Hamjambo Wenzangu...(Swahili for Hi dear friends)
In April, we bid one of our colleagues, friend, donor, board member bye bye after being with us for more than two years. Susi has been very instrumental and played a key role in initiating new programmes within our project. She came in as Technical advisor although she has been in the project since its foundation. To Susi we say Asante Sana (Thank you) and we know you will always be there for the project and wish you the best in your new endeavors. We also got a new social worker who will be working closely with the teenage mothers programme. Ann was initially working in a project in the adjacent slum, Korogocho and we hope she will have a good time here with us in Mathare.
All the kids are back to school after their April holidays. During this holiday, we had several projects that we undertook with the kids, these include; clean-up campaign that had more than 300 community members participate, life skills training on areas that the children felt they needed more inputs on, a visit by a Buddhist teacher who had a very active session with the children and members of the community in regard to the Buddhism religion and what it stands for. Niamh, a board member came visiting to see how we were fairing on. We had several meetings on the new changes and the way forward with all the new initiatives we had started with Susi. We were also lucky to have the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Kasarani pay fees for two of our secondary students out of the 3 that we had applied for. We hope this is the first step towards a long collaboration between us and our local CDF. WE have also been able to receive two scholarships for 2 of our high school graduates to train in Media Related Studies through the Street Families Trust Fund, a government agency.
In August, 2013, 3 students from Austria visited our project and produced a movie – 17 minutes on Mathare and our role as a project in responding to the various issues affecting Mathare. Please visit the link below and have a view of the Mathare as narrated by us although it’s translated into German. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eaQ5k-3K5kThe International Day for Street Children is a platform for the millions of street children around the world – and their champions – to speak out so that their rights cannot be ignored. As a network of organizations working with Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) around the world, we want the UN to adopt the Day – when the UN adopts a Day it gives the issue greater global exposure and increases pressure on governments to act. We kindly ask that you join MCFpanairobi to Demand a Day by signing the petition in the link below. In Nairobi, the day was celebrated by street children, NGOs, policy makers, businesses and individuals around Nairobi. The celebrations were diverse and included a football tournament, street parade, medical check-up, dance competitions, poems, skits and local level advocacy with the guest of honour being one of the richest men in Africa and the county Children’s officer. http://www.streetchildrenday.org/#addyourvoice
MCFpanairobi with 6 other organizations working with OVCs are currently working on a petition to the government after a stakeholders meeting sought to petition the National government to take responsibility of rehabilitation and reintegration of street children. This was brought about after an article was written in the Nation newspaper dated 26th March 2014 where the cabinet minister/secretary in charge of children affairs amongst others things denounced that he was in charge of children issues; https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/mobile/?articleID=2000110124&story_title=kazungu-kambi-s-exemption-is-discriminatoryWhen it is ready, we will kindly ask you to sign the petition and inform your friends to do the same.
Population Services International (PSI) Kenya through Kenya Women and Children Welfare Center – Jordan Foundation, an organization within our GBV network has agreed to train our 22 teenage mothers for the next 6 weeks on various issues from parenting to Nutrition. The training is based on the needs analysis that we conducted with the teenage mothers sometime back. This training will also have them trained as Trainer of Trainers and issued certificates to go cascade what they learned to others.
In April, the founder of Challenge Aid, Mr. Iestyn and Pamoja Trust visited our project and from this visit we are going to partner and establish a public library for children in both primary and high schools within Mathare to use in the evenings and half day on Saturdays. This will be an initiative that will also involve establishing a committee from the community to oversee the library together with MCFpanairobi. This initiative will be up and running by end of August and hope to serve a population of around 500-1000 children in Mathare. It will also employ two of our high school graduates and see the formation of a rugby team with two trained coaches.
So dear friends, these among other day to day activities have been what we have been up to the last 3 months. We want to thank you for your continous support and pray that you continue to be with us.
Regards from a cold Mathare,
Every child should have a right to an education!
Who knows what kind of abilities these children poses, who knows what adults they could grow up to be and what they could achieve. The problem is, if you leave them uneducated, they cannot better themselves and will often fall to crime. What if, one of these kids has the potential to come up with a bit of technology that changes the course of humanity?
The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination results were released in March, 2014 and our 10 students did fairly well that we will be required to continue their support to colleges. For the two who did not get good grades, we are going through counseling processes to ensure that they do not stop dreaming on what they would want to achieve. We had 3 students who sat for the end of their primary education who later joined high schools later in February and are now settled. The 10 students who finished high school are currently undertaking basic computer skills that are being taught by a beneficiary of the sponsorship program who finished University after taking Physics and Mathematics as an undergraduate.
When Nasieku (Not her real name) started having her monthly periods, her world shattered. Her teacher had taught them about menstruation but she viewed it as punishment. Nasieku felt responsible; the young girl could not talk to her family about menstruation because of the culture of silence surrounding the issue. One day as she sat in class her classmate discovered her tearing pages out of her exercise books and sitting directly on it to absorb the blood. The teacher was no better than the students as she questioned why she was being an embarrassment to women like this. It is a taboo for a school girl to go on her periods, it means something is wrong with her or she has been naughty. Nasieku describes it an embarrassing, degrading, disillusioning and disempowering experience. “It’s the time I realized that womanhood is a BURDEN!” Nasieku says. Menstruation is a subject which has led many girls and women to be disempowered.
As MCFpanairobi we have taken it upon ourselves to see how best we can address this situation and from a donation of 5,000 Euros, we were able to buy re-usable sanitary towels. These re-usable sanitary towels last for a year and we have been able to distribute over 800 pieces around the country in the 70 schools that we work with. While distributing the sanitary towels, one thing was made clear; sanitary towels have to come with inner wears! Most girls especially in the North part of Kenya do not have inner wears which is key in the use of sanitary towels.
