• At the 91st Annual Inspection Parade of St John Ambulance charity hosted recently at the State House,Uhuru donated Sh10 million to help maintain their good work.
• We should follow the example of our President - giving to the nation without expecting anything in return.
Kenyans are religious people guided by the faith and the word of God.
All of the Abrahamic religions preach charity as one of the most important things for an individual to do for his nation. It is written in Proverbs 11:25: “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed”.
Simply put, those who can afford to give should not worry about giving away some of their money to help others, for their kindness will always return to them in some form.
At the 91st Annual Inspection Parade of St John Ambulance charity hosted recently at the State House, President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed thousands of the charity’s volunteers. In honour of the event, the President donated Sh10 million to help maintain their great and important work.
Bringing attention to the charity through his donation at the State House event is a brilliant move to highlight the immense importance of public-private partnerships in Kenya. The Uhuru administration will help St John Ambulance build a new headquarters and trauma center. Simultaneously, the Ministry of Health is set to work with the charity to implement policies that strive to achieve its mission.
The organisation is responsible for a number of services, including operating ambulances, highway emergency response, maternal healthcare, first aid and safety training, and health advocacy. It manages 17 fully equipped centres to administer emergency services, which it offers to about 25,000 victims of road accidents every year. It has 26,000 volunteers at the moment but is looking to double that in the upcoming year.
As home to the largest UN office in Africa, we are all familiar with the many international NGOs and intergovernmental organisations operating in our country. But there are many local charities, such as St John Ambulance, with which our young people should be encouraged to get involved in. Volunteers gain a high sense of civic duty, and learn first-hand the importance of helping others.
Roadside accidents in Kenya lead to 20.9 deaths per 100,000 people. In the UK, the figure is 3 per 100,000. Even as the government builds ultra-modern infrastructure, it is not unusual to see needless accidents caused by reckless driving. The charity trains 18,000 citizens each year to deal with disaster response services. This includes boda boda riders, who are taught to drive safely to the scene of an accident to administer emergency services.
The government is keenly aware of the problems that accompany unsafe driving here in Kenya — not only the loss to human life but the cost its inflicts upon our national health system. Therefore, Uhuru has rolled out several projects that work in tandem with the goal of St John Ambulance. These include enlarging ambulance fleets, disaster mitigation efforts and rescue personnel training. Most of the initiatives will aim to mitigate direct impacts on the health and safety of our citizens.
But the government is not solely responsible for providing for the well-being of the nation. As Christians, we should always think of ways to give back to the community. Any donation is generous. The scope of Uhuru’s recent donation was huge, but giving any amount to organisations that help the Kenyan people is the most secure investment of all in our nation.
And it doesn’t need to be monetary. There are countless organisations around the country supported by volunteers who donate their precious time to carry out charitable missions. We should all put our money where our mouth is and make sure to give back to the community in any way we can.
As the proverb says, “A genuine gift is like water; when it flows out it can never return”.
We should follow the example of our President - giving to the nation without expecting anything in return.
And if something does happen to be reciprocated, we should view it as a nice little surprise, not an expectation of something in return. Not all leaders would donate their time and their personal money to make their nation more safe and prosperous for all. We ordinary Kenyans should emulate him, little by little.
MP Igembe North