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Young woman's cancer charity receives rare honour

Health & Science
 Mutave Mutemi. (Photo: George Njunge/Standard)

The pretty and bubbly Mutave Mutemi is not your usual 24-year-old.

The charity she runs, Colour My World, has been nominated for an award because of the remarkable work she has been doing at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) with children battling cancer.

Mutemi’s organisation has been nominated by Eddah’s Hope Cancer Foundation for an award to be given on October 28 for Best Cancer Group Initiative.

Mutave has been working in partnership with KNH since she was 21. The charity started during a Christmas party she organised at the hospital in 2013.

“At that point, we did not have a vision that we would do it often or expand it, but we decided to start something because of the overwhelming response that we got,” she says. She and her friend, now co-founder, Elizabeth Njenga, then registered the charity in 2013. In just three years, the charity has attracted over 120 volunteers actively working with the children every week.

So far, they have touched the lives of more than 300 children battling cancer.

“We educate the children by spending time with them and also through different activities like arts and crafts, storytelling and music,” she says. The programme is tailored to the individual needs of the children at the hospital.

They ensure each child keeps up with their class work even as they undergo treatment.

Through contributions from friends and sponsors such as Athi Water, they have now acquired over 2,000 books for their lessons and since it is a charity, they work with volunteers.

“... if you are in university or have just finished high school, and you are above 18 and can handle the responsibilities that come with being in a hospital and dealing with children, we can work with you.”

Though fulfilling, she admits the journey is not a walk in the park.

“You can come to class today and a couple of weeks later you hear one of the children is no more. It is heartbreaking,” says Mutemi, a graduate of Daystar University.

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