Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery

by Faraja Cancer Support Trust
Play Video
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Rai making home made bath bombs
Rai making home made bath bombs

The devastating impact of Covid-19 is undeniable. It has affected the people we support, the environment we operate in, and our organization. The implications of lockdowns and social distancing meant that parts of our face-to-face support had to stop, fundraising events were cancelled, and our income sadly decreased.

When it was dark, we had a group that shed much-needed and appreciated light that touched the lives of all cancer patients and caregivers who needed us the most, despite the pandemic. THAT IS YOU!

YOU showed us great kindness by going over and above to help raise funds to support our services, even when it was challenging for them to do so. From supporting walks, bike rides, marathons and runs, even making bath bombs!  We have been so touched by the goodwill shown by you and we can only account it to our mission and vision of being a safe haven accessible to anyone affected by cancer. 

You have empowered us to adapt quickly to new challenges and constraints. Thanks to their support, we created new programs to help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation in adults and children. Please read more about our diversional therapy for children with cancer in this newsletter.

Despite the challenges, from January 2021 to date, we have signed up 1,115 patients in Nairobi and Eldoret to receive vital emotional and practical support at our wellness centres.  Through our medical fund, we have offered treatment grants for 107 patients at a total cost of USD 9,573. Out of the 107, 19 are children below the age of 18 years. We have also visited the children at Kenya's Largest Referral Hospital Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) 45 times this year (6 times on Wednesday’s for storytelling and 35 times on Friday's for art therapy). This is in spite of the heightened movement restrictions enforced by the Ministry of Health. This gave hope to the children at a time when there was a lot of uncertainty and fear. At Kenya's 2nd largest referral hospital,  Moi Teaching and Referral,  we gave 900 packets of milk and 900 apples to the children this year, thanks to the outpouring of support and goodwill from donors like you. 

We are confident that we will emerge from this unprecedented time more effective in our work. We have never been more determined and committed to making sure people living with cancer and their caregivers get the support they need and at the right time. Thank you to our supporters, partners and friends for the vital part you are playing as we do whatever it takes to help people living with cancer live their lives as fully as they can. This newsletter is dedicated to you.

Giving Tuesday is in two weeks and we are asking you to help us end the year strong by taking part and donating to our charity. All donations will be matched and it’s a great way to end your Thanksgiving weekend. Remember no amount is too small and all proceeds will go towards supporting children and adults with cancer in Kenya. It is the ONE day that can make a difference!

Thank you once again, stay safe and positive always.

Warm Regards,

Cindy Ogana- Fundraising and Communications

Tobbias who run 645km to support kids with cancer
Tobbias who run 645km to support kids with cancer
Nancy summiting Mt. Kenya to help raise funds
Nancy summiting Mt. Kenya to help raise funds


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Faraja's 2019 Rafting Challenge
Faraja's 2019 Rafting Challenge

The last 18months or so have not been easy for most people and we have had to postpone most of the fundraising events that we would have had during this period. Despite this, we have been able to continue to provide services to patients and caregivers and our services have been adapted to take into account the new "norm".  

For example, we are resuming our face-to-face support groups though limiting the number to 20 people at a time and using technology to broadcast what is happening on the ground to an online audience. The advantage of this is that we are able to reach those who cannot travel/attend physically. In addition, we are in talks with the various private, mission, and government hospitals to create "outreach support groups." and to provide some services such as counselling and nutrition virtually. With the state-run hospitals now receiving more support in terms of treatment facilities for cancer, there will be less need for patients to come to Nairobi and we, therefore, need to be able to extend our reach. We want to be there to support them for free, as is our mandate.

To ensure that these programs run, we have decided to go ahead and plan a one-day white water rafting challenge on Saturday 9th October 2021 at Savage Wilderness Camp in Sagana.

It will be a ONE DAY EVENT and will have only 22 teams in strict adherence to covid 19 protocols. We aim to raise Kshs 3 million for programs that now include outreach and community-based activities. Due to the reduced number of participants and the event only taking place in one day, we will be charging Kshs 150,000 registration fee for a team of 5.

