Before I came, the Needy Children's Fund had been set up, though rarely used. In the last several years however, my colleagues and I have tried to keep the fund flowing, so that when we see the poorest of the poor patients in the clinic, people who can't afford a chest xray to diagnose TB or who would rather take their baby home because they can't afford twenty or thirty dollars for an overnight stay with labs and oxygen . . we can go ahead and treat the child with the assurance that the parents will be assisted in the cost. A trusted chaplain or social worker assesses the family's ability to pay, and in almost all cases we only pay a part of the cost so the family always shares in paying what they are able. We also use the funds to purchase insurance for some kids whose problems are chronic and will require multiple admissions--for only a few dollars we can enroll children in the National Health Insurance Fund which will in future admissions pay about half of their costs.
We're down to the last couple hundred dollars, having disbursed thousands already this year. And we have patients on our ward right now, widowed moms, stressed unemployed fathers, babies with complicated illnesses, that we know will need help.
If your group would like to raise funds for these kids, we've worked out a way to transfer the money to Kijabe via the Gessner's (fellow docs) church. You write a check to the church and get a tax deduction; the church does the administration for free; and the money is deposited in America and withdrawn in Kenya for 100% use of the sickest, smallest, most vulnerable children.
1. Write a check to "Bay Leaf Baptist Church" with "Kijabe Needy Children's Fund" on the memo line.
2. Mail it to Bay Leaf Baptist Church/12200 Bay Leaf Church Road/Raleigh NC 27614 (USA)
3. It helps if you email me to know to look for the transfer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4. The church will send you a receipt by mail within a month. 100% of donated money goes to the Kijabe fund, so the church donates the administrative costs.
Thanks, and hoping this is a way you can respond to the sadness of Westgate by concretely helping real Kenyan children.