Welcome to Luo Care, a healthcare charity named after the Luo tribe in Western Kenya.
Luo Care raises money to pay for health insurance for the poorest widows with children in this region.
Why widows? Thousands of young men die every year in this part of Kenya because of AIDS and HIV related illnesses. That means hundreds of young widows are left penniless and struggling to bring up families on their own. These women dread falling ill themselves because they have no money for medical treatment and their condition could have dire consequences for their children.
Vital health insurance would make a massive difference to their lives. It costs £45 per year for the whole family – less than the price of a couple of tickets for a football match or the theatre, or a 3-course dinner in Britain. But these widows don’t have 45p to spare. That’s where Luo Care comes in…
For the full story, click here to watch a short film (This film was made ages ago and the cost of the insurance premiums has gone up from £15 a year to £45. We still have to correct the film.)
Caroline, pictured above, is from the Luo tribe and has the same difficulties as her neighbours, like drought, malnutrition and endemic illness. There’s no electricity and she cooks outdoors over an open fire. She and the children carry water for washing and drinking from muddy holes dug in the beds of dried up streams.
Caroline has no one to turn to for help, and what makes matters even worse is the tribal custom that allows one of her husband’s male relatives to “inherit” her.
But Caroline’s had a lucky break. Luo Care is funding her health insurance so she and her children, up to age 18, can have treatment in hospital whenever they need it.
The insurance costs £45 per annum for one family. It’s great value, but an impossible fortune for the likes of Caroline. All donations are very gratefully received, but what’s really fantastic is donors who pay £45 annually through direct debit to Luo Care ensure any required hospital treatment for years to come. Mothers like Caroline are restored to health and return home to their children. Lives are saved instead of people dying because they can’t afford medical fees.
If you’d like to find out more, check out the FAQs and the blog for a more personal account of setting up the charity.