Two philanthropists, construction workers and support from the Optiven Foundation were the three ingredients that were needed to kick-start a rare venture in Machakos County.  The venture is an outreach to a family that is headed by a single mother of 5 children, all living in a deplorable state.

On Monday 15th October, the ground breaking for the Transformative project kicked off, laying the ground for a new home for Mary Nduku and her children. The question then would be; “Why is this action important to this family in Ivoovoani?”

The people living in Muthwani Location in Machakos County have for a while been aware of the plight facing the family of Mary Nduku. While she has a parcel of land, she has not been able to fend for her family fully, partly owing to her health status as she has been living with epilepsy.

The result has seen her children living in a deplorable state. Her neighbors report that, “Mary tries to provide but the situation was made worse after her husband left her and her health kept deteriorating day by day.” A look at the situation on the ground shows a picture of real struggle – a struggle for meeting basic needs for the children and as strong  woman looking to survive despite her health.

George Wachiuri, the Chairman and Trustee of Optiven Foundation says, “As soon as we visited and observed the situation on the ground, we moved quickly to bring hope and transform the lives of this family. When we first came and saw the family really struggling to meet basic needs and survival for them seemed to be a nightmare”

The family has been living in a dilapidated house with no basic amenities such as a decent toilet. These dire facts led Optiven Foundation to move quickly to build a home for Nduku. Previously, the Foundation has built houses in Kakululo, Mwingi North Constituency in Kitui County for the aged watch more here: and a home for destitute children in Soweto slums, Kayole – Nairobi County. However, this case in Ivoovoani, Machakos could not be ignored.

Wachiuri says, “We have already done the ground breaking and are open to partnership and donations of any kind as we bring hope and transform the lives of this family. The donations we have received are for building bricks and cement, which will go a long way in making this happen as we have already moved to site and begun construction.”

We went out to find out more about epilepsy. Professor Paul Kioy, Chairman of the Kenya Society for Epilepsy intimates; “Epilepsy is a non-communicable disorder that affects the brain and its functionality. It is characterized by uncontrollable seizures and in some cases loss of memory where severe.”

According to the World Health Organization, at least 50 million people live with epilepsy, a majority of cases occurring in developing nations such as Kenya. The challenge however especially for Nduku, is being forced to suffer in silence owing to stigma and discrimination.

Many times over, epileptics face social isolation, making it difficult to be productive members of the community they live in. Another challenge is hostility from the society where they would otherwise be receiving help thus making the situation dire. It is these reasons that made Optiven Foundation take a step to make life bearable for this family in Machakos. Will you join us? Together we can do more to transform lives.

The Optiven Foundation and it’s partners will build a functional three bedroom house.

Choose to partner with Optiven Foundation to support this noble cause.

  • Send your contribution to Mpesa Pay Bill: 898630, Account Name: Mobility.

For more information

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