Its with a sad note that I start this update. During the last two months we lost a mother of four of our children to HIV/AIDS related complications. Fortunately the children have been taken in by their uncle and their education will continue with us, but we feel for them in their grief. We also lost a brother to one of the children that we cater for, also from HIV/AIDS ailments.
On another note, Alexis Nadin, a former intern with Globalgiving, passed by in April to see what we do. We are grateful to note that Globalgiving does indeed go to the ground to find out whether what projects claim to do is being done.
In April when we have the 3 weeks holiday, we organized a Tae-kwon-do training for some of our children, to help them in need and for self defense. This is key to us after a series of rapes and kidnappings currently going on both in slums and the up market places in Kenya and Nairobi in particular. The Tae-kwon-do lessons were mostly taken up by boys and we are arranging for a female coach for the girls, as they shied away from the training and yet they are the most victims.
Our youth group, which has 22 members, has embarked on a tree planting activity along Nairobi River that borders the Mathare slums where majority of the members live. This has been made possible through their own contributions that enabled them to buy tree seedlings. They intend to stop the degradation of their habitat and the tree planting has set the pace. They are also introducing farming in the slums through the use of soil loaded into sacks and planting kales and spinach which they sell at cheaper price than the local market. This is an income generating activity.
110 children went back to school, 44 to secondary schools, and 54 to primary schools, 2 to kindergarten while 9 went back to colleges. This has been made possible by you through your generous contribution. We are also excited by the fact that 2 more students will be joining public universities in two weeks time, making the total number now 3. In addition, Robert Muiruri is now employed by a local bank and is now in a position to help his big family, and had this to say, “Am now in a position to move my family from the slums to a better living place. All this is due to M.C.F. who trusted in me and saw me through school and college. M.C.F. is the best gift ever.” Attached to this update you will find a photograph of the nursery class which includes two of the children in our programme.
Since 1999, over 300 children have passed through MCFP. As the core activity, MCFP has sponsored and seen more than 150 children successfully go through and finish Primary education, 70 through the secondary education and 37 through college. We sincerely appreciate your continued support and assistance as we endeavor to facilitate the uplifting of children lives. Please feel free to ask any questions or information regarding our project. Thank you.
On behalf of our clients, staff and Board of Mathare Children’s Fund (MCF) I offer our most sincere appreciation and gratitude for your continued support. My name is Titus Mwangi, team leader of MCF and it will be my pleasure to keep you posted on the happenings in the project that we hope you will continue to support. The progress which I’ll be telling you about has only been made possible through your assistance.
We have run 3 workshops for the benefit of our children and parents/guardians.
The Anger Management and Conflict Resolution workshop to help children address anger and conflict and to learn skills to transform these into more positive creative alternatives. This was very important especially after the post-election violence that was witnessed in a big way in the slums of Nairobi. 50 children attended the training which combined reflection, life stories and lessons learnt from schools and post election experiences. Other methods used included brief lectures, group work and role plays.
Peer education workshop for 60 children, to equip them with the necessary skills to encourage desirable behaviour among their peers, not only in the project but also in their communities. We view peer training as by far the best way to positively influence how our clients and their friends lead their lives. The Participants acquired in-depth information and knowledge on HIV/AIDS, on psychosocial issues that affect young people (alcohol and substance abuse, sex, sexuality and gender, loss and bereavement and reproductive health), and on basic counselling and communication. They developed skills on becoming behaviour change communicators, and gained an understanding of behaviour and in particular risky behaviour and how to avert it. After the workshop, over 16 young people went for HIV/AIDS tests to know their status.
Peer Education workshop for 15 Parents/guardians. The training mostly targeted informal leaders within the community and those that had made their status known as being HIV/AIDS positive. This training is to help guardians be aware of psychosocial issues that affect them and their children and empower them to be responsible parents. For those who have HIV/AIDS, the skills are meant to help them disclose their status to their children and prepare them for any eventuality. The overall aim of the training was to build the capacity of guardians, parents and care givers. Following the training, 7 parents went on to have HIV/AIDS test to know their status.
There have been over 20 schools visits which really mean a lot to the children. They also enabled staff to get updates about the progress of the children and to provide the ongoing support and guidance needed.
We are now rebuilding the Savings and Credit scheme, a small lending scheme which was hit hard by the disruption following the election violence. Its aim is to increase the financial capabilities of the parents and through that, to stabilize the lives of the kids. Savers are organized into solidarity groups of five members, each of whom has to save in order to earn the right to a small loan. Once the loan is repaid, the next member receives a loan, and so on.
We have also seen the relocation of 3 families affected by HIV/AIDS to their rural homes, to build relationships between the children and the larger family, so that with the eventual death of the parents, the orphaned children have the larger family members to take care of them, while we meet the costs of education, medical and other requirements.
This year saw 9 children report to secondary schools while 2 joined tertiary institutions after successfully finishing their secondary education. 7 joined primary schools and lastly 2 joined Pre School.
We had our annual medical check up and more than 100 children took part. After the check up, we bought medicines for those that had been prescribed for. Except for some few cases of Malaria, flu/cold and eye infections, the other children are doing well.
It’s with sadness that we lost one of the parents, she developed complications at home and later transferred to one of our public hospitals that specialise in HIV/AIDS and T.B. We have taken in two more siblings from the family.
We finally had the ground breaking ceremony for our new office building on the 22nd December, 2008. This was the same day that we had our end of year Christmas party for the children that we currently serve.
We sincerely appreciate your continued support and assistance as we endeavour to facilitate the uplifting of these children lives. Please feel free to ask any questions or information regarding our project. Thank you.
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