FICCS in East Africa
FICCS (Foundation for International Cardiac & Children's Services)
1010 Sheridan Rd |Wilmette, IL 60091 |224-875-1631
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Our Mission
FICCS is dedicated to improving education and healthcare infrastructure and services for at risk populations in East Africa, focusing on the needs of women and children.
Women's Center in Nairobi

Non Communicable diseases related to the heart and cancers are rising at pandemic levels in Africa.
5th Annual Africa Cardiovascular Summit in Nairobi, Kenya - 2012

Changing Lives in Kenya

"I was getting ready to be married (at age 16) when FICCS came to my rural area (Magadi) and talked to my father. To my disbelief, they convinced him to let me train with them in Nairobi so I could get skills to help provide for my family. Now my father does not look at me as a burden and all the girls back home want to be like me. I thank God everyday for saving my life and giving me a chance to do what I want to do."
Celestine Mainka (Pictured left with a FICCS health training certificate)

FICCS in East Africa

2014 Volunteer of the Year

by Stacy Harris on 01/08/15

Congratulations to our 2014 Volunteer of the Year, Magda Harris (pictured), She has been volunteering with FICCS for over 4 years. Her service includes teaching cooking classes, teaching life skills, taking High School and College girls to school and even implementing programs for our Maasai women in Magadi. In addition, she has worked with the children in the slums and most recently she worked with the disabled children and she is making a great impact on the lives of young women and children in Kenya.

However, her biggest impact has been working as an interpreter for her husband, Managing Director, Stacy Harris, and all the other visitors from the USA. Sometimes the girls are unwilling or unable to communicate their issues and needs but thanks to Magda we have been able to overcome this obstacle.  Congratulations Magda for your years of service.

Escaping Early Marriage

by Stacy Harris on 08/11/14

Two months ago, Celestine "Nasha" Mainka, was a 16 year old girl ready to be married off for a bridal free.  Celestine has been on a FICCS scholarships for four years and the thought of this happening to her was unbearable. A short visit to her home in Magadi, resulted in his agreeing to send his daughter to Nairobi to be trained by FICCS in hopes that she can return and help the family.

Now, Celestine is living in Nairobi, working with FICCS and learning new life, job and health skills which she will bring back to her rural Maasai community. There is already a line of Maasai girls ready to be a part of the new FICCS program. The sky is the limit for Celestine.

Celestine recently revealed that her sister, 20, was married off at her age and now has two kids and is a third wife. Celestine desperately did not want this to happen to her and the glow on her face and the desire in her eyes shows that she is not only working with FICCS for her personal benefit, she is now the hope for all the Maasai girls who are predestined to be married off at young ages. Change is on the way!  More from Celestine coming soon.

Chicago Dentist Treats Over 100 Women

by Stacy Harris on 06/05/14

Kavi Patel, a dental student in Chicago, provided dental services for nearly 150 women and children in Kenya. Kavi plans to visit Nairobi every year to follow up on her new patients.

Most children in the slums simply do not brush their teeth. At times the teeth were so dirty that Kavi could not tell if there was a cavity.  Brushing your teeth is considered a luxury for those making $1 - $2 per day.  So all the toothbrushes and toothpaste donated by FICCS came in handy.

8 Charity Surgeries Highlight Medical Mission Trip to Kenya

by Stacy Harris on 05/16/14

It was a long and hot week for the FICCS team which included Dr. Patel, Caroline Farella, RN, Mike Cutler, Medtronic, Raju Arvindar, Advocate Medical, Shriya Patel and Aria Mehta, both sponsoring a counseling program for the girls.

We also visited Nasha (pictured above with team), an 18 year old Maasai girl who has been on a FICCS scholarship for 3 years.  Having graduated from 8th grade with no job prospects and her father fearing she will get pregnant.  Nasha was being prepared, as most Maasai girls are, to be married off for a bridal fee.

However, after consulting with the father, he has agreed that FICCS will train Nasha in Nairobi for 6 months and send her back home with the prospects of making money for the family with her new skills, which will include sewing. life skills, customer service, cooking and computers. Moreover, FICCS has added 5 new girls scholarships, in addition to the 10 existing scholarships, to help keep these precious Maasai girls from being married off as early as age 13.

"The family cannot be a family without the women. We thank you (FICCS) because you have raised us women to a new level. We have seen the fruits of FICCS (scholarships, micro-finance, food and medicines). I sold all my cattle (due to drought) to send my children to school. I am a widow and have no one to support me."
Chairlady, Illirimosho Women's Group (Pictured below)

The team provided CPR training, cardiologist training, biomedical engineer training and EAD training in addition to 8 successful charity cardiac catheterization procedures at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.  Dr. Patel and his team also donated 10 pacemakers, medical equipment, medical books, medicines and medical supplies to Kenyatta Hospital and our partner programs.

The trip was highlighted by a visit to CHDF - Compassionate Hands for the Disabled Foundation, located on the outskirts of Nairobi. This home caters to nearly 40 severely handicapped children who have serious medical conditions. Handicapped children in Africa are generally abandoned and left to die because most cannot care for the child, plus there are tribal taboos which include curses, shame and a belief that it is a punishment from God. This is where Miracles Happen!

Check out the CHDF story on our latest video.  Click here to view

Special thanks to Medtronic Foundation for the continued medical support and we are proud to announce the opening of our new women's center designed to provide a safe place for young women and girls to learn, develop and just be themselves.  More information about our upgraded health training program and women's center coming soon!

Thank you,

Stacy Harris

This is a magnificent view of the Shompole Group Ranch Community where Nasha and the Maasai Ma Ma's live.

FICCS Welcomes Jen Law NP to the Team

by Stacy Harris on 10/27/13

Jen Law NP is the new US Clinical Affairs Director for FICCS programs in the Greater Chicago Area and East Africa.  Jen has worked with Dr. Patel and volunteered at FICCS for many years.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University (MSN), Jen is a Nurse Practitioner at Lutheran General Hospital, a member of Advocate Group, in Park Ridge, IL where she works with Dr. Patel.

Jen will utilize here clinical nursing experience to create a more viable FICCS health training program and make our work in East Africa more sustainable. Thank you for your service Jen Law!

Building Strong Women, Strong Families and Strong Communities
Our Impact
32 Scholarships
Daily Feeding Program
Mental Health Support
CPR/First Aid Training
Charity Heart Surgeries
Fitness Training   
Training Cardiologist

Kenya: +254-20-444-6265
USA:    1-224-875-1631