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It’s A Happy Ending As The 3T Family, Corporates Join Hands To See Gitonga Through His Ailment.

Naivas Supermarket team led by Thika Branch Manager Shem Gichimu (in white stripped shirt),Jungle Foundation led by Gitau Kibe (3rd from left) and the Thika Town Today Team present foodstuff donated by Naivas to Gitonga (seated) and his mother in their home at Magogoni.
At a time when so many people are struggling to battle with myriad of challenges, the social media has once again proved to be a major helping tool especially in the case of one Stephen Gitonga, a 28 year old man from Magogoni Trading Centre in Thika East Sub-County who has been struggling to live with epilepsy throughout his life.

Gitonga’s case came to the limelight in October last year after John Karenge, a Children’s Welfare volunteer and Social Worker with a local NGO and Wairimu Mugo highlighted his case on WhatsApp. At the time, Gitonga had gotten burns on his legs and the wounds were highly septic and rotting, a situation that if not addressed was likely to lead to amputation of his leg.

The single post on a Thika-based WhatsApp group Thika Town Today (3T) initiated a flurry of action from Thika people, setting in motion what would later become #TeamGitonga. The spill-over was immediate and the message was shared across other WhatsApp groups within Thika and other Thika Town Today Facebook and Twitter platforms.

“We immediately mobilized the members into action by first appealing to them to use their networks to ensure that Gitonga was taken to hospital. We contacted Governor William Kabogo’s office under whose Thika Level 5 Hospital falls and the Hospital Superintendent Dr. Toro gave a directive that Gitonga should be delivered to the hospital within the hour. The County Chief of Health Dr. Stephen Njuguna assured us that the County Health Department giving the case full attention,” a member of #TeamGitonga confided.

Once the young man was safely in hospital, the 3T family embarked in some crowdfunding to raise funds to cater for their upkeep, both in hospital and back at home since they stayed in a rented room.

Once Gitonga and his mother were safely in hospital, the 3T family embarked on crowd funding via M-Changa to raise funds to cater for their upkeep, both in hospital pay rent for their single room since the mother had to stay by his side throughout his 2-month stay in hospital.

“We were overwhelmed by the collective human spirit shown by everyone. We received not only donations, but prayers and moral support. The response was humbling. Kenya is truly full of heroes and saints.” quipped Wairimu Muriuki.

Several organizations have been part of Gitonga’s recovery.

Mjengo Limited through their Assistant General Manager Nishant Bhatt donated foodstuffs worth Kshs 6,000 for the family and a job for the mother as soon as she’s able to arrange to have someone take care of Gitonga during the day.

Jungle Foundation made a cash donation of Kshs 11,000 for upkeep and three months’ rent for the family.

Edwin Gitau Kibe of Jungle Foundation said that they were moved by Gitonga’s story when it spread all over social media and they swung into action.

“We are very happy to be associated with Gitonga’s success story this evening. Jungle Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Jungle Group of Companies, has four thematic pillars: Jungle Elimu which assists needy children pay school fees as well as improving learning environment in our education institutions through upgrading their facilities; Jungle

Afya that is concerned with working out solutions to our people’s health concerns and Jungle Mazingira that takes care of the environment and finally the Jungle Economic Empowerment that supports the youth through job creation and empowerment. Gitonga’s case therefore falls squarely within the Jungle Afya mandate” said Kibe.
Gitonga's condition when the 3T team  first encountered him in November last year.

Naivas Supermarkets, through their Thika Branch manager Shem Gichimu, gave a shopping voucher worth Kshs 10,000.

“Naivas Supermarkets has come here to show solidarity with this family as we fully recognize that we have achieved what we have because of the society we live in. We have a fully functional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Division. Beyond our business mission to provide a convenient and affordable shopping experience, we aim to share in the lives of the people in the communities we operate in by helping whenever we can. Our customers are not just shoppers: they are people who we value and cherish. We appeal to other organizations to come on board to assist this family and others in similar situations,” explained Shem when presenting their shopping at the family’s home.

A happier and healthier Gitonga as he left Thika Level 5 Hospital late last month after being admitted for more than two months.

The founder of Thika Town Today was equally full of appreciation. 

“We thank the County Government of Kiambu through Thika Level 5 management who ensured Gitonga reached the hospital and received timely treatment and also waived the accumulated hospital bill. We do not take for granted all those who have taken part in this whole exercise. May God bless you abundantly,” said Jaymo Wa Thika.

The mother, Nancy Wamaitha was overwhelmed with joy as she prayed for a permanent solution to the government-doctors stalemate to enable her son get corrective surgery.

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