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Fight against Cancer: Optiven Foundation Partners with KNH’s Hope Hostel Project

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October 14th, 2019: According to the 2018 GLOBOCAN report by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, there are approximately 47,887 new cases of Cancer in Kenya annually while 32,987 die from it yearly.

Most of these Kenyans seeking cancer treatment locally come to Nairobi from far flung parts of the country. Many times over, they have a huge challenge when it comes to accommodation, since many of them cannot afford the huge cost of accommodation in the city.

They end up spending their nights in the cold corridors of our medical facilities, as they wait for the sun to rise and another date with the medics.

“Optiven Foundation recognizes that there is a need to have a lasting solution to this problem. In this regard, we are glad to partner with Kenyatta National Hospital’s Hope Hostel Project, to help cancer patients get a proper place to sleep,” says Mr. George Wachiuri, the Chairman and Trustee of Optiven Foundation.

 

Optiven CEO George Wachiuri

The Foundation has today donated Kshs100, 000 towards the construction of the upcoming hostel, which will come as a huge accommodation solution to the cancer patients.

“In 2018, we carried out a study that found out the reason why many patients do not go through the entire cancer treatment process is because they face three major challenges namely accommodation, transport cost and proper nutrition. Based on these findings, we decided to come up with a solution for these problems by coming up with this Hostel that will accommodate these patients for free, while they are going through their treatment” says Dr. Tom Bosire Menge, KNH’s Deputy Director, Affiliations & Institution Development.

READ ALSO:   VIDEOS: Optiven Foundation donates hundreds of wheelchairs to the needy, welcomes partnerships

According to Dr. Esther Cege Munyoro, Head Pain and Palliative Care Unit KNH, this Hostel is an undertaking that will go a long way in helping to heal the emotions and agony of thousands of Kenyans.

Indeed, the story on the agony that cancer patients go through in the process of seeking medication in Kenya is very touching, to say the least. And this facility is one way that is going to drastically bring great relief to numerous patients seeking medication at KNH.

“It is important for all of us to unite as a country and walk the talk in fighting cancer. I request all corporates and business owners to contribute towards making the lives of cancer patients more bearable,” says Mr. Wachiuri.

The Foundation Chairman has pleaded with other corporates to come together and create a difference in our society. “Let us all be the champions of positive social transformation,’ he said.

About Optiven Foundation

Optiven Foundation believes in giving back to the society. The foundation achieves this through its 4 key areas that include:

1. Poverty alleviation
2. Environmental protection
3. Education
4. Health

Amongst many other undertakings, the Foundation has managed to offer successful scholarships to hundreds of young children across all the 47 Kenyan counties through our Soaring Eagles Scholarship Programme (SESP). The Foundation also supports the Soweto Anti-Aids Children’s Home in Kayole, Embakasi District in Nairobi, which is a home that accommodates over 100 children, mostly orphaned due to Aids.

READ ALSO:   What drives you? Do you have a Succinct Vision?

www.optivenfoundation.org

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Lifestyle

After failed bid to become a nun, now I rescue girls

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Growing up in Ndunyu Chege, Muranga County, Wangari  says she witnessed untold gender-based violence meted on women in her village. “What was happening in the village was like a competition to see man could beat their wives more severely; I remember one time when a man chopped his wife’s arm from the shoulder!” she says.

Wangari says such incidents made her hate the institution of marriage. In Class Six when a group of nuns visited her school to speak to students, she made up her mind to become one of them. This was a decision made to avoid the institution of marriage and the violence she had come to associate it with.

“When the nuns visited and told us about the vocation, I got a way out of what I thought was bad and I started wearing gowns synonymous with how nuns dress,” she recalls.

Her father, a teacher in a local school, supported her choice and changed how he looked at girls and their place in society. He encouraged Wangari to follow her heart. She would make the first false start into sisterhood when after her O-Level education at St Francis Girls School Mangu, she joined Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious community.

“The sisters run a home for the old people and this is where I was taken and I was given a job of looking after an 89-year-old man,” Wangari says. After a few days, she quit and joined Ursuline Sisters but, in her mind, it was still about escaping the institution of marriage. Her superiors realised this and gave her a two-month break to go and reflect on whether this was what she really wanted.

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“Two senior sisters in the community sat me down and asked me if I had really made the right decision and I tried to convince them that indeed I had but they decided that I had to go and think over it before I could come back,” she says.

She never went back. On the same day she left, she went to live with a lady whose husband was a military officer to avoid going back home. While in the house, she recalls the husband meting out violence on his wife to the point of burning her with a hot iron despite the fact that she was pregnant. That very day, she left the house and went back home to her parents.

“I told them that I was no longer going to be a nun, so my dad took me to college where I studied for a diploma in marketing,” she says.

She got her first job, starting off as at the front office desk at the Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (Kasneb), she would work at the institution for 14 years before she left and started a magazine focusing on gender-based violence.

The journey to saving girls from early marriages would start in earnest when she was called to the Nairobi Women’s Hospital’s Gender Recovery Centre to do a story about a 13-year-old girl who had been defiled by a teacher and gotten pregnant.

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She recalls: “We were told that the teacher had bribed the girl’s father with Sh3,000 and I asked to be given the girl to care for after she had left hospital.” From this experience, Wangari says she realised she did not have to wait until girls got themselves into these sticky situations before they were rescued. She says prevention is better than cure.

