Educating street children in the Mathare slums

 
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Nov 23, 2011

Update from Mathare

Dear friends,

 It’s November, and this being our last update this year - 2011 we cannot thank you enough for all your support that saw us pull through a difficult year due to the economic crises that the world went through. Below you will find some of the happenings of the past three months.  Please feel free to ask any questions. Asante Sana…(Thank you in Swahili)

 National Examinations

We are proud to let you all know that 24 students from our 114 children sat for their Kenya National Examinations – 8 in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and 16 for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. We await their results with great anticipation, and hope they will make us proud. 

 4 students – one male and three female - finished their college education.  One trained as a Primary Teacher and is currently employed in a private school; one trained in civil engineering and is now doing her  internship in an engineering firm; one trained in Information Technology, and is doing her internship in an American University based in Nairobi, and the last trained in Actuarial Science, and is doing her internship in an Insurance firm based in Nairobi.  We are delighted with their success – it is a real testament to their determination to make the most of the opportunity that we presented them with.

 Media Exposure Workshop

Globalgiving with Africa24Media (www.a24media.com), hosted a media exposure workshop in which they provided training on creating high quality video footage.  They also held a feedback session on the Globalgiving Storytelling project, where more than 25,000 stories have been collected  on community issues, needs, and initiatives. This is one area too where our children have participated and continue to do so.

We hope through this training to involve out children in covering their daily lives through still photos or small videos, which will help us convey to the outside world the issues and the great work that is being done here.  Thanks Globalgiving and A24 Media.

 Technical Advisor

We have been fortunate enough to get a “technical advisor” from Horizont 3000 (an Austrian Development Organization) who started her work with us on the 7th of November, 2011. She will be with us for 2 years and her task will include supporting the strategic planning process, improving our fund raising and PR strategy, strengthening the organizational capacities and helping us advocate for the needs of impoverished children. Karibu sana to our new member of staff.

Current Situation of the Centre

The fight to preserve our centre has not been easy.  You will recall that the National Youth Service, an arm of the Kenyan Government, has laid claim to a huge area of the slum in which many thousands of people live, and in which schools, clinics and our children centre stand.   We are fighting this claim in court, and the case has been set for 23rd January 2012.   We continue to pray and believe that we will win this case to enable us to continue with our mandate that you support. 

Inflation Rate

Costs are rising hugely in Kenya.  The inflation rate accelerated to 18.9 percent in October, driven by a weak currency, high global food prices and a major regional drought.  There are consequences to all this; the country's poor have been struggling to afford the most basic of essentials. In most slum areas families can no longer rely on regular meals and have reduced them to one a day. Most basic items have now become luxuries due to the rising cost of goods. Following the suppressed production of food three years in a row, there is a domestic undersupply, hence prices have escalated. This is not only in Kenya; reduced production is also in Uganda and Tanzania from where Kenya imports food. To take some examples, paraffin, a necessity for cooking and lighting among a large majority of Kenya's population, now retails at 105 Kenyan shillings a litre, up from 60 shillings in June. Maize meal, commonly known as Ugali, has become increasingly unaffordable to many. It is a staple food to over 80 percent of Kenyans. The price of a two-kilogramme bag of maize meal continues to rise - from 130 shillings in June to 136 shillings in July to 140 shillings in August. So when our parents/guardians wash clothes for people and earn 150 shillings by the evening (that is only when work is available) they use the wages to buy a quarter litre of paraffin for 50 shillings, cooking fat for 10 shillings, kale for 10 shillings and a kilogramme of maize flour for 50 shillings. Things are so bad that poor families now buy toothpaste by the drop!!!

It becomes clear how important our feeding program is to ensure that all the children within the program access a meal at least once in a day – something we have been doing since the project was established. This meal is received whether at school – where we pay for hot lunch – or ensuring that they receive a meal when schools close for holidays at the centre.

 Finally dear friends, Thank you for your continuous generous donations to the Mathare Children’s Fund Panairobi. Your commitment to helping our children in our community weather the crises in their lives is appreciated by those who help them and, most importantly, by those who benefit from our services – the children. Thanks to donors like you, M.C.F.P continues to provide education to the current 114 children to live, learn, and feel safe and secure in that they will access education.

Again, thank you for all you do for our organization. 

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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