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Artist Michael Armitage has created a limited edition which is being sold by White Cube Gallery and Gasworks, London, to raise funds in support of COVID-19 relief efforts in Kenya.

The recipient of funds include the Triangle Partner Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute (NCAI) in Kenya; a non-profit visual art space dedicated to the growth and preservation of contemporary art in East Africa. Funds have been instrumental for NCAI as it prepares to open its new space in Nairobi at the end of 2021.

In addition, funds were distributed to Ghetto Classics is a programme of the Art of Music Foundation, a community programme that involves over 500 children in Korogocho – one of Kenya’s biggest slums that is home to about 300,000 urban poor and thousands more children in satellite areas around Nairobi, Kiambu and Mombasa

Funding supported: MUSIC LESSONS at a time when social isolation measures, lockdowns, and school closure stopped all in-person activities ‘We decided to engage online learning in smaller groups. This meant we would have to spend a lot of resources on tutors, the internet, and printed music books to keep the players positive and learning during difficult times’. Alongside this Ghetto Classic was able to contributed to the feeding programme, which began with cash and in-kind donations (groceries, hand sanitizer, masks, and so on) for us to distribute in our communities. ‘We did this weekly for several months in 2020 before realizing we needed to find more long-term ways to help the beneficiaries and their families’.

In recognition of the mental health among our youth, particularly girls, in November 2020 they established a mentorship program, which included monthly meetings for girls (older teens and young adults) to openly discuss issues in their communities such as income generation, sexual harassment, reproductive health, and so on. We have seen a significant change in the girls, with many of them speaking out more confidently, establishing themselves in the community, and starting income-generating businesses. ‘We believe that through these young ladies, we the programme will grow to see them become “big sisters” to the next generation within their communities’.

Funding was also distributed to Beyond Zero, a health charity in Kenya working towards the prevention of maternity and children death. In addition it provides various health screening through mobile clinics. It also advocates for and delivers heath trainings, offers scholarships and provides health infrastructure across the country. Beyond Zero delivered two medical safari and a Fistula camp for communities across the country.

 

The first mini medical safari was conducted from the 15th-19th February 2021 at Timaflor Ltd, a flower farm with approximately 1,500 workers in Meru County. Services provided included screening for reproductive tract cancers (breast, cervical and prostate), HIV testing and counselling, family planning and NHIF biometrics registration. These services were informed by the epidemiological profile of the target beneficiaries.

 

The 2nd mini medical safari was conducted at Farlyndum Estate (22nd March 2021) which has approximately 100 farm workers and at Thika Cloths Mills Ltd (24th-26th March 2021) which has approximately 800 workers. Both Farlyndum Estate and Thika Cloths Mills are in Kiambu County.

 

To commemorate the International Day of Ending Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF), Beyond Zero supported a two week free fistula camp at the Kenyatta National Hospital from 17th - 28th May 2021. As part of the activities to commemorate IDEOF, the First Lady visited the women who benefitted from free fistula surgeries at KNH and handed them dignity packs. She also pledged to continue supporting the global campaign to end fistula. Creation of awareness on and fistula surgical repairs remain a key intervention. Funding is in place to deliver 3 medical safaris in Kilifi, Isioro and Nakuru