This amount will not only enable us to reach our target but we believe, will significantly impact our services in the last quarter of this year and the beginning of next year. A higher registration fee than in previous years is necessary in order to meet an increase in logistical costs due to the effects of the pandemic. Remember, it is only together that we can help fight cancer. 

Stay safe always
Best Regards,




Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Caroline and Brian at our center in Eldoret
Caroline and Brian at our center in Eldoret

When you first meet Brian, the first thing you notice are his eyes...huge,  round, and daring. When he fixes his gaze upon you, you cannot help but turn away. It is almost as if, he can read into your soul. 

Young Master Brian has not had the best of luck in his short three years on this earth. His mother passed away shortly after he was born, a situation that tore his family apart causing him to live with his paternal grandmother, Caroline.

"He has always been quiet." says his grandmother as she fondly straightens his sweater. Brian and Caroline have visited the Faraja wellness center in Eldoret which is located 421Kilometers from Kenya's Capital City. Faraja-Eldoret is situated within Kenya's second-largest Referral Hospital, the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).

Brian's granny noticed that he had started walking funny, holding his right hip. At first, she thought he had fallen down but when he complained of constant pain on his right side, she followed her instincts and took him to see a doctor. Brian and Caroline live in the outskirts of Uasin Gishu County, some thirty kilometers from Eldoret town. There aren't a lot of specialists in the area and were only given pain killers at a local dispensary. As weeks progressed, Brian started crying a lot and pointing to his right hip. His grandmother did all she could traditionally to help (herbs, ointments) but the more she touched it the louder he would cry.

Caroline decided to seek a second opinion and go to the nearest District Hospital for assistance. After a battery of tests, Caroline was asked to rush young Brian to Eldoret town to MTRH to seek further treatment

"It is his kidney," The doctor said.

While at MTRH is when Caroline heard the word cancer. She at first thought the doctor was talking about her because, as far as she knew, children do not get cancer. But when the resident doctor at MTRH showed her a CT scan of his abdomen, it was right there in black and white, cancer had infected Brian’s right kidney and he needed to have emergency surgery to have it removed. Caroline survives on meager wages she earns from washing laundry. The cost of the operation was so hefty that the hospital management waved it. She was now faced with the challenge of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, a whooping Kshs 350,000 ($3,100).

Caroline was referred to Faraja’s wellness center in Eldoret where she filled a form for financial assistance and waited. After about two weeks, Maureen, our Eldoret administrator called Caroline and gave her the good news, Faraja would pay for Brian’s radiotherapy, his chemo would be catered by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). Caroline and Brian’s ordeal is just one of the many testimonies of hope that emanate from the support you give vulnerable patients by donating towards our medical fund.

Last week, during the Little by Little project, we managed to raise $589 that will go towards supporting our programs in Eldoret. We want to appreciate you for making sure that children like Brian are well enough to go back to school and continue living a full healthy life. The current statistics about cancer in Kenya stand at 42,000 new cases every year and 27,000 annual deaths. Among children, 1 out 10 has a likelihood to survive cancer in Africa compared to 7 out of 10 in the UK. Most of the children are diagnosed late due to weak referral systems, superstition, and lack of adequate funds. Thanks to your help, we can stand in the gap and help more men, women, and children receive much-needed care at the right moment.

Brian is better today because of you. On behalf of Caroline his grandmother and primary caregiver, we at Faraja would like to say thank you (Asante) for your support.


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Socially distanced support group 2020
Socially distanced support group 2020

On Friday 16th October, Faraja held its first physical Breast Cancer Support group meeting since the advent of the novel Corona Virus. Our Wellness Centre is usually packed with women who want to learn from our speaker of the day as well as commune with their friends and fellow cancer warriors. However this time it was different. Instead of the usual 50 plus ladies, we had 20, in strict adherence to WHO guidelines. Chairs were also separated to adhere to the 1.5-meter rule for social distancing and everyone wore masks. As we shared and laughed, one thought came through clearly, the importance of moving forward.

