She never thought the trip would lead to more than a decade of helping hundreds of preschool children as well. Her initial intention, says Kelly, was to simply form a connection with Auleria and her family, and see ChildFund Zambia’s work in action.
“I knew the face-to-face visit would be life-changing for both my family and Auleria’s family,” Kelly says.
“Our visit gave so much joy to not only Auleria but her whole village. It also brought so much joy to my family. It was a great experience for my daughter to see that we should not take our lives for granted in Australia.
“The visit also gave me a first-hand insight to how ChildFund works and how we could further assist.”
As part of her trip, Kelly and her family visited a small preschool – which later became the Kelly Egan Early Childhood Education Centre – in Auleria’s community. Kelly remembers an empty room and children sitting on the floor. “There was one chalkboard and no tables or chairs,” Kelly says. “There was a separate office for the principal and with a large desk, and on the wall were green cardboard sheets taped together that listed the children that were sponsored by ChildFund.”