Safaricom-Mobile network operator has reached more than four million Kenyans through programs aimed at alleviating poverty, extending quality education to nomadic communities, increasing access to maternal health care and improving access to clean water.
Speaking during the Safaricom Foundation and MPESA Foundation partners’ forum held yesterday in Nairobi, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore says the extensive reach has been attained through partnerships with more than 1,000 organisations over a span of 13 years.
The partners include several county governments, and non-governmental organisations such as PharmAccess, Amref, Action Aid, the Aga Khan Foundation, Huru, Meru School for the Mentally Handicapped, Women Challenged to challenge among others.
One of the projects is a distribution of water in Makueni which is to reach 18,000 people and the rehabilitation of Nyalani Dam to contribute to reduced vulnerability to drought for 2,500 direct and 10,000 indirect beneficiaries in Kwale.
Safaricom Foundation has also recently partnered with Shining Hope for Communities in a project that aims to scale up the provision of clean and accessible water to 84,000 people in Kibera, which is expected to bring down the cost of a jerry can by 60 per cent.
“Whenever the word development is mentioned it conjures different images in the mind of the listener. And for the people who benefit thorough our partnerships, development means supporting them improve their lives at the micro level, where it matters most to them and the communities they live in,” said Collymore.
“It means improving their livelihoods by providing clean water and health facilities, alleviating hunger and poverty and giving them a means of regaining their dignity and in some instances their self-esteem,” he added.
Collymore urged partners to ensure they provide both financial and material support to ensure attainment of quality impact.
Safaricom Foundation chairman Joseph Ogutu said; “We believe that when Kenyans have both the ability to succeed and advance economically and the power to make and act on economic decisions that lift them out of poverty, their lives will be positively transformed.”
Collymore added that for the targeted communities, “it means giving them a means of regaining their dignity and in some instances their self-esteem.
“That is why I find it imperative that whatever we promise as partners, we must be ready to back it up with action – including financial or material support – to ensure that the impact is felt with the intended force,” he added.
The Partners’ Forum brought together various organizations that collaborate with the Safaricom and M-PESA foundations to positively impact the lives of those in the community through various projects.