The move by the Presidency to open up State House to children has been lauded as one of the greatest ideas in Africa.
Top executives of SOS Chidren’s Villages International today told the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta that the idea allows the children to have a personal engagement with herself and the President.
SOS Children’s Village global Chief Executive Officer Nobert Joachim and the Regional (East and South Africa) Director Ms. Shuba Murthi said the personal interaction between the children, the President and the First Lady has a lasting impact both in terms of mentorship and role modeling.
The two SOS Children’s executives spoke at State House, Nairobi when they paid the First Lady a courtesy call.
For the last four years, State House has been made easily accessible to various groups of children who routinely meet with both the President and the First Lady.
In May 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta and the First Lady launched the unique Pupils Reward Scheme (Pures) to motivate bright pupils from across the country to work hard in their studies and instill in them a sense of discipline, direction and patriotism.
Under this program various groups of students occasionally visit State House for periods ranging between one day and a week, during which visits they meet with both the President and the First Lady.
Besides the Pures program, more children and students are also able to interact with the President and the First Lady either at State House or in their institutions like the Thika School of the Blind ( during visits by both the Head of State and the First Lady).
The SOS Children’s Villages CEO briefed the First Lady over several global initiatives including the Generation Unlimited program which he co-chairs with the UN Secretary-General, and which aims at enhancing the employment of youth through the development of their skill sets.
He also discussed with the First Lady the various Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) related to the welfare of children especially those aimed at keeping them safe.
The CEO praised First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who is also the patron of the SOS Children’s Villages in Kenya, for her deep love and interest in the welfare of children.
He said the First Lady’s support for Children has been very valuable.
The First Lady said she will continue supporting and working with SOS Children’s Villages for the welfare of all children especially those in vulnerable situations.
She also thanked the global body for its continued support for the SOS villages in Kenya.
The SOS Children’s Villages is the world’s largest non-governmental organization focused in supporting children without parents, and families at risk. The organization runs several homes in Kenya.
SOS Children Villages National Director (Kenya) Walter Odhiambo, and members of the Board of trustees Ms Susan Murenga and David Abwoga also attended the function.
Later at State House, the First Lady received 100 wheel-chairs donated by the Giants Group of Nairobi and which will benefit the Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK), Africa Inland Church-Cure (Kijabe) and the Special Olympics Kenya.
The Giants Group was led by its Chairman Altaf F. Abdalla who said his charitable organization is committed to share blessings by putting smiles on the less fortunate members of the society.
The First Lady thanked the group for its continued philanthropy work saying she was encouraged by the wonderful gestures by Kenyans who come together for noble causes.
During the function, the Special Olympics Kenya team was represented by their chairman Thuo Cege, National Director Ms Susan Masila and Board member Douglas Wakiihuri.
Police Spokesperson Charles Owino represented the law enforcement agencies who are planning a fundraising drive under the Law Enforcement Torn Church to mobilize resources for the Special Olympics Kenya.
The First Lady is the patron of the Special Olympics Kenya which takes care of Kenyans with mental disability.
At another function, the First Lady received a special certificate formally recognizing Beyond Zero initiative as a Super Brand.
The six-year innovative initiative was recognized as a Super Brand during the 2016/17 season where it beat 8 other brands in the Humanitarian /Non Governmental Organizations sector to emerge in position one in the entire East African region.
Superbrands Limited, the world’s largest independent arbiter of branding pays tribute to the strongest and most valuable brands in the world and is represented in 80 countries globally.