Educating street children in the Mathare slums

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 - and you will see what goes on every other second day or so.....)




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.


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
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
Jul 31, 2012

Update from a cold Mathare

David prepares to have a cup of tea in our office
David prepares to have a cup of tea in our office

Dear Friends,

As we continue to help former street children from Nairobi slums gain meaningful access to quality education by meeting their fees, text books, school supplies, medication,transportation,food among other needs, we have continued with other activities since the last update;

Day of the African Child – This is a day that has been commemorated annually since 1991 and has its roots in the anti-colonial struggles against oppression and injustice in South Africa but more specifically commemorates the massacre of unarmed children in Soweto, South Africa in 1976 while protesting against the low quality education. The theme for this year was, The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and to Fulfill.  Mathare Children’s Fund Panairobi as a collaborator with Government on issues regarding children especially vulnerable children and a strong member of our local district network on children which was mandated by the government this year to host the national Day of The African Child (DAC) we were involved in planning and implementation of this year DAC celebrations. (See photos below) The occasion was used to create awareness on child rights and to focus on diverse child rights violations and their underlying causes. It provided an opportunity to assess the progress towards realization of the rights of children and celebrate the gains made for children. This day acted as an eye opener especially on children with disabilities that are commonly neglected by both communities and government are not given opportunities to explore their potential to promote their growth and participation as a right as entrenched in our state laws and those of the UN conventions.

Careers - Following successful completion of basic computer skills training amongst our kids who finished high school last year, we have embarked on career advice amongst our kids. We are requesting them to take time to think about what they would like to do; dream and imagine ideal careers. Although there are fewer opportunities, few different types of jobs and careers in a wide variety of industries, there are also other career paths that are just emerging. Even if they are fairly sure of a career choice, our children should take time to explore similar (or even vastly different) careers, explore all options, and examine their likes and dislikes.  Most  colleges in Kenya  start their academic years in September and usually most students will be applying to join during the months of June and July and due to your continued assistance, we hope to have majority of them take up courses in college to acquire the career they choose for a better tomorrow.

MCFpanairobi Tours – Although not really a source of income/fundraising for MCFpanairobi, this is a project we have started for our kids who have finished high school and act as tour guides for guests especially foreigners who want to take a walking tour of the city of Nairobi. They are also invited to visit our project in Mathare slums and are also encouraged to donate towards the payment of fees/school uniform/food among other things. It has proved worth the effort since our kids have started earning some income and enjoy doing their job. The 3 kids on probation underwent a small training on what is involved and history of the city and places of interest. So next time in Nairobi please send us a shout out to us and let us show you our city.

Horizont 3000 Conference – One of our own was recently invited to attend to Vienna-Austria for a conference on Promoting of Human Rights amongst Civil Society whose objectives included; To discuss principles, strategies and methods to strengthen Civil Society organizations and structures, so that they can better defend Human/Children Rights and Exchange of good practices and project experiences from a variety of project partners from different continents and Nations among other objectives. This kind of exchange offers broad based benefits and outcomes, an awareness and adoption of alternative, multifaceted approaches to children rights issues.

Holiday Program – Currently we are planning for the August holiday program and we will keep you updated in 2 months time what we are up to with our children.

Lots of Love from a cold Mathare…



Apr 30, 2012

Mother's Day Tirbute Card Campaign

Today one of our kids, Dennis Sande, was invited to join the under 15 Elite Cricket Camp for a week, during which he will join the under 17 National Cricket Team after the camp. According to his coach, Dennis is a very talented bowler, fielder and wicket keeper. Below is a picture of Dennis showing off his T-shirt with the National Cricket Logo…We can only wish him the best.

Following a seminar we hosted at our premises, which was facilitated by Marc Maxson (the GlobalGiving story telling and innovation consultant), certain issues came out strongly among the more than 25 representatives of different organizations that were represented. One of the issues that was discussed at length was election related violence and how to nip it in the bud before the elections, which are planned for the end of this year or the beginning of next year. We arranged a calendar of activities that we (organizations within Mathare) would be engaged in and among these is to try and get forums where violence and peace issues would be discussed. On 21st April, 2012, we invited George Dima of ABC project to a parents/guardian meeting in which he was allocated an hour and led the group in discussing various issues regarding peace, election related violence and our responsibilities - especially for some of us who live in the slums. We intend to attend a forum facilitated by his project and discuss issues regarding election related violence.

The GlobalGiving story telling project continues, especially now that kids are in the center during the school holidays, we currently have more than 60 stories written and await Zipporah (the coordinator) to pay us a visit at the end of the month to collect them and give us more frameworks to fill in our stories.

Lastly my dear friends, Giving birth and becoming a mother is one of life’s defining moments, creating the opportunity for a lifetime of Mother’s Days… Mother’s Day is a perfect time to thank our mums for their gift of life. Most mothers in Africa/Kenya will with their hair in disarray, worn out, squeaky to one of her own and spring to action, because she’s always on call. Beyond rhythm of sorrow, we can celebrate the African mother, the past and present in anticipation of a better tomorrow by gifting that potential to struggling mums and their families in the Mathare slums through GlobalGiving’s Mother’s Day Tribute Card Campaign which kicks off at 12:01 am EDT on May 1, 2012.  The campaign is offering $500 prizes to each of the top 10 projects with the most donors who make donations as gifts! Our project only needs 10 donors to qualify for a bonus prize! GlobalGiving is offering e-cards and print-at-home cards, by making a donation to our project - the perfect last-minute Mother’s Day gift. Every donation of $30 will pay holiday activities for one child/young person for the whole year; holiday activities include a feeding program, medical check-up, trainings on various children’s/young people’s issues among other things, or $100 will pay for food, transport, school uniform and transport for a child for a whole year.

If we qualify, dear friends, for the $500 then we would want assure you that it will put two more kids through primary school education in a public institution for the next two years.

PS; Please note, only online donations will qualify for this campaign, no check donations will be accepted.

Our kids are some of the most vulnerable kids. They need us to win while appreciating our mothers

Lots of Love from Mathare


Apr 2, 2012

Updates on Mathare

Mathare From No.10
Mathare From No.10

Dear Friends
Happy new year…..although it’s the 3rd month of the year…..

Last week saw us receive results from all the high school students who have performed fairly well. From the 16 students who sat for the National exams, 7 got grades that would see them join the Universities while the 9 students are in a position to join Tertiary colleges – when funds are available by September this year.

The 8 kids who sat for the Primary Examinations last year all did well and they have all reported to secondary schools, beginning of February and all this is to you for your grateful donations especially during the Christmas Holiday Season. Thank you on their behalf.

During the end of year 2011, we were able to have our annual medical check-up in which more than 45 children were examined and we are pleased to inform you that we had only 11 referred for further check-up. Out of the 11, 6 had eye issues and were referred to an Optician, 2 had upper respiratory and chest problems while the rest had either running noses or cold/flus where drugs were prescribed and bought for them.

Current Situation of the Centre remains complicated as the case continues to drag on. The case continues to be postponed or more issues raised but at the end of the day we continue to believe and trust we shall overcome especially for the sake of the children we support.

Lastly as you continue to support our children, children on the other hand continue to ensure that and uphold their end of the bargain by attending school and working hard. For these we are grateful.

Thank you and best wishes   
Team Leader

Our immediate Neighbours
Our immediate Neighbours
without a care in the world
without a care in the world
Time for a nap
Time for a nap

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

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?
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?


Project Leader

Cathal Conaty

Berlin, Germany

Where is this project located?

Map of Educating street children in the Mathare slums