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BY UPESI NEWS REPORTER,NAIROBI,19TH DEC,2016-The mobile phone services provider Airtel has shared the joy and cheer of the festive season with the children at the Mogra Rescue Centre in Kiambu County. With Christmas being the season for giving and interacting with the less fortunate in Society , Airtel gave a cheque worth Kshs. one million and also donated foodstuffs and toys to the home.The employees engaged and played with children at the Centre, fed the young ones, sang Christmas Carols, danced, played games and gave out Christmas gifts to the little ones.
In a statement, Airtel Kenya CEO, Adil El Youssefi expressed his joy at the gesture that the staff had shown to the children at Mogra. “As staff of Airtel it gives us great pleasure to share the joy of the festive season with these children so as to ensure that they also celebrate like everyone else. Over the years, we have given to the home as we aim to support such initiatives that seek to alleviate the troubles that plague many children especially the abandoned and orphaned. We hope that this visit will brighten their lives and give them hope for the future.”
Speaking at the event, Airtel Africa, VP Corporate Communications and CSR, Michael Okwiri, reiterated the company’s stand to continue to invest in sustainable community development initiatives that seek to empower, enable and unlock the potential of future generations. “In line with the Bharti philosophy, we shall continue to reach out to the less privileged in the society such as the Mogra Rescue Centre to ensure that we impact our communities not only through monetary donations but also giving of our time and support as we have done today.”
Located along Muthaiga North, Kiambu Road, Mogra Rescue Centre supports vulnerable children by giving them a loving home and by providing free education to the children within the Mathare slum. Founded in 2009, the home houses kids from the ages of 0-19 years and since its inception Mogra has made a comfortable home for over 250 children 63 of which are infants of ages ranging from the ages of 2weeks to 1yr old.
The Mogra Rescue Centre has also played a key role in curbing stigmatization associated with those infected and affected by the HIV virus in the slum. While offering to take care of the children that have been abandoned or orphaned due to the virus, the home seeks to educate the community to embrace those affected and not to shun them.
Life in the slums is characterized with inadequate housing, little access to clean water, poor sanitation, lack of healthcare and other public facilities, education and food scarcity. Seeing the increased need to provide children with education in order to equip them to tackle the ever-evolving world, the founder of Mogra Rescue Centre, Hannah Wairimu set up Mogra Star Academy in Mathare slums, in 1998. The institution offers free education in Mathare slums to more than 900 children in both primary and secondary level. Mathare slum is one of the biggest slums in Nairobi with a population of about 500,000 people.
So far the Mogra Star Academy has had over 5,000 candidates in both primary and secondary. These students who benefit from the free and holistic education, offer hope to the community because once they are done with school then they take up responsibilities to cater for their families and impact their community positively.
Food scarcity in the slum area being a glaring reality, Airtel Kenya in September 2014 launched a feeding programme at the Mogra Star Academy thus enabling the students to enjoy breakfast and lunch meals at the school thereby allowing them to fully apply themselves during school lessons. Airtel also continues to offer remuneration to the school’s teachers.