Almost Ksh 1 Million Raised at Millie’s Funds Drive in Märsta Last Saturday

Clay Onyango addresses mourners at the funds drive

Clay Onyango addresses mourners at the funds drive

According to Don Clay Onyango, a total of 65.000kr (Ksh 823.000 at current rates) was raised at the funds drive that was held in Märsta on Saturday, 11th May 2013 towards body transportation cost of Millicent Omaya, a Kenyan who passed away in Stockholm last week following after a long illness.

The funds drive was attended by Kenyans from different walks of life, ethnic groups, political affiliations and lifestyles. Relatives, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers alike, contributed generously throughout the night as DJ Jimmy kept the mourners busy with some of the latest hits in the Kenyan music industry.

They all came for Milly, a jolly friend, Kenyan, mother, sister and daughter of her mother who has been in Stockholm since Milly fell seriously ill.

By ordinary standards, it can be safe to conclude that the funds drive was a big success because the minimum is that enough money was raised to transport Millie’s body to Kenya. Of cause, there are other expenses like tickets to Kenya for the mother, the hubby, George and Millie’s two children who must all travel to Kenya to attend her funeral.

From past experience, the cost of transporting a body to Kenya ranges between 35-45 Swedish crowns. At 65k, Kenyans and friends who gathered at Märsta can rest assured that the mission was, at a minimum, accomplished. In case there is need for more funds, those concerned will have to wait for the Millie Funeral Committee to update them. This is because in such a difficult situation, there are usually “hidden expenses” that may have to be factored in.

Through its Chairperson, Clay, the Millie Funeral Committee would like to thank everybody who took their time to attend the harambee and to contribute generously so as to give Millie a good send-off. The Committee has also thanked everybody who was involved in the organization of the Harambee. Further information about progress will be released as the Committee moves into the next phase of action.

Okoth Osewe

5 comments

  • Well done Clay and all those who supported the function. It was a mighty show of unity. However, we need to seriously consider the “Club 1000” concept for the future.

  • I fully support you Jared Odero. Job well done by the Clay commitee and all those who attended in general. But @ this rate, the urgency of “CLUB 1000” could be an issue to revisit just to be on standby. After all, we are all heading on the same journey!!!

  • Thanks Na. Here is a link about the call for Club 1000:
    https://kenyastockholm.com/2012/03/23/call-for-club-1000-among-kenyans-in-stockholm/

    Call for “Club 1000″ Among Kenyans in Stockholm

    It is simply called “Club 1000 Stockholm” and it will be based in Stockholm city. It is not an organization, has no Committee or Office so it has no Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer. However, its mandate is very clear – to mobilize funds to help transport the bodies of its members for burial in Kenya when they die.

    It is a fact that today, Kenyans have a huge problem when a member of the community passes on. Transportation of the body costs as much as 50.000kr and, usually, the community has to foot this bill because the work of the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm appears to have been reduced to issuing passports and visas to tourists seeking good time in Kenya. If the bereaved has a spouse or children, the bill could grow even bigger. The case of Mr. George Obor, who passed away two weeks ago, is a typical case in point.

    On Saturday, 24th March 2012, Kenyans, friends, sympathizers and well-wishers will have to raise at least 65.000kr to help transport Obor’s body to Kenya to be interred. Obor’s wife, Monica, together with his daughter, will have to accompany the body to Kenya and everyone is in agreement. Just to bankroll the harambee, friends have raised 20.000kr. Although everyone is upbeat that the mission will be accomplished, there is no guarantee that 65k will be raised.

    The gigantic task is to mobilize the funds because both the Swedish government and the Kenyan government have nothing to do with it. In this situation, it can be safe to posit that the Swedish government will play a bigger role than the Kenyan government because it will purchase the casket, facilitate a memorial service and transport the body to Arlanda International Airport. From there, the Kenyans will have to foot the bill if the body is to reach Nairobi.

