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China's first lady warms hearts in Africa

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-06-01 20:00


Kenya has welcomed and expressed its commitment to the 'Warm Children's Hearts' initiative, a China-Africa joint action to promote the well-being of orphans.

The initiative, a brainchild of Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan in collaboration with the Organization of African First Ladies for Development, has introduced a special fund to care for the health and well-being of African children.

On Wednesday, Mama Fatuma Goodwill Children's home in Kenya's capital Nairobi, became a beneficiary of the program after Chinese embassy officials and officials from Kenya's Office of the First Lady came calling with donations for the more than 80 orphans there.

Zhao Xiyuan, minister counselor of the Chinese embassy in Kenya, said China's first lady has long cared about health in Africa and highly appreciated the continent's efforts in the development of women and children.

"After the outbreak of COVID-19, Prof Peng called for donations of medical supplies and vaccines for African children, youth and women in the name of the Chinese government in 2020 and 2022," Zhao said.

Edward Ngaira, a representative from Kenya's Office of the First Lady, welcomed the initiative and appealed to society to embrace vulnerable children and take care of them. He added Rachel Ruto, Kenya's first lady, was open to support programs that aid the vulnerable, especially women and children.


"A society that does not take care of their children, does not have a future. It moves me to stand here and look at these children, because each of them represents a bright future, possibilities of what they can be and do," Ngaira said.

On behalf of the Chinese embassy, Zhao thanked the office of the first lady in Kenya for joining other African first ladies to support the initiative.

He added as the World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV, China's first lady has been caring for the health of African people and will continue to do so under the initiative.

In neighboring Tanzania, the Chinese embassy held an event on Sunday to donate items and conduct voluntary health checks for the children at Ijango Zaidia Orphanage in the port city of Dar es Salaam.

Dorothy Gwajima, Tanzania's community development, gender, women and special groups minister, noted the ministry will support the vision of the first ladies by establishing the special fund, which will ensure assistance reaches all facilities in the country.

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