DUBAI // Readers of The National have rallied to help a Kenyan family left penniless after their sole breadwinner was beaten to death in Dubai.
Esther Mwikamba, 26, never recovered consciousness and died in hospital a month after the attack in February.
An interview with her family triggered an outpouring of generosity from residents who contacted The National to pledge their support.
"The story of Esther has shaken me up and made me realise that there are people and places that badly need our support," said Sonia Seth, from Dubai.
"We cannot turn a blind eye to such things happening around us. We should appreciate what God has given us and help those who are in need," Sonia said.
The Kenyan Embassy in Abu Dhabi has volunteered to act as a go-between and funnel donations to the Mwikamba family in Mombasa. Those who want to help can call the embassy on 02 666 6300.
Esther sent home most of the salary she earned at her job in Dubai to feed and house her mother, Hanna, and two sisters, Lucy and Catherine.
"It has been hard on all of us but my mother is suffering the most - physically, mentally and psychologically," said Esther's sister Lucy, 29.
After the interview was published several readers wrote in to pledge their help.
One said she thought a sustainable response was needed. "I was wondering if there was a more sustainable way to help the family rather than a one time donation.
"From what I understood, she was the sole breadwinner. How much of an impact would a one-time donation make?
"Are the sisters looking for work? Maybe we can help them find jobs here. Are they studying? Maybe we can get their education sponsored. Pay the rent for a year? Something along those lines."
The Mwikamba family home in Mombasa is a single room without a window. In the short term, the family urgently need money so they can buy basic foodstuffs.
Even getting a day's food has become a challenge for them. They sold off everything they had for Esther's treatment in Dubai. There is nothing left in their home except a bed and a small chair.
Esther's sister Lucy is looking for a job, but employment is hard to find.
Her mother Hanna was previously employed in Kenya, but she has not been able to do anything since she suffered a stroke in Dubai.
* Rob McKee reported from Mombasa
Call 02 666 6300 to pledge support at the Kenyan Embassy in Abu Dhabi