About the Event -Press Release

About the Event –

MEDICAL MISSION BENEFIT CONCERT PLANNED FOR AUGUST 3, 2013

BACKGROUND:

As a result of increased access to processed foods, there has been a huge rise in diabetes and hypertension conditions in Africa and particularly in Kenya. Most of the patients with either one or both of these conditions, especially those who live in remote villages and do not have access to treatment or to a hospital,  end up with kidney failure. It is estimated that each year over 5,000 Kenyans progress to end stage renal failure and will require renal replacement therapy. Kidney transplant surgeries are very rare and very expensive in Kenya. Therefore, any chance of survival for these patients is regular dialysis treatment. However, there is limited availability to receive dialysis treatment because they are very few dialysis clinics and a wide shortage of dialysis machines in Kenya. Hence, the long-term prognosis for these patients with developed end stage renal disease is not promising and the likelihood is that most will not survive.

Bridge of Life is a US non-profit medical missions organization based in Denver, Colorado that is sponsored by DaVita, the leading provider of kidney care company in the US. The goal of Bridge of Life is to provide dialysis equipment and training to poor and developing countries.  In 2012, Bridge of Life partnered with Kijiji International, a Florida 501c3 nonprofit organization whose vision and mission is to help improve access to better quality dialysis care in Kenya especially in the underserved areas.  The principals behind Kijiji International are Mr. Stephen Njenga and Mrs. Veronica Kabaki, a couple from Kenya who lived in Jacksonville for 12 years before making a decision early last to go back to their Kenyan homeland with a mission. After losing a few members of their own family back in Kenya, they decided to take action by starting a nonprofit dialysis clinic in their hometown of Naivasha. Regulars at the Old City Farmers Market which happens every Saturday morning at the parking lot of the St. Augustine Ampitheatre (8am to 12.0pm) may remember Mr. Stephen and Mrs. Veronica Kabaki as they used to set up a produce stand at the market for many years before they founded Kijiji International and decided to move back to Kenya.

It is sad that in Kenya today, many people with kidney failure are dying unnecessarily every day just because they do not have access to or cannot afford to pay for dialysis sessions. Most dialysis patients have to travel from all over Kenya to go to the main government-run renal unit at Kenyatta National Hospital in the capital city Nairobi which is very congested and underequipped. Bridge of Life – DaVita Medical Missions donated the dialysis machines, dialysis medical supplies and the water treatment unit all of which have already been shipped to Kenya and the dialysis clinic is scheduled to open next month in the Kenyan town on Naivasha. All the equipment are ready at the facility and they only thing remaining before they can start saving lives is procuring medical supplies for the clinic.

BENEFIT CONCERT:

Kijiji International is planning a major benefit concert/fundraiser on Saturday, August 3 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre from 6pm to 10pm and 100% of all the funds raised will go towards the buying of medical supplies for the new clinic. Several local bands will be performing live including JLD, Flagship Romance, The Wobbly Toms, Brent Byrd and The Suitcase Kings, Ivibes and the 418 band. There will be a silent auction and several raffle drawings during the event. The very popular and nationally known band Sublime which just recently performed to a sold out concert at the Amphitheatre, has been very supportive of the benefit concert. The Sublime band agreed to autograph not just one, but three items to support the event – a surfboard, a poster and a tote bag all of which will be auctioned off at the benefit concert on August 3. Other silent auction and raffle items include a Coleman Powermate portable generator, an iPod touch, iPad Mini, a Nintendo DS, a 43 inch Samsung  Plasma TV and other prizes from several local businesses. The admission to the event is free with a $5 raffle ticket suggested donation. The more raffle tickets you can purchase, the better chances you have to win some of these amazing raffle prizes. Cash, checks, credit and debit card donations will be accepted.

The admission to the event is free and the benefit hopes to raise most of the funds through sale of the raffle tickets and the event organizers are encouraging the well wishers to buy as many raffle tickets as they can to help support the cause.

“There will be lots of food from different vendors, lots of beer, wine, etc, lots of live music, so it is guaranteed to be a fun event. Please bring all your family and friends to the event to help a good cause. The more the merrier.  The best way you can help us promote this event is by sharing this event on Facebook and Twitter to all your friends and family -let’s make it go viral. One hundred per cent of all the donations will go toward the cause which is buying medical supplies for a dialysis clinic in Kenya. Please save the date. “said Martin Njenga, the event organizer.

Davita is the presenting sponsor of the event. Other sponsors include Bridge of Life, Fruitcove Baptist Church, Eclipse Recording Company Friends of the Ampitheatre, Amy Kozsuch  & Associates LLC, Growers Alliance Coffee, Fruit Cove Baptist and the National Kidney Foundation of Florida. The benefit concert will be at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Saturday, August 3 from 6pm to 10pm.

“In additional to buying medical supplies, we also plan to install a specialized pediatric dialysis unit at the Kijiji dialysis clinic because there is also a rise in the number of kids with kidney failure in Kenya. If you are a local business and you would like to support by donating a raffle drawing item, we will gladly accept it. If you are not able to come to the event, you can make a donation online at www.kijijiinternational.org “added Mr. Njenga

For more information about the event, please contact the event organizer Martin Njenga – director@kijijiinternational.org, 904 554 1073, www.kijijiinternational.org