The Faraja Medical Support Fund (FMSF)
GIVING HOPE AND A REAL CHANCE OF RECOVERY
Faraja’s main mandate initially was to provide information and therapies to aid patients through their chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. However, with an increased cancer burden in Kenya, there is a higher demand for financial assistance for patients. This is largely due to the 3 reasons below:
1. There are only 14 registered oncologists in Kenya for a population of 45million (compared to 766 in the UK. This leads to an annual mortality rate of 27,000 a year due to cancer compared to 7 in 10 in the developed world.
2. Cancer treatment is hugely expensive – even for those who can afford it, the resources are sparse. Radiotherapy treatment in Kenya is offered publicly and subsidized at Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya’s largest referral hospital. However, there are only 3 functioning radiotherapy machines and one frequently breaks down. This leads to a waiting list of over a year long. The only alternatives most patients have are private clinics which charge an average of $60-100 per session, a sum many cannot afford.
3. During a conference for East Africa Insurance that was held in February of 2017, it was revealed that only 12% of Kenyans have medical insurance. This translates to about 480,000 Kenyans who have insurance covers out of the country’s over 45 million people population.
For these reasons, Faraja Cancer Support Trust launched the Faraja Medical Support Fund (FMSF) on 12th November 2016 with the aim of developing an effective system which will enable adults and children with cancer to obtain the right treatment at the right time. This brings hope and real chance of recovery. The mission is to galvanise the support from various groups with the vision and capacity to come together and make a meaningful and long-lasting impact by making sizable donations into the fund.
The treatment that Faraja funds is provided at private and government institutions in Nairobi. Faraja aims to raise Kshs 100,000,000 (US$1,000,000). A corpus of funds that, when invested, will ensure up to 50 patients receive treatment every year. The fund will cover medical costs such as surgery, brachytherapy, chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapy. To qualify for a grant, individuals will submit an application form which will be vetted monthly by members of an expert panel.
EARLY ADOPTERS- NAKUMATT
A pilot project for the fund was carried out in 2014 from a donation given by Nakumatt Holdings during their October cancer awareness campaign, “Let’s Fight This Battle Together”. In the Pilot period, pre-October 2017 we supported 86 patients at a cost of Shs 9,924,120 and 90% of these patients are doing well. From October 2017 we have started using the funds from the FMSF. Kshs 7,133,698 was available for support and we supported 43 patients at a cost of Shs 3,771,982 and 84% of the patients are doing well.
ACHIEVING A MILESTONE
On 14th November 2017, Faraja achieved a milestone having raised the initial target of Kshs 100 million within two years. During the pilot project that ran from May 2015 to September 2017, 86 patients were supported for medical treatment at a total cost of almost Kshs10m. Out of the 86 patients supported 84% are doing well. In October 2017, Faraja began supporting patients from the income earned from the fund. Between October 2017 and March 2019, 85 patients have been assisted with medical treatment at a total cost of Kshs7.7m. This includes 9 women from the Natalie Fund, which is a sub-fund within the FMSF.
The Natalie Fund was created by Anthony Havelock in loving memory of his late wife who passed away from Breast Cancer. Through a ball held in London and Nairobi, a total of Kshs 10million was raised and ring-fenced within the FMSF for treatment of young mothers with breast cancer in Kenya.
Out of the applications for financial support received by Faraja, about 31 % are for
children. The applicants are reviewed from a scale of 1 to 100. Some of the factors
considered are age, amount requested, the prognosis of the cancer and ecog
performance status (to gauge physical performance), the number of dependents if an
adult, employment status and access to NHIF. Children generally score higher
because of the increased need for assistance.
Ronald is a 19-year-old aspiring civil engineer. Sadly, a year after he finished his secondary school, he was diagnosed with stage 2 Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma, also known as SUNC. SNUC is a rare cancer of the nasal cavity and/or paranasal sinuses.
During Ronald’s second chemo, a Faraja volunteer approached him and his family and told them about Faraja. Ronald’s father decided to ask about financial assistance and went ahead to fill the application forms without hesitation.
“Faraja offered us support for the remaining 3 chemos. It has been such a relief; I cannot explain how grateful we are as a family.” Says Ronald’s dad.
Ronald is committed to complete all his treatments and be a witness to dispel the myths that cancer is a death sentence.
“I am grateful to Faraja for their support and to all those people who have supported our family in different ways. I want to educate people that cancer is treatable. One must remain positive, trust in God and not fear to seek medical treatment.”
TESTIMONY- NATALIE FUND
In 2013, Fridah first felt a lump in her left breast, close to her nipple. She went
to hospital and underwent a biopsy but the results were benign. She was however
advised to consider having a second baby but was not told why. Since she was not
ready to have another child, she chose to wait it out, hoping the lump would
disappear on its own and it did. All was forgotten until she became pregnant in
Without hesitation, Fridah sought for Faraja’s contacts online, visited our office
and applied for financial assistance. After one month, she received the call that
she says, gave her and her husband “A new lease of life”g the lump would disappear
on its own and it did. All was forgotten until she became pregnant in 2017. “During
my second chemo session, I shared with a friend the stress our lack of finances was
causing us. She is the one that mentioned Faraja and urged me to seek
“I was called and told Faraja would pay for my remaining 4 chemotherapy sessions. I was so excited because I had stopped treatment due to lack of funds. Lucky for us we resumed soon enough and I can say now all is well.