The idea behind the re-usable sanitary towels project is the establishment of a social enterprise for the production of re-usable sanitary towels run by single mothers in Mathare. This will be determined mostly by the feedback that we will get from the girls using them.
We currently have 26 teenage mothers after we got one year funding from an Austrian donor, DKA to run the project. 17 teen mothers are undertaking a course in hairdressing which we are in partnership with Mathare Youth Polytechnic while 7 are undertaking a course in tailoring. They are also offered life skills training in different areas of concern that they identify especially on nutrition, reproductive health and parenting. We also offer them a meal a day for both the mother and the child, counseling services and medical care. We continue to have some challenges but recently 2 teen mothers graduated from the hairdressing training and were immediately employed meaning they can now meet their needs and those of their children. The tailoring department also is able to generate some income for the project after we started making uniforms for different clients and schools nearby. These clients include some diplomatic core within Nairobi.
In partnership with WRAP (Women Rights Awareness Program) our teenage mothers are also benefiting from the food basket that they get once every month.
Our strategic plan for the next 3 years, 2014-2017 is now ready. It captures our vision, mission and objectives for the various programs that we are undertaking. We hope to attract funding soon to be able to implement the programs. (Please send an email if you would like to get the strategy)
Thank you for your continued support. It truly is changing the lives of children and young mothers!
The year 2013 is over and it was a good year for MCFpanairobi thanks to you.
We have uploaded a few photos that capture activities, feelings and moments of 2013 which were dear to us that we are happy to share with you.
Check out the 4 short videos we are sure you will enjoy…
MCFpanairobi hopes it has been a good journey for you too as we walked hand in hand in supporting the less fortunate in our midst and pray that you will be part of the journey in 2014.
Holiday season is a time of joyful celebration, yet also a time of reflection. As these days’ approaches, it’s time to reflect with gratitude on the blessings and bounty that you’ve received. While making your holiday plans and reflecting on all you have to be thankful for, it’s also a good time to think about those who are less fortunate, and consider whether you can be of assistance to those who are in need. At Mathare Children’s Fund panairobi, we know that education can make a difference to people living in extreme poverty. Since 14 years we are committed to provide assistance for trainings and school education to the once in need; former street children, teenage Mothers and the vulnerable community in the Mathare Slum. More children than ever before seeking assistance for sponsorship, medical care, one meal per day, textbooks among other services, but our resources are limited. We need support.
This year, thanks to you;
· 10 children have just graduated from high school and hopefully will join colleges next year
· 3 children graduated from primary school and next year will be joining high school
· 6 kids graduated from universities in different under graduate degrees including, Actuarial Science, Teaching, Mathematics and Physics, Software Engineering, Business Administration and Human Resource
· 4 students joined the university to undertake; Geo-mapping, Diplomacy and conflict resolution, Hotel management and Pharmacy
· 14 teen mothers with their under 5 year old babies are currently undertaking either a course in tailoring or hair dressing and receiving training on life skills every second week
· We are working on reusable sanitary towels for girls within the 70 schools we work with
· We started a clean-up campaign in Mathare slums every school holiday that has attracted the attention of the City Council who has come in to support
· We have livelihood projects Handbags and Nairobi Walking Tours that is bringing income for the single mother’s and students who finish high school respectively
We are truly proud and we hope you are too….
Needless to say, we want to keep going and help more kids. There are 106 kids with us right now, and more joining in January. We hope to raise more funds to continue with our work and there exists several options that we hope you can take part in;
· GlobalGiving is offering nine bonus awards (including a $3,000 and $2,000 prize!) to the projects that raise the most money from their supporters. The project must raise $3,000 from at least 30 donors in the month of December to become eligible for $10,000 in bonus awards! The campaign begins at 12:01 am EST on December 1st and lasts through 11:59 pm EST on December 31st.
· If you’re looking for a last-minute gift, please think of donating in honour of someone you care about. They will receive a tribute card telling them about the donation that was made in their name. To find out how, click here.
We just finished a new (short) film about the handbag project. Please take a few minutes to check it out on https://vimeo.com/79944107 and Diana’s poem, a beneficiary of the sponsorship program on http://vimeo.com/69675244
All funds received will go directly to support the sponsorship of 106 children in Mathare. What better way to celebrate this holiday season than to make a conscious decision to help your neighbors who are in need…
On behalf of the staff and children of the Mathari Children's Fund, we wish you all the best for the holidays.
This is a small note just to remind you of something new that GlobalGiving has introduced called Regional Bonus Day which is happening on the 9th of October, 2013.
On the 9th, Oct 2013, from 12:01 am EDT or 7am Kenyan time, Globalgiving is having a special Bonus Day. Not only are they matching donations, while funds last, but they are also offering two $1,000 bonus prizes. A project that raises the most funds on Bonus Day will receive an additional $1,000 from GlobalGiving and that project that has the most unique donors on Bonus Day will receive an additional $1,000 from GlobalGiving... So friends of MCFpananirobi, please if you could help us get this matching funds through your generous contributions, it would do a great deal in helping us meet school fees demands for more than 106 children next term from January which is current budgeted at $ 15,937. Please visit the GlobalGiving site since we can only receive this funds if you kindly donate via their website Thank you and we cross our fingers that we may be part of the winning team through your assistance.
PS; For those of you who made enquiries about our safety after the terrorist attack in our city, we are fine, none of our relatives or team was either hurt or killed. Thank you for putting us in your prayers.
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