The 52-year-old has since then been involved in gender-based violence recoveries through the organization, Woman’s Hope. She has been rescuing girls from early marriages and pregnancies and putting them back in school. Through the organisation, she has rescued more than 500 girls.

How does she do this?

Using local chiefs and the Nyumba Kumi committees, she gets to know vulnerable girls who she picks and takes through a programme at the centre she runs in Karen. Social workers also help in identifying these girls.

After rescuing the first girl, she started an initiative called ‘Sweat It out for a Needy Cause’ where the fitness enthusiast would, together with her friends, donate Sh500 whenever they ran. From the funds they collected, they bought hygiene effects for vulnerable girls.

“We realised that these vulnerable girls were prone to getting early pregnancies and (into) marriages because of promises for small things like sanitary towels; we then started training the girls we rescued at a house we had rented which could care for 30 girls before moving to the current bigger centre in Hardy, Karen,” says Wangari.

READ ALSO:   SPONSORED: Optiven's Amani Ridge - The place of peace- Construction begins!

The girls are taken through a three-month training every year during school holidays in April, August and December, where they learn some basic skills. They meet counselors and mentors who speak to them. As part of the initiative, she came up with a ‘Dignity Pack’, which contains sanitary towels, panties, soap and petroleum jelly because in giving sanitary towels, some girls would come saying they have no panties which still exposes them to predators.  Wangari says that through the initiative, girls have learn skills while other have gone back to complete their formal education.

“When I get a girl who should be in school, I ensure that they first get back to school because I have experienced that in waiting we could lose the girl to early marriage of pregnancy,” she says.

Currently, the centre is making face masks for sale to as a means of sustaining the girls and some of the families they support. She has also roped in her zumba class to help in feeding the vulnerable, especially in Gataka, during these difficult times, which have left families struggling. When we caught up with her earlier this month, it was at an event at Tone La Maji Centre in Nakimurunya, Kajiado County, putting a smile on the faces of 33 boys.

By Standardmedia.co.ke

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Business

Boss Moves: Betty Kyallo breaks the internet a few days after leaving K24 TV

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Betty Kyallo is one of the most loved and supported celebrities around thanks to her supporters #TeamBetty.

The media personality who recently hit 2 million followers on Instagram has broken another internet record.

Betty started a YouTube channel two weeks ago and she has amassed 44.7k subscribers already, making her the first Kenyan to gain such subscribers in a short period of time.

She has been sharing videos of her personal life and what she has been up to lately and they’re going viral.

One of her fans identified as Fulasa also noted that Betty had ‘made it’

‘That channel guys… First Kenyan YouTuber to make such a record in just two weeks.. 44k and counting,’ he posted.

Betty, who is also one the most followed Kenyan media personality on Twitter with 822k followers, left K24 TV on May 30 after two years and she is currently focusing on her salon business. She has moved the location of her salon from the iconic FCB Mihrab to a bigger place in Kilimani.

Below is the instagram post she made of the new salon place.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CA3OJqoHxjo/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

In a previous interview with Mpasho.co.ke, while speaking about her salon, she said

Thank God for the hard work I’ve put in. Apart from giving birth to my daughter Ivanna, I don’t think there’s any other thing I have put more effort in like Flair by Betty. It’s where my heart and all investments are. Because of the passion and dedication that the team at Flair has put in, it’s been a fantastic start, and I thank God.

By Mpasho.co.ke,

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‘I was knocked off the road by a driver,’ KTN’s Ben Kitili speaks after accident

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KTN TV senior anchor Ben Kitili recently escaped death by a whisker while cycling around the city.

The father of two shared a photo of his bruised arm, narrating how a motorist knocked him off.

Below is the photo he posted and a caption.

Ben Kitili

NAIROBI is one of the most hazardous cities for cyclists. This happened to me two weeks ago – knocked off the road by an idiot of a driver. Non-motorised transport infrastructure is needed. Good manners too. To borrow a quote, barabara si ya mama yako bwana,’ he posted on social media.

His followers reacted to the post, with many condemning rogue motorists.

Below are the reactions

Bernard Ndong Pole sana bro, that must have been scary…

kyalo_m Cycling is a death trap, there are drivers out there who don’t see cyclists as deserving of tarmac.

Caroline Makandi That looks painful!! Pole

amran_shariff We just lost my neighbours son yesterday, he was hit by a lorry, only 12yrs of age. He was also cycling on his bicycle @benkitili

James Wanyoike Many parts have no cycle paths. What most hawkers are occupying are designated as parking spots and verandahs NOT cycle paths.

David Solit Sum Very sad. …every road user is at risk whether pedestrian or cyclist or motorists. Track drivers kill innocent motorists. Let’s all take care knowing that a mad man could be on the wheel

READ ALSO:   SPONSORED: Introducing Amani Ridge, the Place of Peace - Kiambu

Pancwise Gamgee Pole sana man. I don’t know why motorists assume that we cannot share the road.

Anne Mute Motorists should understand that we all have a right on the road. – driving, riding, cycling, walking – So we should learn to share the road. I’m sorry about what happened to you.

By Mpasho

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