Former Harambee stars goalkeeper Arnold Origi, might be miles away in Finland, but he has not forgotten home, especially the lowly.
He has funded a feeding initiative to support the underprivileged. Food is cooked by a team and then packed neatly in containers for disbursement to families who don’t have a permanent place to stay and who live from hand to mouth, literally.
Origi plays for Finish top-tier league side IFK Helsingfors. The 36 year old says this act has been fuelled by concern. Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, regimes are putting in place measures to cushion the less fortunate members of the society but amidst it all, one cadre of people – street families – are forgotten. Origi warns that such families could face even tougher times in the face of the pandemic.
His philanthropy is so far targeting the street families in Pangani and Dandora area in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
“Seeing a mother in pain not only hurts but breaks my heart. I’m aware how these street mothers of Nairobi, for example, survive from leftovers. In some cases they rely on good-hearted Kenyans in the streets of Nairobi to buy them food,” he said.
Origi, son to Kenya’s great and former Gor Mahia captain Austin Oduor tplayed for Mathare United and Tusker FC.
With the pandemic hitting the globe in a scale never witnessed before, Origi has been closely monitoring the situation back home sought financial support from his teammates, and friends to provide weekly meals for the families. He also reached out to his friend in Kenya who is a chef to help prepare the food.
“We have a dedicated chef; they make out different menus for different days. On Day One we did pilau and fruits, Day Two we did ugali, sukumawiki na nyama, Day Three we did mchele na ndengu, Day Four we did chapatti na maharagwe; that’s how we donate,” he explained.
Although the initiative was triggered by the outbreak in Kenya, Origi has long term plans to support street families in the two areas.
“We don’t want to just support with food and when the pandemic is over we disappear, because in the group we are dealing with, there are mothers who have potential, and they want to do something with their lives, and start fending for themselves to support their families.”
In the meantime, Mc’Donald Mariga who fronted philanthropy while ving for Kibra by election has folded his philanthropic sheets and disappeared.