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A little kindness goes a long way for Kenyan children

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-11-30 20:21

Schools in Kenya are currently closed but in Kihunguro, a low-income settlement in Ruiru suburb on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya's capital, excited children line up at Jewell Souls Hope Foundation for the day's lunch.

Despite being home for the holidays, the children have been receiving a meal a day at the center. The charity organization has been helping feed less privileged children whose families are facing financial difficulties.

On Tuesday, Christmas came early for these children after the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi paid them a visit accompanied with donations of food, stationery, school bags and toys. Miao Miao, counselor at the embassy, presented the donations and expressed her joy at seeing the program's success.

"As the Chinese saying goes, honor old people as you would honor your own aged parents and care for others' children as you would care for your own. We are happy to see more children will not miss a meal through this joint effort. China upholds the right to subsistence and believes in promoting basic human rights and improving people's wellbeing through development," Miao said.

According to Caroline Ndung'u, the program manager at the charity organization, the Chinese embassy in Kenya has been making regular donations to the foundation since 2019. Being a single mother who lives in the community, she said she was touched by the plight of the disadvantaged children, some of whom were starving because their parents could not provide for them.

"I personally started the program with other stakeholders in 2015 and had been writing to many organizations, including embassies, seeking support. The Chinese embassy was the only one that responded and after assessing our situation, they committed themselves to donations to keep the program running," Ndung'u said.

Miao pointed out as much as China is committed to its own development, it is open to provide such assistance without any conditions to strengthen other developing countries' capacity for development, improve the lives of their people and promote their economic growth and social progress.

"China and Kenya are good friends, good partners as well as good brothers and sisters. We are working together to create a China-Kenya and China-Africa community with a shared prosperity. I noticed the foundation is aiming to fight poverty and make the world a better place. This is what the Chinese people hope for the world too," Miao said.

According to Ndung'u, the foundation ensures more than 150 less fortunate children from the settlement get a decent meal at least once a day from Monday to Friday. She normally offers the children a lunch that includes a mixture of beans and maize with cabbage, rice and traditional vegetables or green grams.

"On Friday after lunch, we offer them a 2 kilogram packet of maize meal they can take home. This assures them and their parents of a meal during the weekend," she said.

The embassy staff also interacted with the children and their parents, who expressed their gratitude for the support. Elizabeth Siro, a mother to one of the students, asked the embassy to extend their support to women in the settlement by helping them start income-generating activities.

Miao assured them of the embassy's continued support and said they are ready to work with the foundation to identify diverse areas of cooperation where they can do more to protect the rights of women and children in Kenya.

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