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.
Aug 18, 2011

Update from Mathare

Drought and Food Situation in Kenya.

Kenya is experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent years, which has greatly undermined the food security situation in the country. Up to 3.5 million people are affected by the drought and their plight has been worsened by high food prices resulting from both local and global factors.   The number of severely malnourished children admitted to hospital has increased by 78 % this year compared to last year.   Our children are amongst the very poorest in Kenya.    During the August school holidays we will give blanket supplementary food assistance to all our children, and throughout the rest of the year we must ensure that all of our children receive at least one good meal a day.

Most schools have been forced to increase their school fees to reflect higher food and power costs.  Also most of the schools closed earlier for the holidays, due to power generation shortfalls.  Much of the power supply is hydroelectric, which of course is also affected by the drought.  Lack of adequate rainfall in the country has also led to the Kenya Power Company to announce that it will start the power rationing program from 6am-9pm, and this will affect the production and delivery of goods and services which could even led some companies to downsize their staff.   The move ultimately adds to the many miseries already distressing Kenyans like runaway prices of basic commodities; rising prices of fuel, high inflation, weakening shilling and harsh drought that is threatening the lives of more than 7 million people.

Current Situation of the Centre

We previously reported that a branch of the Kenyan Government, the NYS, is trying to take over a large area of the slum, including the site on which our street children centre is situated.  The fight to preserve our centre has not been easy, and it is not over yet, things seem to have slowed down and although the case was meant to have started in July 21st it was adjourned to enable the Nairobi City Council to file an affidavit in our favour. We continue to speak to many influential people, and we joined others in demonstrating against the proposed seizure.  We continue to live and work in suspense not knowing when and what might transpire especially since the said NYS is a government agency.   We continue to pray and believe that we will win this case to enable us to continue with our mandate that you support.

Death

It is with a big regret that we announce the death of a parent of one of our children in High school; the funeral will take place next week on 3rd July after the boy arrives from school, some 500km away from Nairobi.

Networking and Fundraising Locally

We have entered into a partnership with the Wilde Ganzen (Wilde Geese in English) Foundation of Netherlands for grant and technical support to implement the Action For Children (AFC) Programme, through KCDF (Kenya Community Development Foundation).  The main purpose of the AFC programme is to effectively target middle class members of the Kenyan public in investing in community projects that seek to improve the welfare and future opportunities for children, particularly those from vulnerable and disadvantaged families. By establishing organized mechanisms for these sectors of the community to give to children’s initiatives, MCFP will try and increase its own sustainability by raising funds locally to support its work.

Performance

The results from the various examinations that our children sat for are out and we have to say most did perform fairly well. One of the students got an A in his final secondary school examinations and as he awaits his entry to the University, he has been recalled by his previous high school to teach for one year. He will earn a salary during his time there which will help support him when he joins the university. A great performance it was for such recognition. We applaud him.

 

We invite you to join hands with us. Your support, gifts and encouragement give hope and life opportunities to over 100 vulnerable children.   We thank you for your support, and especially want to acknowledge those who have signed up to make recurring donations through Global Giving.  Recurring donations, no matter how small, help bring stability to the program and enable us to plan ahead to help more children, and we would like to ask all of our supporters to please consider such a form of gift for the future.

All the best,

Titus Mwangi
Team Leader

May 17, 2011

Update from street children's centre

Dear Friends,

When we wrote to you last, our new street children centre, which we had built over the past two years, was under threat from a government organisation that wanted to take the land on which the centre is built, and on which some 15,000 people live in the slum.  This message is to update you on that issue.  Titus will send a further update soon telling you of all the other good things that are going on there with the children.

The fight to preserve our centre has not been easy, and it is not over yet, but in the past few weeks, things seem to have taken a turn in our favour.  We have been in court, we have spoken with many influential people, and we have joined others in demonstrating against the proposed seizure.  So far at least, the seizure and demolition has not gone ahead.

We have heard that there is significant support for a settlement, including an alternative land offer for the group that wants to take our land.  In what we interpreted as a good sign, the Mayor of Nairobi visited the area with the local counsellor, and instructed him to install lighting and build a road to the area.  While the road may or may not end up being built, he was clearly expressing a view that this is a permanent settlement and not something that can be removed.  So at least a good political signal.  We have a further hearing date set for the last week of May, and we will see what progress can be made towards a settlement.

