First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today received donations from sponsors and well-wishers ahead of the 5th edition of Beyond Zero Half Marathon scheduled for 8th March.
Unlike in the past, participants in this year’s marathon have the option to choose a thematic area to support within the broad subject of maternal and child health inline with the Beyond Zero's 2018 to 2022 strategy.
The marathon will be divided into the main half marathon, a ten kilometre run open to individual and corporate competitors, a five kilometre family run and a special category for expectant women.
The event will also include a race for the blind that will be headlined by participants from Kenya's special olympics team.
When registering for the run, participants are encouraged to select a theme they intend to support from nine areas covering access to quality maternal and neonatal healthcare services, repair and reintegration of women suffering from obstetric fistula and promotion of good nutrition for children.
Other areas are advocacy for social inclusion of children living with disability in the delivery of health and education services and elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2021 among others.
The corporate and individual who attended todays event at State House, Nairobi affirmed their support for the Beyond Zero initiative saying the intervention has helped improve maternal and child health in the country.
Gender Margaret Kobia who led the donors thanked the First Lady for scheduling the marathon on 8th March which will also the International Women's Day saying the run is a big honour for Kenyan women.
Cooperative Bank CEO Gideon Muriuki who presented his bank's donation said that they feel obligated to continue supporting Beyond Zero because they are a local bank whose clients largely come from rural areas where Beyond Zero interventions have the biggest impact.
“Being a Kenyan bank and being in the rural areas we are indeed one of the beneficiaries of this great initiative and we can only commend you for the mentorship and leadership that you provided on this and we are extremely proud to be part of this journey,” Mr Muriuki said.
Ms Winnie Mukami, a board member at Kenya Pipeline, who presented the oil company's donation said Beyond Zero's programs align well with her social responsibility aspirations.
“We are very excited to be part of this initiative. It has been an agenda to continue supporting you because the initiative speaks to some of the issues that our foundation has taken up as critical pillars. One of the pillars we hope to support very critically is that on cancer especially cervical cancer,” Ms Mukami told the First Lady.
Philips East Africa was one of the several multinational corporations that presented their donation to the First Lady today.
Addressing the donors, the First Lady expressed her gratitude for the sponsorship and reiterated her commitment to continue leading efforts to enhance the delivery of maternal and child health in the country.
She said Beyond Zero won't have achieved the milestones it has made with the contribution of well wishers.
“I just want to say thank you so much once again, you always support this cause from which you have seen results on the ground and I just thank you from the bottom of my heart,” the First Lady said.
She expressed optimism that the sponsors will continue lending a helping hand in her efforts to reach as many Kenyans as possible saying, "as long as it goes on I hope I have your support”.
Other corporates that presented their sponsorships included KCB, NCBA Savannah Cement and Safaricom among others.