Teen uses music to raise funds for children’s cancer treatment

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Tahir Butt a Grade 11 student at Aga Khan Academy in Nairobi is raising awareness and fundraising to support cancer treatment for children at Kenyatta National Hospital .

As part of his curriculum mandated one-year school project, he is required to develop and execute a project of social impact. After losing his aunt to cancer two years earlier, a project around cancer treatment was an obvious choice.

“I was always in touch with my aunt, even when she was getting her treatment. Losing a relative is difficult,” Tahir says.

The challenge was figuring out a creative way to raise funds within the deadlines of the project.

Speaking to the Nation Tahir’s parents introduced him to several people for guidance.

“We were also very lost at the beginning. Once we were able to connect with Faraja Cancer Trust, they helped us focus and build up (Tahir’s plan). They have been a big help,” says Tahir’s father Sameer Butt.

Tahir had initially wanted to fund raise and support the work of the Trust, but its Founding Trustee, Shaira Adamali, guided him towards treatment of cancer among children.

Tahir organised a private musical concert to raise the funds.

“My parents helped me organise this event. They helped me raise the funds; they communicated with people. I was in charge of writing the messages informing people of the project and the fundraising show, why I am doing it, and how to donate,” Tahir offers.

“It was frustrating at the beginning. We were to have this concert in September but it kept being postponed,” he recalls. This was due to the varied schedules of the performers lined up for the concert.

Eventually, after months of planning, Tahir held the concert earlier this month. He has since raised over Sh100,000 and plans to surpass his target before the project deadline. But the end of the school project will not be the end of fundraising for him.

“Even after the project is done, I intend to keep fundraising for (cancer) treatment,” he assures.