Clara Rono, Lilian Ochieng’ and Ruth Muchiri have one thing in common: foresight, big heart, and an unyielding desire to help the less fortunate.
Sample this: In rural Kajiado County, life can be very unforgiving for the girl child. On or around the age of nine years, some parents allow their girls to undergo the female genital mutilation (FGM), Ms Ochieng’, who is the director of Buela Girls Empowerment told Maudhui House.
Her organization has been reaching out to girls, who have been victims of FGM and early pregnancies, across Kajiado County with a view to give them a new chance in life through mentorships, back to school programs as well as trade skills such as making mats.
“FGM is very rampant in Kajiado. We speak to girls, their parents, and the community on why sending girls to school is very critical. Once they are reintegrated into schools, they will be able to become that which they envisioned to be,” added Ms Ochieng’.
Ruth Muchiri’s experience is no different. At the height of 2007/08 post-election violence in Kenya, a lot of families especially those based in cosmopolitan Limuru area were torn apart. Children watched in horror as marauding gangs either killed or displaced their families. Many school-going children were left poor without homes, friends or families to rely on.
Together with others, Ms Muchiri established Limuru Soccer Academy an organization that has been reaching out to these destitute youth and children, bringing them together with an offer to put a roof under their heads, nature talents through sports, help raise school fees as well as provide for their healthcare needs.
Clara Rono’s passion is working with the visually impaired children in Kilimani Primary School, Nairobi. For some time, however, she has been struggling to get good working braille machines to help her learners access education and compete with their peers.
Help is on the way for the three projects highlighted above as electronics giant LG is offering support that will go a long way in putting smile on the faces of thousands of beneficiaries.
The project dubbed LG Ambassador: Social Impact Challenge, the electronics maker seeks to identify innovative and impactful community initiatives that respond to real problems in communities by boosting them financially to realize their goals.
Last December, LG Electronics sought entries for the Social Impact Challenge covering projects having great community impact but in need of funding. After the competition which ran between December 7th and 24th, and the three entries run by Clara Rono, Lilian Ochieng and Ruth Muchiri were picked to receive funding of up to KES 985,000 each.
Clara Rono’s project plans to use the Sh950,000 shot in the arm to buy braille machines to serve the needs of learners with hearing and speaking impairments at Kilimani Primary School, Nairobi.
In neighboring Kajiado County, LG will extend support comprising sanitary towels to be distributed to girls in various primary schools worth Sh950,000 under Buela Girls Empowerment project.
“LG has given us the power to reach out to more girls in the villages and schools. We’ll set out to talk and train them about the things they hardly hear in school,” noted Ms Ochieng’.
Limuru Soccer Academy that seeks to address poverty and idleness among youth by promoting sports such as football to keep young men and women from engaging in vices and drug abuse will also receive Sh950,000. The project, which is based in Kiambu County, will use the money to buy six motorbikes, soccer balls, playing kits as well as start a sports equipment shop that will boost its revenues.
“The social impact challenge supports those with strong commitment and passion to solve problems and advance their communities to become LG ambassadors. They show strong affection for their communities and are knowledgeable about the social problems they want to solve,” said LG Electronics East Africa Managing Director, Sa Nyoung Kim, during the presentation in Nairobi.
LG has partnered with Korea Food for the Hungry International, a Christian nonprofit organization that promotes awareness about hunger and poverty around the world to launch the project in Kenya. The winning projects scored highly on effectiveness, necessity, efficiency, specificity as well as their feasibility.
“At the global level, we are committed to working with local communities to ensure the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals,” added Mr Kim.