Latest Mission: Empowering Hundreds of Life Savers in Kenya

We can’t believe such an impactful and empowering 10 days is over. As soon as the team got back home, we were ready to start planning and improving for next year. The alignment of the Disque Foundation and FICCS mission has such great synergy. We are beyond excited in thinking about all of the things we can be doing to make a difference, in addition to all of the other organizations out there we can be of similar help to.

FICCS members teaching the locals how to perform CPR.

Erin Nasrallah, FICCS team member, teaches “super-users” about basic airway adjuncts.

From the first day of training in Nairobi, the foundations worked together to train Kenyan medical students and professionals in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and CPR. Before the training began, all students were given free access to the National Health Care Provider Solutions (NHCPS) online ACLS courses. On the sites, the students were exposed to our handbooks, training videos, skills videos, practice and final exams. By completing the courses before arriving at the training center, days of training time were saved and the practical simulations were able to be started by the second day. The students were able to hone their ACLS and CPR skills through simulations with the FICCS staff.

At the FICCS Women’s Center in Kariobangi, Nairobi, Kenya we hosted a CPR, AED and First Aid training for the women. After the training, the women who started out so shy stood up after learning and put on a show to demonstrate the new skills they just learned. It was truly amazing to see this transformation unfold before our very eyes. Getting to see these smart and keen women in that classroom and then again at the orphanage for the disabled children, helping kids honestly not that much younger than them, was incredible. It was inspiring to many, knowing that FICCS has such a huge role in getting those girls set up with skills, a job and a place to be every day; and the Disque Foundation being able to join in on that process. Watch this video to learn more about the Women’s Center here.

Paula & Mackenzie teaching CPR in the classroom.

Paula and Mackenzie teaching CPR at the Women’s Center.

The following day at the Compassionate Hands for the Disabled Foundation, 85 disabled orphans are cared for by Anne and her team. Their vision and mission is to create an inclusive society where persons with different abilities enjoy equal rights and have access to affordable quality rehabilitation services. Ultimately this leads to enabling persons with disabilities to overcome their physical limitations and empowering them economically and socially to become self-reliant and fully integrated members of their communities. FICCS has partnered and created a pilot program to educate and pay eight house mothers and 10 aids from the Kariobangi slums in Nairobi. After the mentoring program is completed the aids will earn a fair wage.

women, children and teachers of the rural Maasi community in Loita

Smiles all the way around at Compassionate Hands for the Disabled with Scott Pattullo.

Meeting the women, children and teachers of the rural Maasai community in Loita was a truly humbling and life changing time. The foundations set up a free clinic for the students, administered de-worming medicine, and played games all afternoon with the children.

“The foundations set up a free clinic for the students, administered de-worming medicine, and played games all afternoon with the children.”

It’s not just how amazing that community of people were and the beauty of their village, but the fact that they sponsored a girl through nursing school so she could be the Nurse for that entire community, seems like something the DF should be doing now too. We loved being able to go to a community, where the group of people with us were known. They were not just visitors stopping by waving and saying goodbye, there was a real and true relationship there that had been growing for the many years they have been involved in the community and it shows.

Thika Referral Hospital

Andy Barnes sharing pictures he’d taken of the children in Loita.

We visited the Thika Referral Hospital to meet one of the newly trained instructors, Sheila! FICCS donated a 12 lead EKG, defibrillator, and AED. Visiting the hospitals and hearing the FICCS team’s reactions to what was in good condition, bad condition, good or bad working order was really eye opening. Much of the clarity came from witnessing how a hospital functions outside of the U.S. and the gap in understanding and comprehension. For example, the Thika hospital had a defibrillator, but it was locked in a cabinet and uncharged because they didn’t want anyone to steal it; and after sitting and explaining why they should never do that, the machine was put back in the closet and locked up again! It just went to show how there’s a knowledge barrier there that needs broken down and it goes beyond just online training courses.


“The Thika hospital had a defibrillator, but it was locked in a cabinet and uncharged because they didn’t want anyone to steal it…”

The sustainability of education lies in the fundamental component of how that information moves beyond the one to the many. Whether at home or abroad, the world of health and wellness proves to be a fundamental category to this style of spreading knowledge – all the while empowering others to do the same.

medical supplies donated to empowered volunteers and community health leaders

FICCS Founder, Parag Patel, testing a “super-user” at Thika hospital.

Recent efforts have been made in Nairobi, Kenya, by two distinguished Foundations: the Disque Foundation and the Foundation for International Cardiac & Children’s Services (FICCS).
A dedication to improving health care education and infrastructure services, brings common ground to these partnering Foundations.

The Disque Foundation, Save a Life Initiative has an inspiring model at the forefront of their minds: to save countless lives by equipping others to make a difference in world. They offer the world’s first free online courses in life support training, having already empowered 700,000 people to save a life.

FICCS pairs well with the Disque Foundation’s goal: to equip nurses, medical students, and area residents with CPR and ACLS skills. Over 50 charity cardiac catheterization procedures and pacemakers has been accomplished through FICCS, as their focus is the needs of women and children, and the at risk populations in East Africa.

“Over 50 charity cardiac catheterization procedures and pacemakers has been accomplished through FICCS.”

This collaborative effort of like-minded Foundations is one way health education is increasing its longevity of impact, from 10 days of volunteerism to exponential worth in the future. The diversity experienced on this trip brings to light the challenges in understanding community dilemmas until immersing oneself in that culture, its communities and customs of surrounding environments. Nairobi has taught us about deep listening, open-minded thinking and creating plans of action. It is too easy to talk past one another; to maintain preconceptions; to entertain pity passively until we enter another’s world as they know it.

To that end, diversity has been an aid in the following accomplishments:

  • With the assistance of GLOBAL FICCS, Girl’s Center, and Compassionate Hands for the Disabled Orphanage, a mentorship program for women has been created.
  • Defibrillators, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), stethoscopes, medical textbooks, gauze, scalpels, pocket reference materials, gloves, and other standard medical supplies have been successfully donated to empowered volunteers and community health leaders.
  • Over 2,500 women and children have been offered health and nutritional support through a partnering medical team, and that number continues to grow.
FICCS group has chosen compassionate nurse and doctors

Just another day empowering others to save lives, with donated AED and EKGs.

All of this goes without mentioning the HASH, the safari, the amazing lodging, food, and most importantly the people. The FICCS group has chosen an incredible group of motivated and compassionate nurses and doctors, and the DF team was so lucky that we were able to join them on this incredible trip.

We are fortunate to have family helping direct us to such dedicated individuals and organizations who are trying to improve lives in Kenya.


Interested in supporting more of these incredible missions?  Learn How You Can Help Here.