NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Leading local businesses have this year moved to significantly boost the UUNET spearheaded Ear Walk fundraising initiative managing to provisionally raise a total of Sh4.5 million in cash and kind donations.
UUNET Kenya Managing Director Tom Omariba said the 2010 edition had attracted the biggest number of corporate sponsorship, with 36 firms lending a helping hand in the firm’s bid to raise funds for children from disadvantaged backgrounds seeking medical attention to correct hearing problems.
Ahead of the Ear Walk held on Saturday morning, Simba Colt Motors boosted the kitty through a co-sponsorship package and Group General Manager Dinesh Kotecha expressed a commitment to continue playing an active role in the betterment of all citizens in Kenya.
“As a sincerely indigenous local company, Simba Colt Motors Group will continue supporting such sustainable social causes as the UUNET Ear Walk as part of our corporate social responsibility goals,” Mr Kotecha explained.
Funds raised from the annual UUNET Ear Walk, Mr Omariba reiterated, are specifically used to ensure that children from disadvantaged families get corrective ear surgeries which would otherwise be very expensive.
“The corporate sponsorship doubled this year from 15 to 36,” said Mr Omariba, adding that over 1,500 people participated in the 10km walk flagged off by the under-secretary in the Ministry of Medical Services Adan Ali.
Mr Omariba said the money collected will cover operations for approximately 600 children. The UUNET Kenya staff raised Sh1.5 million. The money collected is used to assist Operation Ear Drop, (OED) a local health NGO to do free constructive ear operations for children from poor backgrounds who cannot afford the prohibitive surgery fee.
The OED Chairperson Dr Chimmy Olende said whereas an operation in a private hospital would cost Sh120,000 a similar one done at a public hospital like Kenyatta goes for Sh4,000 per child.