How did 'Corniche Cares' start?
It began with Project Rainbow...
Project Rainbow has been the affectionate code name and umbrella for all of our charitable efforts since 2014. It has been a huge success. In many ways, it was an experiment. We knew that as a club we wanted to rally as a community of both team members and members to make a meaningful contribution in the lives of others. But first we had to tackle some tough questions. These being…
Where are we going to direct our efforts?
Who will benefit from the proceeds?
What can we do as a club?
What can we do as individuals?
In a world of so many worthy causes, these were difficult questions to answer and decide upon. But ultimately, as a Kuwait based institution, we felt strongly that we wanted to give back to Kuwait. A country of incredible affluence but also a country of disparity with many charitable initiatives that could benefit from our support. It felt right for the Corniche community to give back to the larger community in which we exist.
From there we partnered with KAACH, an incredible organisation that was initially set up in 1989 to help children and their families cope with the stresses of hospitalisation. This grew to include treatment costs for those who couldn’t afford. This is a well-supported association but it was rare that they are offered both financial help as well as a team who are ready and willing to do whatever was needed. In this case, the bedrooms needed painting and this brings us to our first Project Rainbow campaign.
Decorating bedrooms (2014)
We weren’t exactly sure how much money we were going to be able to raise but to our amazement, what started with the promise of a lick of paint turned into a full bedroom refurbishment of 52 bedrooms and several shared wards. It is important to note that this was only made possible by our ever-generous members and the corporate sponsors. It was a team effort but our engineering team deserve particular credit as they voluntarily cancelled days off, delayed holidays and put in an unbelievable amount of time and effort brightening these children’s bedrooms – there was no stopping them!
To be clear, this project raised over 9,000 KD. Each bedroom started out as white washed with state of the art medical provision, they served a purpose. By the end, each bedroom was covered in multi-coloured stripes, brightly coloured curtains, window transfers of children’s characters, a bedroom cupboard and a wall fitted flat screen TV. The difference was remarkable and based on the feedback from the KAACH team, the hospitals and parents, it made all the difference for the children during a very scary time. This only drove us harder to start work on our next project.
Farmers Market (2014)
On the 7th March 2014, on a busy Friday, Al Corniche Club donated 25% of their total club revenue for the day towards our Project Rainbow efforts. This included hosting a Farmers Market of which all proceeds were added to the charitable pot. This was an incredible day in which a true sense of community was felt by all.
The Pyjama Project (2015)
Yes Pyjamas! When speaking with the NBK Children’s Hospital (who we knew well at this point), they mentioned something we would have never thought of. For those children undergoing treatment or going in to theatre, they needed special pyjamas. Highly specialised, hypoallergenic, with unique fastenings for wires, tubes, heart monitors etc. The pyjamas in use resembled very functional hospital gowns, again they served a purpose. From a medical perspective, there was nothing wrong with what they had. But here’s the thing...after being sent some very expensive samples from the states that included the same pyjamas but with Disney Princesses, Sponge Bob, Teddy bears etc, it made a huge difference to the children preparing for aggressive chemo or lifesaving surgery. We learnt, that sometimes for these very sick children, it was the little things that made all the difference and getting ready for surgery in superman pyjamas provided at least some distraction from fear!
Long story short, our team members and members delivered again raising another 9,000 KD for specialised children’s pyjamas. Needless to say, we had a very grateful hospital team.
Family day (2015)
The next initiative did not require financial donations from our members, the cost was absorbed by the club itself. A ‘Family Day’ for the children, siblings and parents working with the KAACH team, not to mention a welcome day out for the KAACH team themselves. All were invited to Al Corniche Club for an afternoon of fresh air (many hadn’t left hospital for a while), fun and games provided by our kids’ fitness team and special food provided by our restaurant.
As we welcomed some very poorly children and provided a welcomed distraction from their usual hospital environment, it was actually the siblings who benefitted most. As the KAACH team informed us, in a family where one child is undergoing Cancer treatment, by default it has a huge effect on the siblings. Whether it be multiple hospital visits or decreased attention as the non-sick sibling, it was incredible to see them running around, laughing and ultimately enjoying themselves.
After spending so much time over the years with the KAACH team and all of the hospital staff, watching their tireless efforts in a very taxing and emotionally demanding job, we took great pride in welcoming them to the club, allowing them a short break from their exceptionally demanding roles. In our eyes, this team deserve medals!
If you are interested in reading more of how our Project Rainbow efforts have grown and what they look like today, follow our ‘Corniche Cares’ initiative for updates and details of how you can get involved and become part of our Corniche community giving back!