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Charity group raises millions for the less fortunate in society

WORK LIFE
By By Mark Kapchanga | April 11th 2014

By Mark Kapchanga

Supporting the needy has for a long time been perceived to be the function of the State. But with Government functions increasing by day, and the shrinking of resources, the less fortunate have been left at the mercy of individuals with the goodwill to support them.

In most cases, such a model has failed to yield the expected returns, especially when the level of poverty is increasing in Kenya. Now, a charity group has launched an ambitious plan that will see contributions made to the poor every year. Established in 1988, the Nairobi-based Lohana Ladies Circle brings together a group of young women aged between 25 and 45 to uplift the lives of the under-privileged.

 “We have taken up projects and donated millions of shillings to charitable institutions, orphanages, hospitals and schools,” says the Circle’s Chairlady Kamal Kantaria.

Fund-raiser

According to Ms Kantaria, in the past, their charity has bought a ventilator for the intensive care unit at Nazareth Hospital, renovated the Nairobi Children’s Home in Kyuna, supplied sanitary pads to more than 1,000 girls, among other projects. “Every year the club organises a fund-raiser to collect money for the charity.

 A charity is first decided upon. Then we look for projects or events which we can undertake to raise the required money. Once the event has been identified, we work on it try and get maximum collections for the cause,” Ms Kantaria told The Standard in an interview.

Last week, Lohana made donations worth Sh5.2 million in total to Leisure Rondwe Jalaram Girls School in Mombasa, the Flying Doctors Society of Africa, Lions Sightfirst Eye Hospital and Jalaram Medical Services. The Flying Doctors Society of Africa received a financial donation of $11,000 (Sh924, 000) from the Lohana Ladies Circle.  According to Flying Doctors Society of Africa Trustee, Dr Vijoo Rattansi, the much needed funding is a boost for the recently launched fistula campaign aimed at carrying out at least 200 surgical repairs for patients suffering from the dehumanising condition.

Elgon Kenya Ltd Director Baiju Kantaria, whose firm has been one of the sponsors of the cause, called on the private sector to increase their budgets in a bid to uplifting the living standards of the poor in Kenya.

 “It is necessary to give back to the society especially at this point in time when poverty levels are rising,” said Kantaria.

The Elgon Kenya boss said every year the firm gives financial support to more than 100 students in primary, secondary and university. “This is the best way to appreciate the market you serve,” he said.

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