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On the 22nd March 2016, SOS CV Kenya conducted a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the SOS CV Kenya Marsabit Peace, Rescue and Medical centre. Through a generous donation of the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit, SOS CV Kenya has acquired 10 acres for the development of the Centre to benefit the local community of Marsabit. The Peace and Rescue Centre will serve as a dialogue meeting point for the often conflicting local communities whilst the Medical Centre will provide crucial out-patient services for mothers and children in collaboration with the local county hospital. In the long term, SOS CV Kenya is looking at setting up an integrated Children’s Village subject to availability of funds.
This initiative is being driven by the SOS CV Kenya Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Angelique Pitteloud; who since 2014 has undertaken to raise funds for the establishment of the centre.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, Ms. Pitteloud noted that no woman and child should live without ability to access medical services and appealed to the local partners to continue to support the initiative. She thanked the Catholic Church through the Diocese of Marsabit for their generous donation of the land.
Located in Marsabit Town in the North Eastern Kenya, the town is home to majorly nomadic pastoralists with an approximated population of 300,000. The first interaction with the Marsabit community was during the emergency relief program of 2011-2012, SOS CV Kenya’s first ever emergency relief program; giving food items through an electric food voucher system, water and medical services to over 2,000 households, and food items and fresh drinking water to 5 schools -during the then drought period, that had seen numerous loss of lives, and human migration in search of food and water.
During the exit of the emergency program at the end of the year 2012, the beneficiaries were absorbed into the FS Program.
Speaking during the same event Rt. Rev Peter Kihara, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit noted that the work of SOS CV Kenya since the emergency programme has benefited many children and families in Marsabit. In addition, he highlighted how when approached by SOS CV Kenya for the consideration to donate land, the Catholic Church didn’t see any reason to turn down the request. He hoped that the setting up of the Peace, Rescue and Medical Centre is the beginning of long partnership between the Catholic Church in Marsabit, the community and SOS CV Kenya.
In order to realize the setting up the centre, at a cost of Kes 34Million (Approx $34,000) Ms. Pitteloud together with SOS CV Kenya has held numerous fundraising events in 2015 which include a fundraising dinner (in partnership with the Nairobi Cooking Club and the Capital Business Club), 2015 Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition, and the 2015 Annual golf Tournament all of which have raised close to Kes 12Million (Approx $12,000).
SOS CV Kenya plans to raise the balance of approx Kes 27Million in the course of 2016 through various fundraising efforts including the 2016 Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition in August 2016, and the annual charity golf tournament in December 2016.
Those in attendance during the ceremony included Mr. Chris Jalle Director of Programmes – Regional Office ESAF, Mr. Tom Were, National Director – SOS CV Kenya, Hon. Ms. Yasmin S. Abdulkadir County Executive Committee Member for Energy, Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Bishop Peter Kihara, Bishop of the Diocese of Marsabit, the local member of county assembly (MCA) together with SOS CV Kenya staff and programme beneficiaries from Marsabit FS Programme.