Educating street children in the Mathare slums

 
$76,924
$13,076
Raised
Remaining
Nov 27, 2013

Holiday Greetings

Dear Friends

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.

Best Wishes

Titus

Oct 8, 2013

Regional Bonus Day

Dear Friends,

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.

Sep 4, 2013

Updates from Mathare

Kids during the Eco trip
Kids during the Eco trip

Dear friends,

 

From a cold Mathare, please find below what has been going on the last 3 months within our project, Mathare and Kenya in general.

 

Education 

 

Children closed schools for their August holidays although they open soon after they endured another paralyzing national wide strike in public schools from mid-June to the 3rd week of July, 2013.

 

On the education front, our kids continue to do fairly well in their class work and most recently our computer lab opened. MCFp has employed a former beneficiary as a trainer who has a mandate to look for other clients outside the beneficiaries’ scope to sustain the lab. 8 students who sat for their high school final exams are currently undertaking their basic computer studies at the computer lab. The computer lab is also offering services like printing, photocopy; CD writing and writing of reports both soft and hard copies. These services are available to the community members at a subsidized rate.

 

At the university front, we await graduation ceremonies for Robert who did a Bachelors of Science in Physics and Mathematics, Egerton University and George who has a degree in Business Administration who graduate in November. Joash has been invited to undertake a degree in Technology, (Geo-information Technology) starting this September, 2013 while Steve is expected to report for a degree in Pharmacy end of the year and not medicine.

 

Kids go back to school from the 3rd of September for their last term this year and we hope this time around there will be fewer distractions from elections, teacher’s strikes among other national issues that might affect their learning.

 

Holiday Program

 

During these holidays (August), we had very few activities since most of the kids had to catch up with their syllabus after the teacher’s strike;

 

·         Tuition classes with the college/university students offering to teach those in high schools on their weak areas while high school students helping out those in primary schools.

 

·         An ecology trip in the outskirts of Nairobi where children visited the Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Center, Nairobi Orphanage and Mamba village. During this trip the kids were engaged in discussions regarding Waste Management, Eco-systems and conservation of our heritage.

 

·         Our termly Children’s Parliament where several issues were raised by the children and later discussed together with staff.

 

·         The children shared clothes donated over the last 6 months with an organization within Mathare whom they felt there children were more deserving than themselves.

 

·         Computer lessons kick-started for the small kids during the lunch hour with basic lessons on what a computer is and what you can achieve with computers.

 

 Teenage Mother’s Program 

 

The teenage mother’s program continues albeit with issues arising from the girls in training. Several of them had to skip lessons to either cater for their children’s health which we meet as a program; one is pregnant again and before the end of the year will be giving birth and one has been sick consistently that she has had to miss classes for 3 weeks.

 

To ensure that their children get a balanced diet with locally available resources, we have embarked on nutrition training with the assistance of the German Doctor’s nutritionist. One major trained was conducted in our premises while the subsequent ones have been on-going every Thursday at the Nutrition/Feeding Center owned by the Doctors.

 

Beginning of July, the girls also underwent parenting classes for 3 days from a paid consultant who works with the German Doctors. This training looked into the need of a “relationship” with one child and what that means for the child later in life. These trainings continue.

 

Lastly we entered into a contract with Mathare Youth Polytechnic in which we will provide hairdressing equipment that will help to set-up a class of hairdressing in the institution. In return, Mathare Polytechnic will train 10 teenage mothers for the next 4 years. This is meant to bring about sustainability of the program.

 

Breaking In

 

On Tuesday, the 25th June, our premise was broken into but luckily the thugs could not break into our office. Our two tenants and the watchman were able to chase him/them away.
The police did their investigations and which pointed to the thieves gaining entry through our neighbors - a hospital, Marura Nursing Home. On more investigations, one of the staff members of Marura Nursing home was apprehended but later released when it became clear there was no enough evidence to sustain a case. 4 days later he had stolen phones and money from his workmates and has not been seen since.

 

MCFpanairobi Documentary

 

Simon Bailey from the Overseafilms - http://www.overseafilms.com/ was with us for the 2 weeks in June courtesy of Tim Hoeppner. Simon was filming a documentary on the general life in Mathare and how MCFpanairobi is doing its bit to improve the wellbeing of the inhabitants. We will post it online as soon as its ready and you will see how funds are being utilized...

