When he joined the government service as an Assistant Chief, Samuel Indakwa Maero, vowed never to stop his small-time philanthropic activities of visiting the elderly, destitute and sharing whatever little he had.
Much as he thought that the demands of the National Government Administration duty will force him to scale down on the periodic visits he had started three years before his employment as the Assistant Chief for Uhuyi Sub-location in Ruwe location, Ugunja Sub county, Maero was soon to realize that all he needed was to program himself well and create a day for the deprived in the society who had no one to turn to.
Therefore, when he received information from a Community Health Volunteer that one of his subjects had resorted to mixing soil with salt which she would partake and later gulp a cup of water before retiring to bed due to lack of food, Maero vowed that more action was required to bring hope to the destitute, most of them elderly.
Maero, who is just three years in service, says that he has been forced to set aside a day every week to visit people who need special care, most of them those neglected by families and relatives.
“During such visits, we show them love by sharing a meal or whatever little we have,” he said, adding that part of the call include, helping the destitute to wash their clothes, beddings and general cleaning.
Apart from helping the vulnerable with hygiene and other chores, Chief Maero also uses the opportunity to pass government message to the beneficiaries of his philanthropy.
“Like this lady here, she cannot attend my public baraza to get information and I have to take government message to them during such visits,” he says.
The Assistant Chief says that each of the destitute families have different challenges that require diverse solutions.
“Some have been infested with jiggers and for such, I help clean them and apply medication to keep the parasites away,” he says.
Some, like Mrs. Tabitha Matakwa Weya, who suffers physical deformities, have myriad challenges, among them jigger and bedbug infestation.
Alone and unable to fend for herself due to deformities on her legs and hands, Weya was on the verge of losing the battle for survival when Maero and the CHVs came knocking.
“She had been abandoned by her only daughter who nobody knows her whereabouts to date and with nothing to eat, Weya had resorted to mixing soil and salt that she would eat,” said the Assistant Chief.
The Administrator said the incident moved him and since then, he decided to set aside 30 per cent of his monthly salary to cater for her needs and made it a routine to visit her, help in the house chores and provide whatever little he has to the 76-year-old widow, whose husband died some years back.
Another beneficiary of the Assistant Chief’s benevolence is, Joseph Oloo Ogwe, who was rendered immobile by jiggers.
Ogwe says following the infestation and with no one to help; he had lost hope of survival, but “Since the Assistant Chief started visiting and helping me wash and apply medication to my feet, I can now move, albeit with difficulty.”
And to Naaman Olaka of Uhuyi of “A” village, the regular visit by the Administrator and the Community Health Volunteers has seen his mother, Margaret Ouma regain her feet.
“My mother was a hardworking lady and was a renowned farmer in the village, until the jiggers came knocking a year ago,” says Olaka.
Olaka says that Chief Maero and his team deserve a pat on the back for their efforts to bring hope to the destitute in the society.
Community Health Volunteer, Mrs. Emitati Sarah Mukoya, hailed the Chief’s efforts, saying that he is always there for the down trodden in the community.
Mrs. Mukoya gives an example of mama Weya whom, she adds that needs close attention from well-wishers. The chief always does shopping for her,” said the CHV.
Her sentiments are echoed by a village elder, Stephen Meta who says that the community is appreciative of their assistant chief’s efforts.
Chief Maero thanks his bosses for support that has enabled him serve the residents of Uhuyi sub location.
He is equally full of praise for the Siaya Governor, James Orengo for donating a wheel chair to mama Weya