Welcome to the Burnaby Blue Foundation (BBF). The BBF is a small charity that had its genesis in Azerbaijan following an army expedition undertaken by members of the Household Cavalry Regiment in the summer of 2000. The expedition spent much of its time working on charitable projects and ultimately found such need in the orphanages of Azerbaijan that the leader, Sacha Tomes, now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Blues and Royals, resolved to do more and set up the BBF. We now work in Kenya, Lesotho and Azerbaijan.
HRH Prince Harry working with the BBF team on our most recent project
The charity has managed to put almost £120,000 into the orphanages of Azerbaijan since 2001. We are proud that this is 93% of all the money we have raised as we have limited overheads and rely on volunteers and partner organizations to help us deliver our work. We deliberately concentrate on infrastructure projects that produce an enduring and sustainable product. The original expedition and the emotion that it created can be seen in our short documentary below.
The Burnaby Blue Experience - film documentary
In 2006 we decided that the majority of our work in Azerbaijan was coming to a natural conclusion. Much of the infrastructure work in the main orphanages we were involved in had been completed and through our work, a small part of the sum total of many others, the government of Azerbaijan began spending more money and attention on the institutions. The main orphanage of Saray remains firmly in our thoughts and we are delighted that we can still keep helping through smaller projects as and when needed. We have recently started to once again scope the possibility of providing a structured development programme for the children we have helped to date. This is due to an energised team in Baku and our potential partnership with a local organisation. More news on this as it develops can be seen in our Azerbaijan pages.
Tied up and left alone - the reason the charity began
We have now decided to refocus our efforts on Africa, particularly Kenya where the massive need has been heightened by the recent political unrest. Our main project is in Kataboi in the northern Turkana region, one of the most inhospitable places in the continent. It has always competed badly for government funding and has 60% of its population living below the absolute poverty level. Recent events have meant that attention and funding have been directed elsewhere, further exacerbating a desperate situation.
Our project is based around a 7 year plan which aims to increase capacity for education, resource management and pastoralism. The project is made possible by our relationship with an exceptional individual, a situation that echoes our road to success in Azerbaijan. Our first emphasis is on the delivery of an educational system which is currently non existant.
The recently opened School in Turkana working in January 2010
In the summer of 2009 we also completed a substantial project in Lesotho with AIDS orphans. The latest Burnaby Blue expedition with HRH Prince Harry on board carried out £16,000 of renovation and medical work in the Thuso school. We hope that there will be more such projects in the future that will be carried out in conjunction with British Army soldiers. When they are not in Afghanistan or Iraq (and most, if not all, of the expedition members were in least one of these operational areas in the last 12 months) they still need to lead exciting, interesting and productive lives!
As with all projects we need your help. We think we have identified real areas of need and have great ideas to try and alleviate them. You can find details in the following pages and we welcome your support in any way and in any amount. Thank you for your time and interest.