We recently welcomed back and introduced our students to Old Blue Mike Deriaz, from the Class of 1977. Mike, formerly the Head of UK Tax at BNP Paribas, gave up his job to found The Friends of Kipkelion, a Charitable Trust, which has operated in a remote and mountainous part of Kenya since 2010.
During a special assembly, our Key Stage 4 students gained an insight into the work carried out by Mike and his team, including providing access to clean water, delivering maternal and new-born healthcare projects and improving education opportunities for children, especially girls. The charity also receives UK aid through the Department for International Development’s Community Partnership grant, for its work in trying to eradicate the appalling practice of FGM in the region.
Tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of our Year 9 Business Studies students, Mike set them an exciting Dragons’ Den style Enterprise Challenge, which we look forward to keeping you updated with over the course of the autumn term. All funds raised by our budding businessmen and women will go directly to The Friends of Kipkelion charity.
Since Mike’s return to Blue Coat, we are delighted to report that he has been honoured with a UK Points of Light award for his outstanding volunteer work.
In a personal letter to Michael, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are supporting the movement to end FGM in the Kipkelion region of Kenya by educating thousands of girls about alternative rites of passage.”
On receiving the award Mike commented:
“It’s so important to know that things you do as an individual to make the world a better place are supported by the community at large. The Points of Light award demonstrates that support – and that’s wonderful.”
We would like to congratulate Mike on receiving this award and we wish him and his charity every success for the future.