Breaking News

Online donors raise Sh5.9m for orphanage after attack

Saturday January 28 2012

By ANTONY KARANJA in Dallas, Texas

A Kenyan man sparked an Internet frenzy resulting in online donations of over $70,000 (Sh5.9 million) in 24 hours for a Kenyan orphanage.

The man identified only as Omari, who tends to children at the Faraja Orphanage in Ngong, was slashed in the face when he attempted to ward off gangsters who had broken into the orphanage and had a big gash which required stitches.

A few days later, a representative of US-based Longonot Education Initiative posted an appeal to members of the online community Reddit asking for $2,000 (Sh170,000) to help Omari and keep the children safe.

The money was to be used to erect a concrete and barbed wire fence to protect the children.

The representative promised that if the effort raised anything over $2,000, the group would use it to buy food and supplies for the children.

According to his post on Reddit, the children were afraid of returning to the orphanage after the attack.

As Omari’s story went viral, donations poured in, surpassing the initial request, with about $50,000 (Sh4 million) donated in 14 hours.

A day after the request, the donations had reached $70,000.

Other benefactors

Among those who donated include Weebly, a US company which offers users free websites and blogs and which currently hosts the Longonot Education Initiative website.

Omari was also turning into an Internet phenomenon with the online community photoshopping his head into a suit of armour while others sought to write him letters.

Members of Reddit, which is a subsidiary of Advance Publication in New York, have been known for their generous donations for worthy causes.