St. Vincent de Paul Community Development Organization

The mission of the organization is to build a society where all children are provided the necessary love and care essential for growth. The organization is run by a small group of local volunteers, dedicated to improving the lives of poor and marginalized children in Kibera, Kenya by promoting their social integration into the community.
Jun 27, 2011

St. Vincent's Hosts Medical Camp

From May 9th-10th, St. Vincent’s hosted a medical camp at our nursery school site in coordination with Chamberlain College of Nursing (from Chicago, IL). Fifteen medical and nursing students attended to over 600 people who received medical services in the two days, including medical check-ups, VCT (voluntary counseling and testing for HIV), dental and eye examinations. Through this collaboration, St. Vincent's students, their parents and other community members benefited as they were treated and received drugs free of charge. The event was such a great success that we hope to host a second similar event in September.

****Other St. Vincent's News****

Nursery School Welcomes New Head Teacher

This term, the Nursery School welcomed a new Head Teacher. Jean Juma is a previous member of St. Vincent de Paul Society and has spent the last eight years working in Sudan and Somalia teaching in refugee camps.

St. Vincent's Increases Food Support to Families Affected by HIV/AIDS

Skyrocketing food prices in recent months have greatly affected many of our nursery school children and their families. Currently, many families have been forced to survive on one meal a day. Children often cry in the morning, and when asked if they have eaten they say they did not receive a meal the previous night. Most complain of stomach aches. In response, St. Vincent’s has identified the need to provide an increasing number of families with food rations, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS. These families are of particular concern, as the medication for HIV must be accompanied with food. St. Vincent’s provides twenty families a month with food rations. This represents a 50% increase in the number of families receiving food assistance from last year.

Education Support for St. Vincent Nursery School Alumni

In addition to the food rations, we also assist the families of some of the primary school going children who graduated from our nursery school by paying school fees. We currently pay school fees for eight children who have graduated from the nursery school.

Jun 24, 2011

St. Vincent's Hosts Medical Camp

From May 9th-10th, St. Vincent’s hosted a medical camp at our nursery school site in coordination with Chamberlain College of Nursing (from Chicago, IL). Fifteen medical and nursing students attended to over 600 people who received medical services in the two days, including medical check-ups, VCT (voluntary counseling and testing for HIV), dental and eye examinations. Through this collaboration, St. Vincent's students, their parents and other community members benefited as they were treated and received drugs free of charge. The event was such a great success that we hope to host a second similar event in September.

****Other St. Vincent's News****

Nursery School Welcomes New Head Teacher

This term, the Nursery School welcomed a new Head Teacher. Jean Juma is a previous member of St. Vincent de Paul Society and has spent the last eight years working in Sudan and Somalia teaching in refugee camps.

St. Vincent's Increases Food Support to Families Affected by HIV/AIDS

Skyrocketing food prices in recent months have greatly affected many of our nursery school children and their families. Currently, many families have been forced to survive on one meal a day. Children often cry in the morning, and when asked if they have eaten they say they did not receive a meal the previous night. Most complain of stomach aches. In response, St. Vincent’s has identified the need to provide an increasing number of families with food rations, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS. These families are of particular concern, as the medication for HIV must be accompanied with food. St. Vincent’s provides twenty families a month with food rations. This represents a 50% increase in the number of families receiving food assistance from last year.

School Support for St. Vincent Nursery School Alumni

In addition to the food rations, we also assist the families of some of the primary school going children who graduated from our nursery school by paying school fees. We currently pay school fees for eight children who have graduated from the nursery school.

Mar 23, 2011

A Safe Space for Orphans and Vulnerable Children

On Monday, January 11, 2011, the St. Vincent’s Nursery School commenced a new school year. Twenty-three newly admitted children reported to school for the first time, together with returning students from the Pre-Primary 1 and 2 classes. There are a total of 87 children enrolled in the Nursery School in 2011.

The new students were accompanied by their parents and guardians who waited patiently for their turn to be served and cleared by the head teacher, Miriam Wawira. For some of the new children, they could not hide their anxiety of starting school and could be seen looking curiously at the older children, now comfortable with their surroundings and the school routine. While for some of the newly admitted children, tears rolled down their cheeks as they saw their parents leave them behind.

With the New Year, St. Vincent’s also welcomed two new members to its teaching staff. Alice Wanjiru joined St. Vincent’s as teacher of our Pre-Primary 2 class, while Millicent Kituku joined us as instructor of the Pre-Primary 1 class.  While we were sad to say goodbye to our two dedicated teachers Virginia and Esther, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome Alice and Millicent who come to us from local teacher training colleges and are extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity to join our team.

More than just provide education and daycare, the nursery school serves as a safety net for families in the community so that they are able to continue caring for the children. Parents and caregivers come to St. Vincent’s when in need of support for food, housing, medical costs, and other basic survival needs. This support is provided on a case-by-case basis and is made possible because of the close relationship that St. Vincent Board members and staff (teachers) proactively establish with the families they serve. In addition to direct support, St. Vincent’s provides referrals/linkages to other social services in cases where they are not able to assist and even liaises with other service providers on behalf of families, which is particularly important considering the marginalized population with whom the organization works.

By prioritizing the enrollment of orphans and other children living in the same households, St. Vincent places an important value on the orphaned child.  Their existence in the household serves as a gateway for the other children in the same household to enter into school. Thus, despite the additional burden that may be placed on the household in caring for an additional child, the prioritization of orphans and children living in the same household enables orphaned children to bring something positive to their households, thereby serving as a protective mechanism for that child. St. Vincent’s also subsidizes school fees depending on families’ ability to pay; enabling the most needy and vulnerable children to attend.

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This year, St. Vincent’s admitted 3-year old Baraka to its Baby Class.  Baraka is cared for by a young couple from Kibera who recently adopted him. A few months ago, the couple spotted Baraka in the local market while they were setting up their shop; he had been abandoned and was the victim of abuse. As nightfall approached, Baraka was still in the market, alone and crying.  The couple made the decision to take Baraka, who would not speak, to the police station to try to find his family, but without any luck. Ultimately, the couple took Baraka to their tiny one room home --– a 10 foot by 5 foot room with no sanitation, running water or consistent electricity, where seven people live – and eventually adopted him as their fourth child.  Shortly following his adoption, St. Vincent’s admitted Baraka to the nursery school where he is receiving early education, daily meals, and a safe place to go during the day while his mother is at work.  At St Vincent’s, he’s slowly started to speak, to interact with the other children and to trust his teachers.  Baraka’s mother is hopeful that St Vincent’s is the start to a successful education for her son.

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