The PCEA Kikuyu Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Kenya, providing quality healthcare for thousands of people each month in their various out and in-patient departments. However, the hospital does not have a children’s ward, so they borrow space in an adults’ ward, but this can only cater for a maximum of 6 children.
During an African Impact volunteer placement at the hospital, nursing students Abby and Hannah were saddened to see many children turned away due to lack of space. They also realized even the few children admitted do not have a child-friendly space that would be conducive to their treatment. So these two volunteers began an amazing fundraising initiative to help put up the first specialized children’s ward in the region.
Through their support as well as a generous contribution from the Planeterra Foundation, The Happy Africa Foundation raised $100,000.00 which has been used towards starting the building. There is a balance of $75,000 needed to complete the ward and have it ready for the next step – equipping the ward adequately.
THE KIDS 4 KIDS CAMPAIGN
This year The Happy Africa Foundation discussed with the hospital to have a fundraising campaign run by children around the world which would raise funds for the completion of the building. The hospital formed a Kids 4 Kids committee comprising of 12 staff from different departments and the process began with a lunch meeting with school heads of the community.
The initiative received overwhelming support with 15 schools registering participation. Each school selected a K4K representative teacher who visited the hospital along with the student presidents, vice presidents and speakers. They were shown around the hospital and spent some time in the current children’s rooms and the incomplete ward. This was followed by a Kids 4 Kids vision casting session and the teams brainstormed on how to engage their schools in this campaign. The visitors finished with a fun team-building session.
The children leaders returned to their schools as campaign representatives, making it a real Kids 4 kids campaign!
We printed special Kids 4 Kids forms for the children during the school holidays to raise funds to participate in the event. The children worked towards raising Ksh. 1,000 to get a t-shirt and we made vests, wristbands and papercaps for those who raised Ksh 500, 200 and below 200 respectively. Through the hospital chaplain we sent letters to about 30 churches around the hospital requesting them to support their children in fundraising. The hospital staff were also sensitized during the weekly staff meetings and given a half price offer for kids t-shirts for those participating with their children. Lastly we made visits to several corporates requesting their support for the event. We were fortunate to have 15 organisations supporting us with cash & kind donations. We also created an sms donation platform where members of the community donated Ksh. 50 and above through a mobile money service and we were happy with the response. The cost of the campaign was Ksh. 1,241,929.00 which was facilitated by the hospital.
THE KIDS 4 KIDS EVENT
The Kids 4 kids walk and festival started at 8am with participants streaming in bright and early from 7am. The Kenya Police Band, the Green Garden Kids band and Efwe group entertained the crowd until 9am. Girl scouts from various schools hoisted the flag and the band led the crowd in the national anthem before the Kiambu County first lady Mrs. Philomena Kabogo flagged off the walk.
The children, hospital staff and other community members, estimated at 1,000 in total, walked 6kms from Kikuyu Township Primary School to Kikuyu Day Secondary School where the boy scouts marched to receive the first lady and surprised her with a dance too! There was loads of energy coordinated by tv and radio personalities and plenty of music by a famous Dj from the area. Students and teachers presented skits and poems related to childrens’ health and surprised us with funky dance moves in their dance sessions.
We had a wonderful speech from the County first lady who committed to support the campaign until the ward is done. There were speeches from the host schools, hospital administration and corporate sponsors. There were other activities to keep the kids busy including bouncing castles, face painting, raffle tickets and a snack shop, manned by hospital staff.
Special mention must be made to Old Mutual Insurance who took up the gold sponsorship of Ksh. 300,000 and Crystal Waters who donated 10,000 bottles of water to sell, with proceeds going towards the campaign! We also got support from the government with the Kenya Police providing security and the talents of the Police Band, the County Council and National Environmental Mgmt Authority giving waivers for the event licenses needed. Efwe, a group of community health workers provided free video coverage, clowns, skits and other entertainment services. Kameme radio, Coro radio and Nation TV helped to invite people to the walk and helped MC and entertain the crowd. Green Garden band provided a kids band and other schools registered presentations for the festival.
Corporates also supported with gifts to motivate the highest fundraisers in various categories, Green Garden School scooped a TV, 2 students earned a smartphone each and the highest achieving staff member won himself a microwave!
The campaign efforts raised a total of Ksh. 3,821,678.00 which is more than half of the total amount needed. This is a great milestone accomplished from tapping into the community resources available around the hospital.
We were very impressed with the staff and community participation and learned a lot of lessons along the way that we intend to utilise going forward. We look forward to holding the same event annually with the aim of completing and equipping the ward and thereafter starting a poor children’s fund.
We intend to re-engage some international schools in the 1st quarter of 2015 that had their calendars full at the time of the event. We will also begin engaging corporates early in the year to include us in their CSR budget as we engage the hospital suppliers to have a percentage of supplies donated towards the campaign.
The date for the next walk has been set for 12th September 2015, beginning with an official launch dinner in July.
The Happy Africa Foundation contributed Ksh. 100,000 to the campaign and will be contributing Ksh. 2.5 Million towards the children’s ward. Ksh. 1M has already been raised and the balance will be raised through a Kids 4 Kids fundraising campaign in schools around the world, over the valentine season in 2015.
We look forward to working together to complete the children’s ward which will provide much needed and affordable healthcare to millions of children in Kenya. We greatly value our partnership with PCEA Kikuyu Hospital which has provided us the opportunity to engage in positive and sustainable solutions in our communities.