2020 has been a game-changer for everyone and charities have not been spared. The current pandemic has shaken the very nature of our existence; to socialize and relate. Despite this strangeness brought on by isolation, lockdowns and restricted movements, there has been a new reality emerging, one that our patients and caregivers know too well, the will to move forward. When someone is diagnosed with cancer, the journey is a mental struggle of taking one day at a time, one chemo treatment at a time, one side effect at time and sometimes, one recurrence at a time. This momentous cycle is similar to what we at Faraja are doing and have been doing since March 2020. We begun by moving most of our therapies online such as nutrition and counselling. This is so that patients can still benefit from a community of support that they have grown to love and depend on. From April 2020 we started our online webinars and saw about 600 patients from different countries access keynote speakers from across the continent. These topics of interest edified patients even as they stayed at home. You can watch one of our most popular webinar by Prof  Ellen Kampman here.

From May our online support increased to include lymphatic drainage, physiotherapy and various types of energy-based therapies like yoga, breathing, meditation and reiki. We gradually opened our Wellness Centres in Nairobi and Eldoret in July to allow for patient navigation, access to our resource library and our famous cup of hot lemongrass tea. Our will to move forward one day at a time has enabled us to reach more patients virtually and give much-needed hope to those who need it the most especially now when hope is audacious. 

We want to stand in the gap for patients and caregivers no matter the season. We want to make sure that when someone knocks at our door, the answer is always yes and not “let’s wait and see.” We also want to do our part in reducing the cancer burden in Kenya especially now when National Hospitals are epicentres for Covid-19 treatment, leaving patients at the mercy of private hospitals and the consequent high cost of treatment.  From April 2020 to date, we have supported 68 patients through treatment at a cost of Kshs 7, 431, 253. Out of the 68 patients, 15 are children below the age of 12.

Now is the time to join hands and ensure that patients not only feel safe but seen. Now is the time to move forward and not let a pandemic stop a movement of hope, a  journey of recovery, a sense of living and being. Covid-19 may have slowed the world’s economy but not cancer. We want to thank you for walking with us through all seasons and ask you to not only walk but stand with us now, more than ever by considering donating towards Faraja during this year’s GlobalGiving Tuesday campaign slated for 1st December 2020. By helping us move forward, we are propelling the men, women and children who feel like life has stood still.

2020 may have started on a grim note but with your help, we intend to end the year strong.

 Stay safe, take care and thank you for believing in us.


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Faraja's breast cancer support group in 2012
Faraja's breast cancer support group in 2012

Faraja is excited to celebrate its 10 year anniversary THIS YEAR.  It is our honour to share this with you as we reflect on some of our most memorable and impactful moments.

Gratitude and thanks

We have achieved far more than we could ever have imagined when we first opened the doors to our wellness centre in Nairobi at HCG-CCK, formerly Cancer Care Kenya. It is fitting on this milestone to express our sincere gratitude to the incredible stakeholders who have walked this journey with us and without whom none of what we have done would have been possible. These include patients, caregivers, therapists, volunteers, donors and fundraisers, trustees, staff, medical professionals and many more, our valued “Friends of Faraja." I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their tireless dedication and shared commitment to our cause.


Having faced breast cancer 16 years ago, I know that the power of companionship and support in undergoing treatment and the journey to recovery cannot be underestimated. This led to the genesis of creating a safe space, where free support services can be offered to cancer patients and their caregivers in an atmosphere that strives to bring comfort and strength in a time of adversity.

Progress and reach

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support of our clients, we are now a family of 7 permanent staff members, about 50 volunteers, 98 therapists and 11 Trustees (in Kenya and the UK). In 10 years we have launched more centres, created new programmes, formed new partnerships and continued to break new ground in the oncology space. Over 10,000 patients and caregivers have accessed complementary therapies, such as counselling, nutritional therapy, exercise, energy-based healing and more, to go alongside medical treatment. It is heartwarming to see that not only do the numbers accessing our services increase every year, but many are regular and continue to come to Faraja long after they have finished treatment.