I was in Mathare recently, and was delighted to see the children enjoying full use of the centre, and optimistic as to what they can achieve in life with the help we are giving them.  I was there with two friends who will be helping with fundraising for the project.  It was a lot of fun to be there with them, and it was great for me to see the centre through their eyes, and to hear the children tell them how much life has improved since our little project started helping in the slum.

So, while the battle isn't over yet, we think we have a good chance, and we know that if we succeed in this there will be many more years of helping kids in Mathare, and seeing them build the skills and knowledge they need to make a decent lifes for themselves and their families.

Thank you very much helping us do this. If you are able to make a donation, Global Giving is providing $12,000 in bonuses to projects that attract recurring donations through May 20th, 2011.  Every little helps, and this is a great way to make your money go further if you can.  There is a link below to make that easy to do: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/educating-street-children-in-the-mathare-slum/?show=recurring

Thanks again,

Cathal

Feb 28, 2011

Update from Mathare

Our new children
Our new children's centre

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year 2011…

Once again, we here in MCF would like to thank you all for your generous contribution towards our program. We would like to update you about the development and differences your donation has brought into the lives of underprivileged children and their families here in Mathare since our last posting in November. A lot has happened since.

We wish to start with some sad news and bring to your attention the events in regard to our new children center that we moved into, in November of last year- 2010.

 Life is precarious for the approximately two million people who live in Nairobi’s informal settlements and slums. They make up half of Kenyan capital's population. Yet they are crammed into only 5 per cent of the city’s residential area and live on just 1 per cent of all the land in the city. There is little access to clean water, toilets, health care, schools and other essential public services in these settlements and slums. People also live under the constant threat of water-borne diseases, violence and forced eviction from their homes and small businesses. A large area of the Mathare slum - including our new children center - is being claimed by the NYS - the National Youth Service; basically an agent of the state, even though we (and many other owners) have valid title, and Nairobi City Council (also an arm of government) issued permission for us to build. The obligations and respect for human rights as stipulated in our new constitution apply to all government establishments and organs including, including the NYS, and we will be going to court to ensure that these rights are respected.

 We have more than 120 kids who depend on this project for education, food, medicine, uniforms, books among other needs....the children’s centre was finished 3 months ago at a cost of about $200,000 in donor funds, almost all from international donors.   400 children have benefited from the programme in the twelve years for which it has been working with people in the Mathare slums. We have started a campaign and ask for financial support while we pursue legally available means within our justice system – we believe we shall succeed.  Please take a look at the photo attached to this update – this is the centre that they want to take away.

Other activities that have been going on through out the last 3 months;

In December we had a board member from Ireland visit us and joined us in several activities with the children. Clothes and other things collected over the year 2010 were presented to the children as Christmas gifts.  During this period we also reviewed our policies and code of conduct on child protection and through the assistance of our board member. We are greatly indebted to her for her assistance to ensure that our policies meet both the international standards.

In November, 8 children sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams, a national exam, and all performed well and are able to join good secondary schools where they have enrolled and are settling down.  3 children sat for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education and wait for the exam results in two weeks. We have a lot of hope for them and expect that they will probably join our local universities. In the meantime they are undertaking basic computer courses to keep them abreast of what is going on technologically in the world.

In December, we recruited 20 children, both boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 14 years from different projects within Mathare slums. They have all now been registered with us. We have met their parents and former teachers of those who had gone to schools at one point. We have enrolled them to different public schools. They have settled well and we are paid up in regard to fees requirements, all thanks to you.

All kids except some few cases have reported to school on time this term. The few cases mentioned are kids who had discipline issues at school and needed to be accompanied by staff or their guardians and one who is still recuperating from sickness. He will need to transfer to a day school to be able to access the clinic.

While we pursue our court with the government over our center, we have embarked on a fundraising campaign to pay legal costs. We would really appreciate if you came to our assistance on this.

We are looking forward to a visit from Britt who works with Globalgiving during this month. We are always grateful to get a visit from Globalgiving which gives us a sense of we are not alone.

Many, many thanks once again to all of you, we do indeed find it very fortunate to have you with us on this important journey and this year, 2011.

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $30
  • $100
  • $300
  • $380
  • $435
  • $30
    each month
  • $100
    each month
  • $300
    each month
  • $380
    each month
  • $435
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Mathari's Children Fund

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Mathari's Children Fund on GreatNonProfits.org.