Mathari's Children Fund

To help impoverished children succeed in life. We enable children to access schools and we help them to stay there, by paying fees, teaching life skills, providing counseling when problems arise, providing medical help when needed and making sure every child has at least one square meal every day. We provide both formal education and technical training for children who would otherwise suffer hunger, disease and permanent poverty.
Mar 14, 2013

Greetings Mathare

Dear Friends,

I hope the New Year has been kind to you. Here in Mathare, things are back to normalcy after months of political campaigns that brought a lot of tensions especially after the experiences of 2007/2008 post-election violence.

 As you continue to help us realize that something good can come out of the lowest strata in society (Mathare slums), please allow me to give you an update of the many happenings in our project and its environs.

Reporting to Schools – Thanks to your support, 96 kids have reported back to school without any hiccups. Currently we have three children in Kindergarten, three in special schools, 34 in primary schools, five kids waiting to join high school, 30 in high schools, nine pupils are waiting for their high school results and twelve students are in college. We are planning to take 15 more children in, who will be introduced to you in the next emails.

We also saw a total of 15 youths say goodbye to MCFpanairobi this year. Some of the children include; Vinoly who trained as a Civil Engineer and is currently working as one in a consultancy (She earns more than we do but am not jealous J), Stephen who did not do well in his high school exams is currently working in a research firm in Kisumu after he did his basic computer skills training with us, Vivian who trained in IT – Higher Diploma and currently lecturing in a small computer college in Nairobi and writing projects as a consultant for students in the university, Kevin who trained as a primary school teacher and is currently employed in a private school and Samson is currently working with the Ministry of Immigration where he works as a registrar of persons .

High School - Our 5 children who sat for their class 8 (grade 8) national exams finally got their results and all of them have performed above average -250 out of 500 would be the average – and are gearing to join high school in 2 /3 weeks.  They were 4 boys and one girl.

Early Childhood and Care Development Program – On the 15th of February, 6 teenage mothers and their children (below five years) joined our project. They will be coming 3 days a week in our centre.  We will provide a safe environment in which the development of the small children can be improved while their mothers are trained in a skill; tailoring or hair dressing, Parenting skills training, family planning workshops and a feeding program are also included in the initiative. We have bought two sewing machines for the tailoring department, a trainer recruited, a salon where the girls will be trained in hair dressing identified.

Income generating projects

The handbags project continues and we have been able to sell them both in Kenya and overseas and continue to try and establish more markets. So far we have been able to sell bags worth € 400 and the market looks ready for more. Our aim is that we sell about 30 bags per month which should create a net income of € 280. The second project is the MCFpanairobi Tours. This is a walking tour of the city of Nairobi offered by former street children who have finished high school waiting to join college. Through this initiative, our kids earn some pocket money, get exposed to new cultures, and learn important communication skills and MCFpanairobi invests the profits in the educating kids in the project. From the beginning of this year, we have had the privilege of hosting 17 tourists and we have more coming.

Sad Announcement

Stanley passed on last month – February. He was born with hydrocephalus and was not able to walk or use his hands. Last year, the teachers in his school could not handle his frequent illness and asked his mum to stay with him until he improves. Sadly when Stanley became sick, the medical practitioners were on a go-slow and hence Stanley died while waiting for medical attention in their local dispensary. We have had the opportunity to be with Stanley amongst us for the last 7 years and he was a jolly good kid whom we were fond of. May he rest in peace.

Elections March, 4th 2013

In 2007/2008 Kenya suffered its worst humanitarian crisis since independence following the December 30 results of a hotly-contested presidential election. Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his supporters rejected the declared victory of incumbent Mwai Kibaki, alleging it was the result of rampant rigging. Protests degenerated into widespread violence as decades of economic frustration and ethnic rivalry spiraled out of control. In the days immediately after the results were announced, gangs of youths blocked Kenya’s main roads and set fire to hundreds of homes of perceived ‘outsiders’. In all, more than 1,200 people were killed and some 600,000 displaced into temporary camps, with an equal number seeking refuge with friends or relatives.

Due to these factors, our project and 30 other organizations under the Gender Based Violence Network to plan and strategize on how we would help out in case of pre and post-election violence. We approached the police and local administration to provide security in case of rescue and protection. Other resources identified include: safe house for survivors of rape and sexual assault, ambulances for rescue of violence; namely children and women, medical personnel, hospitals and medical centers, trauma centers and the necessary personnel and centers where children would be referred to as safe houses. Though the electoral drama has not been fully resolved, Kenya has greatly defied expectations and remains peaceful. The raft of reforms this country made after the crisis of late 2007 and early 2008, and the extensive anti violence messages during this election, seemed to have found their mark. Since the election results were announced on Saturday, giving the presidency to Mr. Kenyatta, top politicians down to neighborhood activists have been calling for peace — and the peace has been holding.

