Educating street children in the Mathare slums

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…




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Project Leader

Cathal Conaty

Berlin, Germany

Where is this project located?

Map of Educating street children in the Mathare slums