Nairobi News


Personalities who changed humanity in 2020

By Amina Wako January 1st, 2021 2 min read

When the first case of coronavirus was announced in Kenya in March this year, the government immediately put in place restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

These measures came with their own challenges.

For instance, there was no water in most informal settlements, most people lost their jobs as many companies closed operations and masks were initially very costly for some, yet it is the ‘new’ basic need.

But then some have gone out of their ways to help mitigate the pangs of the deadly virus.

Here is a list of a few individuals who made a change in the community

David Avido, fashion designer from Kibera.

In Kibera where some 700,000 people live on less than Sh100 a day, protective masks were hard to get. However Avido decided to donate free masksto the community in a bid to limit coronavirus infections.

Billian Ojiwa– Mathare

There is always the problem of water shortage in informal settlement and with Covid-19 outbreak those in Mathere knew they needed to find a quick solution so that the slum dwellers can afford to wash their hands as required.

Billian ojiwa through his foundation made sure that the people of Mathere had water. Water points were installed in the slum where the households are allowed to draw water for their use and to wash their hands for free.

Apart from water distribution in Mathare, the Billian Foundation has also set up a centre where women manufacture face masks and distribute them to residents in the slum. This is a way of also empowering the women.


Rachael Mwikali- Mathare.

She spearheaded online campaigns aimed at improving the livelihoods of women in Mathare slums. She also spent some time empowering the women and helping them earn a living.

Pastor Steve Mbugua- Kayole

He commenced a feeding programme for children in Matopeni slums three years ago. However, the numbers increased after schools were closed because of Coronavirus in March.

Through his Faith Rescue Network, Pastor Mbugua relies on contributions from other well-wishers and decided to feed the children on a daily basis.

Emily Onyango- Korogocho

Through her youth and women empowerment group, she has managed to train her community on starting and running small businesses.

These skills have been essential in the last seven months after many of them were laid off from work and only depended on skills learnt from Emily.

Media personality Doreen Majala-Nairobi

Through her foundation, Doreen has partnered with community tailors in Mathare to make masks that she distributes for free to school going children in various places within the country.

Safari operator Pankaj Shah Nairobi.

Under the initiative of team Pankaj, the tour operator spearheaded a volunteer effort to feed thousands of families left penniless when the pandemic strike.

They moved from one slum to another making sure thousands of slum dwellers had food on their tables.

With the help of well-wishers’ team Pankaj at some point started packing over 3000 food hampers for families in the slums.

Sister Mary Killeen of Mukuru Promotion Center (MPC).

When Covid-19 hit and masks became costly for those living in the informal settlements, Sr Mary made sure there were free masks for the people of Mukuru Kwa Njenga.

The tailors who made the masks also got a source of income, and they got paid for the work.

Before the pandemic the centre provided education, healthcare and social rehabilitation services for more than 8,000 children and adults in the slums.