Lucy Awuor was in a jovial mood as she strode across the hall to receive Christmas gifts donated by the Chinese embassy and enterprises based in Kenya to young children in Nairobi’s Mathare slums.

The 14-year-old netball player who has completed grade 8 examinations this year and looks forward to securing a slot in a national high school, could not hide excitement upon receiving wheat flour, sugar and confectionery from Chinese benefactors.

“The Christmas donations came as a surprise and I am grateful to the Chinese community for remembering us in this festive season. It confirmed they are our true friends,” said Awuor.

Awuor was among hundreds of children who congregated at the Chinese-sponsored Mathare’s Beijing Mcedo School to receive Christmas gifts worth about 14,000 U.S dollars, including food items, soccer balls and sportswear donated by China’s embassy in Kenya and enterprises like Star Times and China Telecom on Wednesday.

Rhoda Wanjiru, a 17-year-old senior high school student at Beijing Mcedo School, whose hobbies include acting made elegant strides across the hall to receive her share of Christmas gifts.

The bubbly youngster who lives with her parents in Mathare slums said she was impressed by the generosity of the Chinese community living in Kenya as evidenced by the early Christmas gifts.

“Yes, the Christmas gifts were a surprise and are a testimony of the growing friendship between Kenyan and the Chinese people. In the future, we need to interact more with the Chinese people and learn their ways of life and vice versa,” said Wanjiru.

Her favorite subjects include Mathematics and English and aspires to work in the hospitality industry thanks to inspiration from her father who is a chef in one of Nairobi’s rated hotels.

The early Christmas gifts donated by Chinese nationals living in Kenya enlivened the mood of children in Mathare slums, the majority of whom live on the margins thanks to abject poverty.

Brandon Ochieng, a 14-year old and defender at the Beijing Mcedo School’s football club, said he was impressed by the sight of soccer balls and sportswear that were part of Christmas donation from the Chinese nationals.

“At least our football club will be motivated to participate in competitive tournaments within Nairobi and beyond now that we have new uniforms and balls,” said Ochieng.

Chinese enterprises that are members of the Kenya China Economic and Trade Association (KCETA) were instrumental in spreading early Christmas cheer and goodwill to Mathare children.

“As a component of the Kenyan economy, we pay attention to social responsibility,” said Li Changgui, chairman of KCETA, adding that Chinese firms will assist Kenyan children from disadvantaged backgrounds to realize their dreams. Enditem


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