The Wrigley Company Foundation has provided support of the Kenya Drought Operation, championed by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), with a donation of Kshs. 2 million. A formal presentation was made to the First Lady at State House, Nairobi.
KRCS issued a drought appeal that previously sought Kshs. 1 billion to support 340,786 people which has since been revised to Kshs. 2.5 billion to cater for 1 million people across 13 counties, in light of the dramatic increase in the number of people now in need of food assistance.
“The impact of the drought has been felt across the nation for individuals, businesses and the country at large and we are proud this donation from the Wrigley Company Foundation will support efforts to help those in great need,” said Wrigley’s Corporate Affairs Director – Africa, Wanja Mwangi.
Her Excellency the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta received the cheque on behalf of the Kenya Red Cross Society. “We are reminded of the generosity and unity that exists within our borders by the sheer number of people and organizations that have stepped up and taken it upon themselves to ease the burden facing fellow countrymen,” she said.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, KRCS Secretary General Abbas Gullet said the number of those affected continued to rise at an alarming rate. “The number of people affected by the drought is increasing with no signs of slowing down due to the prolonged drought spell, as was projected by experts,” said Gullet. “Several pledges have been made and we are now at 65% of the target. We are therefore very grateful to the Wrigley Company Foundation and all those that have come forward with their cash and in-kind donations to assist our efforts to mitigate the effects of the food shortage,” he added.
Celebrating its 30th year anniversary, the Wrigley Company Foundation focuses on improving the well-being of people and the planet through initiatives focused on oral health, environmental stewardship and local needs to ensure the vitality of communities they operate in and around the world. Since its founding in 1987, the Foundation has donated more than $70 million USD to charitable organizations improving millions of lives around the world.
In Kenya, the Foundation accomplishments include increased access to water through installation of rainwater harvesting systems and water tanks to improve storage to more than 19,000 children. This means that children now have access to safe water for tooth brushing, hand washing and for general maintenance of their sanitation facilities. The project also constructed and improved sanitation facilities in the targeted schools, which has increased the enrolment of children and reduced the rates of common illnesses such as diarrhea among children attending these schools.
Over the years, Wrigley has built a solid presence in Kenya – with them putting up an ultra-modern factory in Machakos County valued at $70 million actively advancing the oral health agenda through partnerships with the Ministry of Health and the Kenya Dental Association as well as the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to lobby for the inclusion of comprehensive content of oral health care in the primary school syllabus; efforts that demonstrate their commitment to the development of the country and the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals and not just growth of their bottom-line.