Two years ago to the day he tragically lost his wife, three children and mother-in-law in the Ethiopian Airlines crash, Paul Njoroge donated more than $400,000 to local charities, in appreciation of the “outpouring of support” from the people of Bermuda.
The fatal crash claimed 157 souls shortly after take-off on March 10, 2019.
Mr Njoroge, who worked at Butterfield Wealth Management at the time, lost his wife Caroline Karanja, seven-year-old son Ryan Njoroge Njuguna, four-year-old daughter Kerry Paul Wanjiku Njuguna, seven-month-old daughter Rubi Wangui Njuguna, and his mother-in-law Ann Wangui Karanja.
Speaking at the presentation in the lead up the day his life was forever changed, he said: “When I lost my family, there was an immediate outpouring of support to me, much from people I did not even know.”
He added that he made the donation “with that same spirit, in the name of my beloved departed family”.
A spokesperson said: “Jumuiya Ya Afrika, a charity of the African community in Bermuda which promotes African culture and heritage in Bermuda through shared opportunities and mutual linkages, is pleased to have facilitated donations to two local charities through one of its members.
“It is exactly two years today when Paul Njoroge, a Kenyan national who was resident in Bermuda and working at the Bank of Butterfield tragically lost his family in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plane crash.
“Continuing to feel a strong tie to Bermuda, Paul asked Jumuiya Ya Afrika to recommend local charities to benefit from a charitable donation Boeing Community Investment Fund [BCIF] had made available to him.
“Following Mr Njoroge’s wishes, Jumuiya Ya Afrika suggested two local charities; SCARS [Saving Children and Revealing Secrets] and the Family Centre to be the beneficiaries and contacted them with details on how to apply for the donation.”
Chairman of Jumuiya Ya Afrika, Henry Thomas, said: “We are happy to announce that both SCARS and the Family Centre met the criteria set out by Boeing Community Investment Fund and each has confirmed receipt of funds.
“These funds are donated in the name of Paul’s late family.
“Jumuiya Ya Afrika is honoured to have facilitated the donation and heartened that our brother Paul amid his tragedy, wanted to help better the lives of children at risk in our Bermuda community.”
Mr Njoroge added: “During my nine years in Bermuda, I worked and interacted with many people who made a positive impact in my life. My family and I felt at home. In fact, my son Ryan knew Bermuda as his primary home. At ages two-four years, he attended Once Upon a Time Nursery School before joining Northlands Primary School at age four. He made several friends whom he always remembered.”
He also stated that the “messages of hope” he received gave him “strength”.
“It is a sign of love and with that same spirit, in the name of my beloved departed family, I asked this donation be made.”
Debi Ray-Rivers, Founder and Executive Director of SCARS, said: “SCARS was deeply moved by this substantial donation and we have personally expressed our sorrow to Mr Njoroge for his tragic and tremendous loss.
“We are overwhelmingly grateful to Jumuiya Ya Afrika for providing SCARS with an opportunity to apply for this funding and for identifying us as an organization in Bermuda that could benefit from the Boeing Community Investment Fund.
“This very generous financial gift will help us drive toward our goal of continuing our mission to be an advocate and a voice for children who have been sexually molested as well as their affected family. We at SCARS consider this significant donation a blessing to the children of Bermuda and future generations of children!”
Dr Sandy De Silva, Executive Director of the Family Centre, added: “The Family Centre cannot express how incredibly thankful we are for the donation made possible by Paul Njoroge, the African Community in Bermuda – Jumuiya Ya Afrika, and the Boeing Community Investment Fund.
“We were so humbled by Mr Njoroge’s desire to greatly assist others in need at a time of such terrible and unimaginable loss for him.
“This amazing generosity will go a very long way in helping children and their families access our critical counselling services at no cost to them. Our services are needed now more than ever given this extremely challenging environment for people of all ages to navigate.
“This gift helps to make this work possible and on behalf of every family in Bermuda that receives help due to this generosity. Thank you.
“In particular, we are humbled by Paul Njoroge’s unimaginable journey over the last two years and wish him well as we keep him in our thoughts and prayers. We thank him for being a ‘Super Hero’ in the lives of children and families as he lives his purpose.
“Additionally, we cannot thank all of the individuals in Jumuiya Ya Afrika and the Boeing Community Investment Fund enough for facilitating this donation.
“Thank you for believing in the work we do and in your partnership to help vulnerable children and families in Bermuda.”