Nairobi — It was joy at Mama Fatuma Goodwill Children’s home in Eastleigh on Wednesday when they received donations through an initiative of Kenya and Chinese First Ladies.
Kenya’s First Lady Rachel Ruto partnered with Chinese First Lady Prof. Peng Liyuan to support the children, many of whom come from disadvantaged families.
The donations which include food, sanitary towels, health and medical supplies were donated in conjunction with the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi.
The Chinese First Lady was represented by Minister Counsellor of the Embassy Zhao Xiyuan while Kenya’s First Lady was represented by Edward Ngaira.
“Prof Peng is very passionate about supporting children for a better future and after the COVID-19 pandemic, she called for donations of medical supplies and vaccines for African children, youth and women in the name of the Chinese government in 2020 and 2022,” Zhao said.
Zhao Xiyuan, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi (second from right), Edward Ngaira, a Director at the Kenyan First Lady’s Office (L), with Mama Fatuma Goodwill Children’s Home’s Hussein Omar and Mohamed Hiribae during a donations event on May 31, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.
He said the Chinese First Lady is also undertaking similar initiatives in various countries across Africa as part of the warm bilateral relations China enjoys with the continent where President Xi Jinping’s government has supported massive infrastructure projects.
Over the past 3 years, he said, China donated over 189 million doses of vaccines for 53 African countries.
Under the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, the Chinese government provided 1 million USD dollar aid to UNICEF Kenya to implement the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Project, which covered 159 medical institutions in 8 counties of Kenya and more than 3 million people benefited from the project from 2020 to 2021.
In particular, Kenya this year marks the 60th independence of diplomatic relations China which has grown massively on trade, infrastructure and people-to-people relations.
On her part, Kenya’s First Lady Rachel Ruto who was represented by Mr Ngaira thanked the Chinese First Lady and the Chinese government for the invaluable support.
She said vulnerable children in society need love and support from the people around them.
“I make a statement to our society. A society that does not take care of their children, does not have a future. It moves me to stand here and look at these children because each of them represents a destiny. Each one of them represents a bright future, possibilities of what they can be and do in this life,” Ngaira said, “we are very grateful for this support.”
And she added, “I want to tell you, dear future boys and girls, that your future is bright. Look at the people who have gone through this institution and have become something in life, you need to be encouraged that you also will become someone great in this life.”
The Kenyan First Lady said she will continue working with her counterpart to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate in society.
The Children’s home Chairman, Hussein Shariff hailed the two First Ladies from Kenya and China for the support, saying it will go a long way to keep the children in school.
“This kind of support is what makes the children succeed and live a normal life because they are disadvantaged in life, we have been able to produce a lot of very successful professionals from this home and I am sure we will produce even more with this support,” he said.