 

While the needs are great and almost overwhelming, the team in Mathare is impacting the lives of the people we work with, in a genuine life changing way. The team in Mathare and the board believe deeply in creating futures through education for disadvantaged children in the slums. So far, 450 children have passed through MCFpanairobi program and we can proudly say that we now have teachers, engineers, Lab Technicians, Military, Mechanics and many more professionals with a very humbling background from Mathare. We have seen what this has been for the children we have touched and all these have been due to generous contributions from persons like you.  We hope you continue to be friends of MCFpanairobi and support our work here in Mathare.

 

Please if you do have questions or need more clarification feel free to ask and we will definitely get back to you with responses. You can also visit us on our Facebook/webpage page in German or English:  http://www.facebook.com/panairobi (www.panairobi.net)or http://www.facebook.com/MathareChildrenFund

 Thank you and greetings from the team.

 Regards

Titus M

Dec 19, 2012

Season greetings from Mathare...

Season greetings, Friends!

It's been quite a year and as we come to the end of another successful year, we want to thank you for contributing to our success and ask you that you continue to be with us in the coming New Year, 2013. For those who will be joining us as friends of MCFpanairobi 2013, your much welcome in helping us achieve to educate the not so well endowed amongst us

This year saw us achieve a lot; namely having 114 children go through primary, secondary and college education, something that would not have been possible without your support and continue to ask that you stand strong with us. We still have a long way to go, but 2012 is a clear sign that we, as an organization, are making progress.

In this report, we want to bring you a few of our own most recent triumphs and catalyzing actions. The truth, though, remains: We can't do it alone. We need your help. We hope you'll read what we've been doing, donate to help us keep up the good work, and pass this report along to those you know who would assist these vulnerable children.

We thank you for everything…

Activities that have been going on since our last report in October includes;

  • Continuity of handbag making by community members(women and single teenage mothers) and the sale of the bags both in Europe and Kenya and hence enabling them to be economically stable unlike before where they would hang around homes asking that they be allowed to wash cloths for 2 Euros.
  • Continued increase in clients for our Nairobi only walking tours which we project to bring more income both for our young adults who have gone through the program and finished high school and will be joining colleges and MCFpanairobi where we hope to earn some income come next year. So dear friends when you’re in Nairobi and need to see a bit of what makes Nairobi, Nairobi, then call on us and you will see what it has to offer – The City in the Sun as we call it.
  • The Child ProtectionPolicy was finalized and reported/presented to the children and to the board. The paper covers all working areas of the organization within it's realities.
  • Through our active participation in different networks where we interact with different players on the children field we were able to participate in different activities like the world 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV). The Campaign seeks to strengthen local working groups around violence against women and girls to provide a forum to develop and share strategies for the eradication of gender based violence; demonstrating the solidarity of activists around the world and calling on governments to account, respond, protect and prevent violence against women and girls.
  • As a program, we have had what we call a ‘Children’s Parliament’ for over 7 years where our children articulate their issues in an open forum. Recently we proposed and send forward a request to various donors via Globalgiving so that we try and implement Children’s Parliament within 20 pilot schools amongst the 70 schools we work with. It’s the organizations’believe,that children have to have a voice within schools and express their views on certain issues in a safe environment.This wil lenable them to grow up  as responsible citizens who are aware of their rights, their influence and their responsibility within communities. Furthermore, it will strengthen their ability to participate in decision making processes which will lead to better improved relationships between the school administration, teachers and the students through creating a platform of dialogue and learning on issues.
  • Another initiative scheduled for next year, 2013 is an Early Childhood Development Project which is designed to address the holistic developmental needs of children  from conception to five years of age and their single young mothers of below 20 years. The intention of this project to try and provide a conducive environment in which the development of the children identified can be enhanced while building the skills, knowledge and capacity of their single teenage parents by supporting them to engage in participative processes of needs assessment, drawing up and implementing sustainable strategies to enable them to overcome conditions of poverty. These approaches involve the implementation of various income generating activities/projects (IGA) at either individual or group-level for the beneficiary single teenage mothers and their children.

 Over December holidays we engaged in various activities, namely;

  • Workshop on Adolescence Sexuality and Reproductive Health
  •  Workshop on NO MEANS NO aimed at teaching our children on verbal and physical self-defense against rape
  • A visit to the Nairobi Gallery for a photo exhibition on Kenya Burning that details the post-election violence through photos. This trip with children generated a lot of discussions that we have asked those in charge to have an exhibition of the same in our premises in the slums and let us acknowledge what violence can bring within us especially now that we have elections in 3 months. \
  • We had what we call ‘Olympics’ and invited a project nearby for two days…It was fun to say the least…
  •   We held our annual medical check-up where more than 32 children had to be bought drugs for while the rest were doing fine
  • We had a parents/guardians meeting where we invited some consultants to talk on the need to keep peace and persons who were affected by the last elections
  • Our end of year Children Parliament was held where different issues were discussed that affected children both in schools and where they live. This also incorporated discussions on the new upgraded Children protection Policy which they approved as stated above.
  • Lastly we held our end of party for children yesterday the 18th of December 2012 where gifts were given out to all and more so to those who performed well in schools.

Christmas is the season of love and happiness and on behalf  of the children, staff and board members of MCFpanairobi, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family and friends  a very merry Christmas and a splendid happy new!  For us, Christmas is filled with more happiness because of donors like you.