    The economic difficulties that accompany “Kenya burials” is what has motivated a group of Kenyans to set up “Club 1000 Stockholm”. The main agenda of this Club is to ensure that if a member passes on, the body will be transported to Kenya without harambee worries. It is called “Club 1000” because the proposal is that when a body needs to be transported to Kenya, every member will be under an obligation to contribute 1000kr (at the minimum) towards body transportation costs.

    Who is next?
    The group’s argument is that the Club needs approximately 50 members paying a thousand each to transport a body home without the hassles of harambees. This is because at 1000kr per head, 50k can be raised within a minute, and without a series of meetings, bankrollings, SMS messages, phone calls and multiple appeals for help from everywhere as Kenya Embassy sleeps on the job.

    A better argument is that the more the membership grows beyond 50, the more the amount of money to be contributed goes down. For example, if the initiative attracts 100 members, every member will have to part with 500kr. Should the figure reach 150, you can do your math and it will be less than 500kr. Under such circumstances, any meeting when death strikes will only be to condole with a bereaved family or to celebrate the life of the departed soul.

    The reality of death within the Kenya-Stockholm community (just like with other communities) is very much alive. Just to rewind, the passing of: Maggero in 2007 followed by Awuonda, Owili, Kimondo, Njonjo, Gacheru, Tevin, Elias and now Obor easily comes to mind.

    What is unknown is “who is next” otherwise from a realistic perspective, there is obviously a Kenya-Stockholmer out there who will be the next to kick the bucket to pave way for a fresh harambee as the cycle continues. To solve this problem, enthusiasts of “Club 1000” have resolved to collect the names of “like-minded Kenyans” with the main target being 50 members. Once the group constitutes itself, the Club members will be free to discuss what happens if a member is bereaved back home.

    Already, the following 15 Kenyans have signed up: Nick, Clay Onyango, Jane Owili, Joseph Goga, Tony Odera, Jasper Craph, Okoth Osewe, Peter Ongolo, Jared Odero, Teresa Seda, Monica Obor, Junior Opee, Gideon Oyundi and Oyuga Odada.

    According to Clay Onyango, who mooted the idea, “Kenyans need to wake up” and solve the haranbee problem. Those who have signed up have agreed and the search for 35 more members has just began. There are over 500 Kenyans in Stockholm and getting 35 new members should not be a very big challenge. If magic were to happen and 500 Kenyans were to sign up, every member will only have to contribute 100kr to transport a body home. In the current search for 50 members, if every existing member (out of the 15) recruits two more members, the deal will be sealed.

    KSB has accepted to promote the idea because it is progressive. We hope that Kenyans will find the idea appropriate and sign up accordingly. Thirty five fresh members are needed so when you are done with reading this, be the next to sign up. It will be a better way “kujivunia kuwa Mkenya” instead of “kuvumilia kuwa Mkenya”. To sign up, call/send sms to Clay Onyango at: 076216912 or KSB at 0736533068.

    Okoth Osewe

  • Thanks for the update Osewe and thanks wakenya for your contributions,you did really well…..just to remind you that most of our expenses are from here(Sweden)not Kenya and to convert the funds to our currency makes it look like its enuff money to transport our Milly home,well its really not.We have a very hash budget that i as a member of the committee has seen and understood need to be met…..So please wakenya dont be discouraged by the figure above but continue giving and paying up most of the pledges.I am personally thankful for all you have done,one by one i do remember you and God bless.

    KSB: Treasurer, in the spirit of transparency, it would help if you could give a breakdown of the expenses to Wakenya who contributed and show the bills that still needs to be sorted. Committee members in the know about the budget may have no problem with your report but for Wanjiku, whose key ambition was to see the body reach Kenya, some gaps may have to be filled in your report. Highlighting the budget will also make those concerned to see the need for further contributions. It is true that expenses ought to be met here in Sweden but you need to be specific because the Swedish State purchases the coffin, sorts morgue charges (including body preservation), foots the bill for Memorial service (at SEK 15k), sorts the funeral agency and pays transport up to Arlanda from where Wakenya wana chukua over. Transport alone for the late George Obor’s body cost SEK 36k but this could vary depending on the agency. Regards.

  • Jacob Odhiambo

    why not bury in sweden

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