MEET GINA DINÂ
Once in awhile you meet someone who exudes the type of positive energy that is absolutely electric and you have the feeling that not only are you’re going to be swept up in their world, but you’d better be ready.
GoodMakers met Gina this past summer while filming for various charities in Nairobi.
Kenyans for Kenya
Gina is the founder and executive director of Gina Din Corporate Communications, a leading PR and Marketing firm that was recently included in a list of East Africa’s top 100 mid-sized companies. When we were introduced to Gina she had only days before, launched what was to become one of Kenya’s most successful charity campaigns called Kenyans for Kenya (K4K), a campaign that has to date, raised over one million US dollars in cash and pledges to assist starving Kenyans in northern Kenya, many arriving at IDP camps in near death condition from neighboring Somalia after weeks of walking. Â Tragically, in many cases family members were lost along the way because they were unable to withstand the journey in their weak condition. Â Launching the campaign was Gina’s immediate response to the drought that Kenya is facing- One of the worst in 60 years, and something all too familiar to Gina who twenty years ago, spear headed a similar campaign to aid then drought victims.
Man weak from thirst receives assistance.
GoodMakers visits Turkana IDP Camp
It was an incredible honor when Gina invited GoodMakers co-founder and commercial director Cris Blyth, to join a media team who visited the Turkana camp, located in northern Kenya. Â Cris flew on a small plane along with a media team to document the plight of the drought victims, as well as to show the wonderful progress that was being made as a direct result of the funds that were raised by the K4K campaign with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS:Â Kenya Red Cross – Home
)Â Â at the helm of distributing goods and providing on-going resources to the families. Cris reports, ‘I was amazed at how quickly the drought victims were able to regain their strength, once they were provided the nutrient infused foods provided by the Red Cross.’ Â Gina is the ambassador for the Kenya Red Cross Society and together with KRCS Secretary General of Affairs Abbas Gullethad, arranged for the media trip, understanding the importance of informing Kenyans about the urgent needs of the drought victims. Gina said, ‘I felt that it was important for Kenyans to provide assistance from within, instead of always reaching out to the western world.’ Â Children in IDP camps after receiving nourishment.
As it happened, hope came in the form of donations- Many millions of Kenyan shillings donated in some cases, such as from Kenya based corporations and also from western conglomerates like Google. Â Gina sites the incredible support and generous donations received from Kenya corporates such as Safaricom (http://www.safaricom.co.ke/Â ) and KCB Kenya (Â KCB Kenya – Home), which helped to provide the momentum that garnered wider support and donations. Â Gina says she was often moved to tears as individual Kenyans came forward to donate, in one instance a local policeman donating an entire month’s wages and in another case, an orphan girl donating funds by selling chickens raised at her children’s home (Video of Lavender and her Friends Discussing Their Assistance to Kenyans for Kenya | GoodMakersFilms
Gina’s Charitable Reach
Although Gina’s corporate clients keep her firm extremely busy, Gina manages to carve out time to sit on various boards such as for the Africa Yoga Project (AYP: Lead the Change | Africa Yoga Project
), a charity that uses the transformative power of yoga to empower communities and change lives. Gina maintains a dedicated yoga practice and is part of a growing movement to empower Kenyans to experience the healing nature of yoga, including through AYP’s free classes held in 80 locations in Nairobi including the Korogocho, Mathare and Kibera slums. The free weekly classes are held in orphanages, community halls, public grounds and several primary schools which have incorporated yoga as part of their curriculum… Amazing.
Closing ceremonies for K4K campaign.Over her career Gina has championed many causes such as for Kenya Society for the Blind, Nairobi’s Women’s Hospital, Computers for Schools Kenya and many others. Â Add to this, being a wife and mother to two amazing children, a son age 15 attending high school in Nairobi and a daughter 21, currently studying at Oxford University, running a leading firm in Nairobi which requires worldwide travel… Â It’s difficult to fathom how Gina is able to juggle so many projects and remain calm, focused and ever glamorous. Â Â Gina says she just focuses on what needs to be done, and feels lucky to have a wonderful circle of family and friends who share her passion for living life to the fullest, including being of service to others. Â This humble response is what endears so many to Gina and garners her the utmost respect and admiration wherever she goes.
Africa Yoga Project instructor demonstrates to Gina (right) and sisters.
Hopes for 2012
‘My hope for 2012 has to be that no one dies from hunger. That hope has been very defined by what we did this year with Kenyans for Kenya.’ Â Gina says that although there has been some rain recently, the droughts of the terrible famine will take some time for people from the drought prone areas to get back to normal. She points out that 2012 is also a very critical time for Kenya. ‘We have our first general election since the terrible violence we saw in 2007 after a disputed election result. Kenya was on the brink of a civil war and it was very frightening. Thousands of people were displaced. There will be a number of peace building initiatives of which I hope to be a part of.’
Presenting acknowledgement of service to Kibera chief
Gina and her circle of friends were on the forefront of putting together a private sector initiative on peace building talks in 2008 before the formation of the coalition Government. She very much hopes to continue this initiative through 2012 and build momentum for peace prior to the election. Â Tthere is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Gina will accomplish everything she sets out to do.Â
GoodMakers is honored to be working with Gina Din and her amazing team on developing a Global Women and Youth Summit slated for fall 2012. Â Stay tuned!
For more information on Gina Din please visit her site: http://www.ginadin.com/
Powering Human Potentialwww.goodmakersfilms.org