When Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore was challenged by renowned comedian Churchill to support a dance queen who inspires slum girls, it moonlighted a new transformative initiative by the giant telco.
The story of the slum girl, Moesha Kibibi is quite powerful, moving and highlights difficulties faced by talented Kenyans, who dream of making their lives better but lack the necessary support to actualise the dreams.
Kibibi, a professional dancer narrated how she had struggled to raise funds for talented but needy girls through a dance competition last December when she featured on The Churchill Show in the 2018 Jamhuri Day Celebrations.
The Founding member of the famous Focus Beyond Imagination (FBI) dance crew had managed to raise only Sh56,000 in gate collections against Sh 350,000 owed in a dance competition run by Divas Power Initiative which she also founded.
Divas Power Initiative has so far mentored more than 2,500 girls with three having succumbed to HIV.
Such sad tales are soon going to change with a new narrative being crafted by leading mobile phone operator, Safaricom.
Quite soon after the Safaricom chief executive offered to give 18 girls educational scholarships for five years, ‘Ndoto Zetu’ was launched.
'Ndoto Zetu' (Our Dreams) seeks to extend a helping hand to Kenyans doing extra ordinary things for their communities.
It heralds a new beginning for community initiatives that strive to support and encourage the disadvantaged members of the community by showing and affirming that ambitions could be pursued and achieved.
After receiving a large number of applications , Safaricom has closed the application period after a month-long call through the website and shops countrywide and are now in the process of making dreams really come true.
Safaricom had said it would consider sponsorship funds for projects in health, sports, education, arts, culture, and environment.
In 2016, Safaricom committed to integrating the Sustainable Development goals to its business strategy for the next decade.
The company selected nine out of a set of 17 global goals that will initially be incorporated in its business strategy over the next decade. They include; industry, innovation and infrastructure, Reduced inequalities, partnerships for the goals, Good health and well-being, Quality education, Affordable and clean energy, Responsible consumption and production, Peace, Justice and Strong institutions and lastly Decent work and economic growth
Safaricom is particularly keen on delivery of innovative products and services; health, education and energy- areas that it has described as under-exploited opportunities that it wants to pursue.
'Ndoto Zetu' cuts across these goals and has committed to emphasize on goal number 17 on partnerships for goals to impact the Kenyan community.
The initiative resonates well with the spirit of the 'Nawe Kila Wakati' campaign initiated by the listed mobile network operator in celebration and give back to customers for being subscribers with the operator over the last 18 years.
Beneficiaries of 'Ndoto Zetu' stand a chance to get their projects funded by Safaricom and expose them for more potential, donors, grants and commercial loans that would in the long run help the scale.
Consequently, the countrywide awareness of the project is anticipated to boost socio-economic development through a looming, new wave of empowerment initiatives.