Day of The African Child

 On 14th of June, 2013, Kasarani District celebrated the "Day of the African Child" whose theme was eliminating harmful social and cultural practices affecting children; ‘our collective responsibilities.’ This was made possible by the collective effort of our network in Kasarani and donors. The day is usually celebrated on the 16th but due to the National celebrations and the county celebrations being held on the 16th and 15th respectively.

 

The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity. It honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day. The Day of the African Child raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children. This year's celebrations were held in St. John in Korogocho and we had a good time with the guest honours being the County Governor of the children assembly and its Speaker. That was a good move especially when the "big persons" came and expected to be at the main podium...More than 4000 children attended the celebrations and had a great time.

Kids being taught on sustainable energy
Kids being taught on sustainable energy
KIds during the DAC celebrations
KIds during the DAC celebrations
Entertainment during DAC 2013
Entertainment during DAC 2013
Mathare Documentary by Simon
Mathare Documentary by Simon
Happy kids during the documentary
Happy kids during the documentary
Our computer Lab
Our computer Lab
Teenage Mothers being taught balanced diet
Teenage Mothers being taught balanced diet
Our teenage mothers with their babies
Our teenage mothers with their babies
Jun 3, 2013

Update from Mathare

Dear friends,

So much has been going on since the last letter that MCFpanairobi send to you. Below I have briefly outlined some of the major achievements and challenges we continue to face in our work here in Mathare.

Second Term/Semester

Our kids were back for holidays in April and we had several holiday activities that the kids involved themselves with: 

·         15 kids attended a workshop on adolescence sexuality with other children projects within Mathare in ABC Children Center. It was one week training.

·         30 kids had an opportunity to be part of the graduation of Ashoka Youth Mentorship program. Ashoka is an NGO that supports the field of social entrepreneurship. Ashoka seeks to identify and support leading social entrepreneurs through a Social Venture Capital approach with the goal of elevating the citizen sector to a competitive level equal to the business sector. In Kenya they have started a mentorship program where they take in Kids for mentorship on innovative ideas that would reduce poverty within their environment.

·         There was the usual Children’s Parliament where several issues of concern to the children were discussed, both from school and at home

Teenage Mother’s Program

During the last newsletter, there was a mention of the teenage mothers program where the social workers had recruited six girls for the program to train in either tailoring or hair dressing. MCFp experienced lots of problems from the girls recruited. They continuously started asking to be paid to be trained and as an organization we have in place a policy that does not allow us to pay anything to the beneficiaries of training. This mentality of getting paid to attend workshops/seminars/training has been perpetuated by big NGOs and has led to beneficiaries of different projects asking to be paid to attend or get trained. Five out of the six teenage mothers dropped and we had to go back to recruitment again and currently we have six girls being trained in the two areas. The one girl that remained from the initial group is almost through with her studies in two months. The teenage mothers have also been able to have time with their children in the center, feed the children and have their medical care taken. We hope that this program will continue and include the informal child care organizations within Mathare as envisioned in the Early Childhood and Development Program Proposal where the local community would benefit by their children attending day care centers with trained personnel.

 Sanitary Pads Project

Within the 14 years that MCFpanairobi has existed, we have not only gotten involved in the children’s education but looked at other factors that might derail their acquiring of education. One of them is the lack of sanitary pads for girls which have continuously been provided to the girls in the project at a very high cost. During this period it has also come to MCFp attention that a lot of girls within the 70 schools that we work with miss school due to lack of sanitary pads, hygiene, and embarrassment every month and hence disempowering them! This has led to the project intervening but MCFp cannot afford to do so every month due to lack of funds. This awareness on issues that girls go through during their menstrual periods and skipping of school has informed the reusable sanitary pads project. The project envisaged will not only provide the reusable sanitary pads but also produce them with the women in our project and the community we serve. The project will be a livelihood project that will not only employ women and ensure they meet their basic needs through the income they get but also provide a very basic commodity at a cheap price that is durable that will ensure girls continue with their education uninterrupted. This project is in conjunction with the Days For Girls who will provide the first batch of sanitary pads before we embark on production.