Since 2010, the number of cancer support groups at Faraja in Nairobi has increased from 3 (breast, cervical, prostate) to 9 to include head and neck, blood cancers, young survivors, caregivers, Kipepeo Grief and parents of children with cancer at Kenyatta National Hospital. In the past 10 years we have had over 430 support group meetings with over 13,000 attendees. We have also organised special lectures, workshops and talks by professionals from Kenya and around the world, sharing knowledge and research in order to open our minds and perspectives on what can be possible. When we started our prostate support group, we had 5 meetings per year, each meeting averaging about 10 men in attendance. Now we have a prostate support group that meets monthly with an average attendance of 30. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are excited to share some of these testimonies over the next month through our social media platforms.

Faraja’s strategic plan recognises that as cancer treatment services available outside Nairobi grow so must our reach. To increase the number of people we can reach, we needed to increase both the number of centres and the work each centre does. In line with this objective in November 2018, we opened another Faraja centre in Uasin Gishu county at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. So far our Eldoret centre has touched the lives of over 3,000 cancer patients and their caregivers through their four active support groups and daily complementary therapies: nutrition advice and counselling.

Crafts for Cure

In 2012 we started our art therapy program “Crafts for Cure” to give much-needed relief to the little warriors at Kenya’s largest referral hospital, the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). We now offer art therapy sessions on Fridays and music therapy on Wednesdays in 7 different wards touching the lives of 430 children every week.  Since 2015 we have been giving milk and fruit to the children and their caregivers on Fridays. This is a total of 70,000 packets of milk and over 65,000 apples. We have also filled a gap for support by starting, 3 years ago, a weekly support group for parents with children with cancer at KNH. 

Generosity of donors and fundraising and Medical Support Fund

The reason we are able to continue to impact a growing number of individuals is due to the generosity of our many supporters, some of whom we will highlight in the days to come through our social media platforms. There have been concerts, balls, bike rides, dinners and even charitable bake sales. Our most notable campaign was the “Let’s Fight This Battle Together” in partnership with Nakumatt Holdings that raised a total of Kshs 21 million. Part of the funds raised was used to conduct free cancer screening, but most importantly it shaped the pilot phase of Faraja's Medical Support Fund: a corpus of funds which, when invested, would see over 50 cancer patients receive financial assistance for medical treatment, every year, forever. During the pilot phase, we supported 92 patients for medical treatment at a total cost of Ksh 12m and 88% of these patients are doing well. Our Medical Fund was launched in October 2017, when we reached our initial target collection of Shs100m. We have supported another 201 at a total cost of Ksh19m. 82% of patients supported are doing well. The setting up of our Medical Fund helps us achieve one of our key goals which is sustainability which is very much a key focus of the Board of Trustees.

We would have loved to celebrate with our Faraja friends in person but in the current circumstances that has not been possible. We are proud of what we have achieved in 10 years and the amazing people that we have been blessed to work within different capacities. Thank you for your invaluable support and for sharing our joy today.

Yours Truly,
Shaira Adamali- Founding Trustee

Faraja volunteers and supporters in Eldoret
Faraja volunteers and supporters in Eldoret
Crafts for Cure use art as therapy for children
Crafts for Cure use art as therapy for children


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you can recieve an email when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports without donating.

Sign up for updates

Organization Information

Faraja Cancer Support Trust

Location: Nairobi - Kenya
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @FarajaTrust
Project Leader:
Olivia Shah
Nairobi , Kenya
$81,994 raised of $100,000 goal
680 donations
$18,006 to go
Donate Now

Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG20120

Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Faraja Cancer Support Trust has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Get incredible stories, promotions, and matching offers in your inbox

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.