NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s 3rd Half Marathon preparations Wednesday got a major boost of more than Sh113 million in cash and kind donations from private and public organisations.,
Media Houses pledged a total of over Sh84 million worth of advertising space.
Mediamax Networks pledged Sh25.2 million and Royal Media Services pledged Sh25 million of advertising space, Nation Media Group (Sh13 million) while Capital Group and Kass FM donating Sh10.9 million and Sh7 million respectively while the Standard Group pledged Sh5 million.
The First Lady received cash donations totalling Sh28 million including Sh5 million each from National Bank of Kenya, SAB Miller, KenGen and Oxygen 8 Communications.
Kenya Women Finance Trust and I&M Bank donated Sh3 million each while DTB Bank and Savannah Cement donated Sh1 million each.
The funds raised through the marathon will be used to purchase the remaining eleven fully kitted mobile clinics. More funding from well-wishers is expected over the next week before the launch of the First Lady’s Half Marathon.
The sponsorship by media houses will go a long way in creating awareness of the Beyond Zero campaign and driving the First Lady’s half-marathon registration that targets 70,000 participants, more than double last year’s runners.
Representatives from the various organisations, who presented their donations to the First Lady at State House, Nairobi, pledged to lead teams from their institutions to participate in the First Lady’s half marathon slated for March 6, 2016.
Kenya Red Cross Society, which will provide emergency services through 20 ambulances and 150 paramedics, will have 100 participants in the marathon.
“The sponsorship from Kenya Red Cross will be Sh1.5 million,” said the organisation’s representative Susan Debora Achieng Ng’ong’o.
“Kenya Red Cross is proud to be in your team. What you are doing is amazing and you are making our work easier. You are a chief humanitarian supporter” said Ng’ong’o.
Aga Khan Hospital offered to give 200 free radiation therapy services in support of the First Lady’s Beyond Zero initiative.
Through their Chief Executive Officer, Shawn Bolouki, the Aga Khan Hospital also pledged to donate a fully kitted mobile clinic in time for the launch of the marathon.
DTB Bank will send 75 participants while SAB will be represented by 30 staffers. Media houses will also present marathon teams in support of the First Lady’s noble initiative.
Kenya Women Finance Trust Board Vice Chairperson, Mary Wacuka Ngatia, said her organization that has branches in 45 counties will always support the First Lady’s initiative as it empowers women to continue undertaking crucial activities to improve the lives of their families and the country.
“What you are doing will lead to strong families which in turn will change the economy of this country,” she said.
The First Lady thanked the donors and well-wishers saying their support will go a long way in helping achieve the goals of the Beyond Zero initiative.
She said the ultimate goal of the initiative is to ensure there are well-stocked facilities to cater for women and children healthcare.
“When you go to the ground you feel what is going on, I have been to most counties and the mobile clinics we have donated are doing a great job but clinics will never be enough,” said the First Lady. “My biggest dream is to build a Beyond Zero hospital for women and children as well as revamp existing hospitals around the country.”
The First Lady said her clarion call to corporate and well-wishers is ‘Adopt a Ward’
Later in the evening, the First Lady led her team in warm-up and training sessions as she gears up for the marathon on March 6.