On the 27th of May, 2013, we got good news that Soroptimistclub Eferding will be meeting the costs of the project to a tune of 5,000 euros. We totally appreciate Marianne Sautner. And hope the project will meet its goals and objectives as we set them.

Fundraising

At the end of April and beginning of May, two of the members of Staff were invited for ten days to visit Salzburg, Austria where Salzburg Marathon has become partners with MCFpanairobi. During the time there, the two staff members participated in the Marathon among other activities. At the end of the Marathon, the Mayor of the city of Salzburg presented MCFp a cheque of 5,000 euros. This is monies that had been raised through various activities before and on the day of the Marathon. The two Staff members also had several meetings with potential donors in upper Austria, namely Gabriele Hofer of Bildungshaus Schloss Puchbers who will stage a concert with Catarina Lybeck and raise funds towards the teenage mother’s project. They also met up with the CEO of Kremsmueller Industries who might come on board with helping out draw a marketing strategy of products made by women in livelihood program within European market.

Computer Lab

Through two different donors, we have been able to set up a computer lab. We bought four PCs, two laptops and a printer at the end of the month of May. As a project, MCFp has been paying for children to learn basic computer skills after high school at a very high cost. To cut down on these costs, the project embarked on raising funds to allow kids who have finished high school to train in basic computers within the MCFp premises. The training is planned to start off in mid of June, 2013 with the first batch of students being those who finished their high school education last year, 2012. The computer lab is opened for the community around for a subsidized fee. The trainer or lecturer is a former beneficiary of the project who has a Diploma in IT from a local tertiary college.

Networks

MCFp continues to network with different organizations to be able to achieve its goals. Currently MCFp is involved in different activities with several networks; Gender Based Violence Network where it continues to address issues regarding violence within the slum areas, Day of the African Child (DAC) where the organizations are looking at issues affecting children in general and planning for the celebrations for the African Day of the Child on the 16th of June, and MCFp is also currently involved in a project for Nain i Who, a project that is working on bringing neighborhoods together and show casing what they have to offer to each other. Within Nain i Who project, MCFp is also involved in planning and implementing the Nairobi Walking Tours for the City and the eventual launch of the walk by the city Govern during the month of June. MCFp had their tour guides trained in conjunction with the National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Tourism Board among other stakeholders.

Strategic Planning

Currently, the staff of MCFp is working on a strategic plan to help in running the organization for the next three years. A draft will be send to all the stakeholders to get some feedback  and eventually once this is approved by the board, MCFp will embark on ensuring that what has been drawn up is achieved within the stipulated time.

Current News in Kenya

Economically; Kenya continues to be hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have remained low. Low infrastructure investment threatens Kenya's long-term position as the largest East African economy and in general life has become very expensive and even more expensive for those living below the poverty line. Unemployment remains very high. The country continues to experience chronic budget deficits, inflationary pressures, and sharp currency depreciation - as a result of high food and fuel import prices. The discovery of oil in March 2012 provides an opportunity for Kenya to balance its growing trade deficit if the deposits are found to be commercially viable and Kenya is able to develop a port and pipeline to export its oil.

Politically; In promulgating the Constitution, Kenyans made a bold statement on how they wanted their country to be governed. They wanted a system of governance that would entrench transparency and accountability and ensure a realization of basic human rights that addresses existing inequalities in distribution of wealth and resources. We cannot concretely state that this is happening but some changes are being seen in how things are being run. There is a lot of pressure from the civil societies and Kenyans in general for transparency and accountability on government. We recently held our elections peacefully against all odds and although there different perspectives on how the election was conducted, the Supreme Court ruled that it was free and fair. This has also been restated by the different observation teams with the European Union leading. Both the President elect and his deputy have on-going cases in the ICC, in The Hague. How this turns up, we await but for now life continues while the two, president and his deputy engage the African Union to request the Un and the ICC to refer the cases back to Nairobi.

Lastly 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

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

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Organization

Project Leader

Cathal Conaty

Founder
Berlin, Germany

Where is this project located?

Map of Educating street children in the Mathare slums