We have a competent panel that reviews all applications using a pre-determined criteria. The panel comprises of Shilpa Haria (Chair), David Makumi, Anthony Havelock, Harriet Wanjohi (Faraja Trustee) and Shaira Adamali. The panel meets every second Wednesday of the month to review the applications. On average 70% of the applications received qualify under the criteria set and are approved.
“I feel so passionate about this ground breaking initiative.” Quips Shaira ( Founding Trustee)
INCLUDE FARAJA IN YOUR WILL: LEAVE A LEGACY GIFT
One of the most powerful ways you can support families in need of urgent financial treatment is to make us a beneficiary in your will. Your legacy gift connects your life story with our work for years to come—and with the lives of the millions of who will receive financial treatment from our medical fund.
For more information on how to support our fund please visit us at HCG-CCK, Shivachi Road Parklands (next to MP Shah Hospital)
Mobile: 0748 811 909
To read more about the Fund click here
Corporate and Project Partnerships
We welcome Companies, Trusts and Foundations to contact us who are looking to support projects that make an impact in cancer and health area. We create long-term partnerships that deliver clear benefits to our partners as well as raising significant funds for us. Each relationship is unique and tailored so please get in touch with Shaira.
There are currently a number of event sponsorship and project partnership opportunities available. Please take a look at the list below and get in touch for more information if a project matches your philanthropic dreams or meets your workplace’s giving guidelines. We also welcome any ideas that you may have.
Faraja takes our partnerships very seriously and aims to make them mutually beneficial and tailored where possible. Faraja is transparent with funds raised. As such as have enjoyed wide support from both individuals and institutions.
It is impossible to acknowledge everybody here but major project partners and sponsors in so far include; Safaricom Foundation, Nakumatt Holdings, HCG-CCK Cancer Care Kenya , I&M Bank, Simba Corp Foundation, RSM Eastern Africa, PwC, Anjarwalla and Khanna, PwC, ICEA LION Asset Management and Mamujee Brothers.
Support Services Partnership Opportunities
|Area||Who it Helps and What it Does||Gift / Sponsorship Guideline (KSh)|
|Breast Cancer Support Partner||
Supports women who are going through the breast cancer journey through monthly support groups, holistic therapies and therapy sessions.
Children and their families who have been newly diagnosed with cancer, or undergoing treatment. The project partner will help fund going on-going support projects for children's such as craft for cure, therapy sessions, groups outings and financial assistance.
Thanks to Rotary Club of Karura, Faraja currently holds one of the biggest library’s of cancer related information in Kenya. This is especially important to our patients who are newly diagnosed. A new project partner would enable us to purchase new books and cover printing and photocopying costs.
|Prostate Cancer Support Partner||
Supports men going through the prostate cancer journey through monthly support groups, holistic therapies and therapy sessions.
|Cervical Cancer Support Partner||
Supports women going through the cervical cancer journey through monthly support groups, holistic therapies and therapy sessions.
Event Sponsorship Opportunities
|Area||What it involves||Sponsorship Guideline (KSh)|
|White Water Rafting : Every May at Savage Wilderness Camp||
White Water Rafting is an annual fundraising even held every May in partnership with Savage Wilderness Camp. Over the years, the event has grown in attendance and in sponsorship. There is however an opportunity to be a lead and title sponsor for this high impact event.
Over the years White Water Rafting has raised Kshs 4million and over 500 spectators have atteneded.
As a leading corporate ssponsor – this is your chance as to make a rapid impact!
To read about previous rafting events and how much was raised, please click here
|Kenya’s Biggest Coffee Morning: Every September/ October||
The event that aims to raise funds and create the conversation needed to combat the major issues we are facing here in Kenya. Either host a KBCM at your workplace or consider becoming an event sponsor. The concept begun in 2014 KBCM directly reached over 3,000 people and raised Kshs 2 million. To see how it has grown click here
|250,000 - 500,000|
Outreach Partnership Opportunities
|Opportunity||What it involves||Sponsorship Guideline (KSh)|
|A Brand New Faraja||
Faraja is looking to expand so we can do more outreach work. The vision is to set up brand new Faraja in Eldoret, Western Kenya. Partner this project and double the number of patients that Faraja can reach with our core services.
|3 million initial set up costs and 3 million running costs over 3 years.|
|Faraja Cancer Nurse||
This is a visionary new project to fund a post of Faraja’s first ever specialised support nurse to work at both Faraja and out in the local community. A very popular, and tried and tested concept overseas which really benefits patients – so we are keen to trial it here.
|Salary post for a year or secondment of someone with appropriate skills|