A BURY couple have finally achieved their goal of providing a loving, family home in Kenya for children abandoned by their families.

After several months of building work, the Goodlife Orphanage project - masterminded by Mary and Kevin Maguire - has taken in five children.

Gracie, a six-month-old girl and Michael, a baby of just eight weeks, were the first to be welcomed into one of ten new homes being built by the couple.

Gracie had been found lying on a urine-soaked mattress having been abandoned on the street in Mombasa.

With completion of the first two houses, and the hands-on efforts of Mary and Kevin, Gracie now enjoys a new home full of love and care.

The couple, who are still over in Kenya, say Gracie is already a happy and lively young toddler enjoying the benefits of the new playground established with more than £3,200 of donations from their fellow Guardian Angels parishioners in Bury.

The playground has been dedicated to the memory of Joe Geeling, a former pupil at Guardian Angels Primary School.

The second intake involved three young boys - Moses, aged five, and three-year-olds Caleb and Joshua - who were taken from a home in Mombasa by Mary and Kevin which the Department for Children had closed down due to neglect and abuse.

The boys were very tired and hungry when they arrived, and it became clear Caleb was seriously malnourished and had been badly beaten.

Upon completion of all ten homes, the Goodlife Orphanage will provide care and security for more than 60 children with a dedicated house parent for each home.

The house parent will take care of meals and the day-to-day running of the house as well as providing the social and emotional support that the orphaned children so desperately need.

Earlier this year, the Bury Times reported on how Mary and Kevin were inspired to embark on the project after seeing at first hand the plight of children in the Kenyan community of Kikambala, while they were holidaying in the nearby tourist resort of Mombasa.

Following lengthy legal processes to rescue the children, Mary said: "It was a very humbling experience going into the local hospital to pick them up.

"The place is full of young children - two sometimes three in a cot.

"They don't cry because nobody responds - so they just lie there and look up at the ceiling, they are so helpless.

"We are just so glad to be able to make a difference to some of these poor children and we are so grateful to everyone back home for their support."