The Office of the First Lady Rachael Ruto in conjunction with the Chinese Embassy in Kenya has undertaken to give greater focus to issues aimed at protecting and empowering vulnerable children.
The commitment was made Wednesday during a donations event at Mama Fatuma Goodwill Children’s home in Eastleigh, Nairobi, through the Warm Children’s Hearts initiative, a China-Africa joint action.
The donations included food, health, and educational and sport supplies made under the African Children’s Caring campaign jointly initiated by Chinese First Lady Professor Peng Liyuan and the Organization of African First Ladys’ Development (OAFLD)
During the outreach event held in Kenya’s capital, Zhao Xiyuan, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi reiterated Beijing’s commitment to continued cooperation with the East Africa nation to empower communities.
He noted, for instance, that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be achieved without the realization of children’s rights, health and well-being and more.
“The Chinese government appreciates the efforts of Kenya government in delivering the SDGs and enhancing the well-being of children and women, and is ready to join hands with our Kenyan friends to take concrete measures to help more children in the future to build a China-Africa community with a shared future and a global community of health for all,” he averred
His sentiments resonated with those of Edward Ngaira, a Director at the Kenyan First Lady’s Office. He said the Office of the First Lady deeply appreciated the ongoing partnership that is aimed at making a difference in the lives of children.
He commended the Chinese leadership for prioritizing issues affecting children in the African continent, noting that this was a foundation to the realization of meaningful development.
“Let me send our appreciation from the office of the first lady of Kenya to the First Lady of the Republic of China. Let her know that we appreciate the joint partnership that we have,” said Ngaira
“We appreciate your leadership and your initiative to reach out to the Children. When I look at the slogan you have – warms children’s hearts, I am full of joy because people from far away from here are thinking about our children,” he added
Mama Fatuma Goodwill Children’s Home management team led by Hussein Omar and Mohamed Hiribae expressed gratitude to the Chinese embassy for the kind gesture noting that they would go a long way in helping the home established in 1966 to continue supporting children in need.
The Chinese First Lady is the World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador and UNESCO’s Special Envoy for the advancement of girls and women’s education and she has demonstrated concern for the health situation in Africa over the past decade, especially for children and women.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, Prof. Peng called for donations of medical supplies and vaccines for African children, youths, and women on behalf of the Chinese government in 2020 and 2022.
“Over the past 3 years, China donated over 189 million doses of vaccines for 53 African countries. Under the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, the Chinese government provided 1 million USD dollar aid to UNICEF Kenya to implement the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Project, which covered 159 medical institutions in 8 counties of Kenya and more than 3 million people benefited from the project from 2020 to 2021,” confirmed Mr Zhao from the Chinese Embassy.