Asante sana na shukrani.

(PS; If your in Facebook we request you like us - http://www.facebook.com/MathareChildrenFund and you will see what goes on every other second day or so.....)

Regards

Titus.

Links:

Oct 24, 2012

Greetings from Mathare - October

Handbag making by our Mamas
Handbag making by our Mamas

Dear Friends,

As we continue to increase awareness and raise funds for our children in Mathare, who would otherwise have never stepped into the hallways of a school, we would like to kindly update you of what we have been up to the last few weeks.....

We had few programs going on during the August school holidays;

1. Review of the previous Hansard report for April Parliament proceedings in August

The children asked that we review the proceedings of the previous April parliament since they felt a few things agreed on had not been implemented. This was evident for lack of benches to sit on as agreed between the office and the children in April. (We have proceeded to the buy benches as agreed with the children)

2. Children Rights vs New Kenyan Constitution

We had more than 50 children attend the 4 day workshop sponsored by Pathfinder International –APHIA Plus. We discussed the recent Kenyan (2010) promulgated constitution versus The Children’s Act of 2001. In the new Kenyan Constitution there exists an advanced Bill of Rights that among rights recognizes Socio-Economic rights of all children. These rights among others were compared to what we have in The Children’s Act 2001 and gaps identified especially on areas to do with the survival rights, Development rights, Protection rights and Participation rights.  During the workshop, children from St. Benedict’s project were invited to attend too.

3. Origami and T-shirt design

We had a couple with children from Austria visit us on their holidays and two of them wanted to stay and help the children learn how to make Origami animals and design T-shirts with different colours and patterns. They came bearing gifts for our project from Austria. Our hall is now beautifully decorated with Origami art and kids have T-shirts with all types of design. See photo

4. Parents meeting

We had our quarterly meeting with parents where several issues were discussed among them next year’s agreement on sharing of responsibilities when it comes to shopping and transport. This created a lot discussion but there can only be growth if one knows how to fish and not getting fish all the time in a silver platter. The mothers who are interested in basket making among other craft works were asked to sign up since we were starting a project on crafts in the month of October.

Handbag Making

We have started making handbags from waste paper – tetra pack– with a group of 7 women. This group of women who would generally be washing clothes for a small fee have embarked on the training and as we report these, they have learned and currently are producing 3 bags a day. MCFpanairobi will act as the middleman in which we will try and get a market for the products within Kenya and outside the country. This was agreed since sales and marketing is one area that the women are incapacitated for the time being. We have seen this works  after one of our children currently in the University started making bangles, rings and chains from copper was able to get his hostel fees from the sale of these items when we connected him to a fair trade shop in one of the malls in Nairobi.

Sooner or later we will be asking you to buy one and support the mothers and we hope you will. They will also learn how to make chains from beads and paper for further income.

Children Protection Policy and Code of Conduct

We can finally report that we have finished writing our Code of Conduct and Children Protection Policy for our organization. Although it took quite a while, we cannot stop from thanking Niamh, who is a board member who assisted us with her vast knowledge on this field having worked for long in the children sector. She visited the project for a week when she was meant to be on holidays and helped us in finishing the policies.

Third term – reporting back to school

In September, all public school teachers went on strike demanding an increment of their salaries. This created concern is now being raised over the negative impact the teachers strike is having especially on class 8 and form 4 candidates. The school calendar has also been changed affecting the holidays and syllabus for the whole 2013 year.  It’s important to note that we have elections next year and most schools act as polling stations and this too will affect the education calendar of 2013.

Exchange Program between DESECE and MCFpanairobi

With the assistance of Horizont3000, we were able to have an exchange program between MCFpanairobi and DESECE project in Bungoma County. DESECE staffs were able to visit our project in late August while we visited them mid October for learning experiences. We will continue to grow our relationship on areas we could cooperate.

Nairobi Only Walking Tour

We finally printed posters and made brochures of our new project where we are offering walking city tours of Nairobi. We have had more than ten Nairobi walking tours since inception and the feedback is great. So when you’re in Nairobi, remember to book a tour with us. These monies go into the project while the children (above 18 years) who undertake these tours with our guests get an income to enable them meet some costs in college or home.

Visit

We were lucky to get one of our long term donors and a board member visit us and with them, they came bearing gifts for the children who will get them come December. Thank you Wendy, Niamh and you are always welcome to visit again and again.

 Dennis Cricket Exploits

Remember during a previous update early this year we told you of how Dennis had joined a cricket team that had been invited to play in an elite National Junior Championship during the August holidays? Well, his team played and they won the championship although it was the only team which had to take public means to the competition.  During the championship Dennis was awarded a trophy as the best bowler and we cannot be more proud.

Lastly my dear friends If you have any queries regarding our organization or the updates please feel free to contact us anytime and we will promptly respond.
Lots of Love from Mathare
Best regards
Titus
Nairobi Walking Tours Poster
Nairobi Walking Tours Poster
Origami Making
Origami Making
Group work during the workshop
Group work during the workshop
Exchange Program btw DESECE and MCFP
Exchange Program btw DESECE and MCFP
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