Keely Walsh from Mt Coolum is going to Kenya in January to work in an orphanage.
Keely Walsh from Mt Coolum is going to Kenya in January to work in an orphanage. Iain Curry

Kenyan kids are still in Keely’s thoughts despite attacks

THE horrific images of innocent people being gunned down in a Kenyan shopping mall have only firmed a social work student's determination to work in the area.

Mount Coolum's Keely Walsh booked her January journey to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi last week, only a few days before its Westgate shopping centre became a bloodbath.

The 22-year-old University of the Sunshine Coast student said the incident made her "a bit nervous", but she was still determined to go.

She will be working in a "specialised orphanage", arranged through International Volunteer HQ, helping disabled orphaned children.

Keely is passionate about not just going over to Kenya, but taking along items the children in the orphanage desperately need.

"These are some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the world," Keely said.

"And they need your help."

She guaranteed all funds raised would go to the orphanage in which she would be volunteering.

Keely said last week's events made her realise they needed help now more than ever, although she was sure quite a few people would now be turned off going to help there.

In addition to studying and planning her trip, Keely works as a disability support worker with the Endeavour Foundation and volunteers once a week as a youth mentor at Headspace.

Her desire to help others was fostered at home.

"My mother is a social worker, I grew up in a house which used to foster children," she said.

"It's something I have always been involved in. I think many people haven't grasped what's going on in society."

To help Keely help others visit