money.

"We then went to local businesses to get materials, transported them to the site and worked on the construction alongside other volunteers.

"The family were so grateful and Moses' grandmother, who was 90-years-old, kept calling us angels any time we went to work at the site.

"Having their own house allows for the family to start farming and generating income. The extra space will be a huge help in rehabilitating Moses and aid his walking.

"It took 70,000 Kenyan shillings, equivalent of just £550, to finish the house and help build this family a better future."

The former Kelburn Primary pupil had travelled to Kenya for three months with the international development organisation Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), as part of a UK government-funded International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.

Whilst she started the fundraising on her own, Caitlin says it was thanks to VSO she was able to touch the lives of so many people whilst she was there.

Now back in Largs, she is determined to encourage more people to support the initiative.

She said: "There is a huge amount of prejudice surrounding disability in Kenya. People living with disabilities often then find themselves living in poverty.

"I was given shocking first-hand accounts by young people we worked with who had stones thrown at them, were chased in the street, denied jobs on the basis of their disability and thrown out of their homes, and having to live in terrible conditions ill-suited to their needs.

"I worked closely with a vocational training centre, St.Patrick's of Makueni, to combat this brutal discrimination.

"It is place for people with disabilities to go when they are turned away everywhere else, where they can grow and improve themselves.

"We aimed to establish self-confidence in the young people we worked with and ensure that they were well-informed about their rights and teach them basic life skills to improve their quality of life.

"What felt best about being there was seeing the difference in the lives I was able to touch.

"It’s great to think that these conversations will help young people take control of their lives and go on to reach their full potential."

Caitlin says she was empowered by the difference she was able to make.

She added: "These kids have been told they are worthless from day one by society, family and people on the street because of their condition,

"Seeing them show such an eagerness to learn and develop new skills despite all of the adversity they face is incredible.

"Our generation is the one that has the power to change the way of the world. It is our duty to learn as much as we can and to be active global citizens, aware of the problems and how to best solve them instead of pushing them aside.

"I would encourage more people to take part in the programme and really make a difference."

ICS allows young people aged 18 to 25 to contribute to sustainable development projects in Africa and Asia.

Caitlin is now using the skills she developed overseas to carry out an ‘Action At Home’ project.

For more information about VSO visit www.volunteerics.org.