Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya

 
$78,296 $11,704
Raised Remaining

SVPCDO is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of three organizations (among thousands) to be selected as part of this promotion from Rough Roads (UK). All you have to do is visit the site below, play the game, and at the end select the "Feed and Educate Kibera Kids" option from the drop down menu and a donation will be made each time you play.

Click here to play: http://www.roughroads.co.uk/

It's super easy, only takes 2 minutes, and most importantly, it will benefit our nursery school and the children in Kibera at a time where we are still in great need of funds. We hope you will help us by taking a couple of minutes to participate.

Remember -- it's NO cost to you! And also by spreading the word about this great opportunity through Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thanks for your help!

Hard at Work
Hard at Work

It was in June 2009, when the St.Vincent De Paul Community Development Organization (SVPCDO) was hit badly by global financial crisis. The crisis came towards the end of the year, when the organization was operating on its last tranche of savings and was unsure what the new year would yield in terms of funding.

During the month of November 2009 a friend of the organization introduced us to Global Giving and shared with us the details of their work. It so happened that Global Giving was about to launch a “challenge” for which they needed participation from organizations like ours’.

We managed to beat the deadline and send all the required paperwork to introduce our work in the community of Kibera. Our efforts quickly bore fruits as we managed to be among the top three institutions that participated in the global challenge, raising Ksh, 1.3 million (over $16,000 USD) in just one month.

The support received through Global Giving during this challenge, and since then (over $23,000 to date), has truly brought our organization back to life; living with hopes of a better today in order to save a child with basic unmet needs in our community. We are glad to be part of the Global Giving family as it has opened our horizons by getting space on an international perspective.

The nursery school, with the current population of 87 children, has benefited greatly from the money we have received so far. Here is a breakdown of some of the areas where have been put to use over the past year:

School Uniforms: Our newly admitted children at the nursery school all received school uniforms and a pair of shoes.

Feeding Programme: Feeding 87 children has not stopped. Provision of two nutritious meals per day during school days Monday to Friday is still on course.

Stationery: Learning has been enhanced as all the necessary stationary needed by the school was purchased. This reflects on the children as all strive to outdo each other and work hard.

Bills: Monthly bills of water and electricity continue to be paid on monthly basis without fail.

Salaries: Staff salaries continue to be paid promptly at end of each month, which motivates the staff to perform better.

We say a BIG THANK YOU to Global Giving, as we can happily boost on being on the global map by keeping the St Vincent de Paul Nursery School known to the world by appearing on your website, which brings hope to Kibera children for a better today.

We also say a BIG THANK YOU and A BIG HUG to all our kind donors and friends who gave us a helping hand when we needed it most and have continuously contributed generously so as to keep the wheels of St. Vincent spirit  rolling on and on.

Our New Class
Our New Class
Time to Eat!
Time to Eat!

Thanks to the help of one of our dedicated volunteers, SVPCDO is pleased to announce the launch of our new and improved website. Please check it out at: http://vincentdepaul-organization.jimdo.com/.

We think you will enjoy this new site -- it is more user friendly and allows visitors to learn about our program activities, see pictures of the children we support, and (importantly!) provides a direct link to the ways in which people can support SVPCDO. The site will also feature updates on recent events that happen at the nursery school and rescue center.

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JUNE 16th IS A MATCH DAY ON GLOBAL GIVING -- YOU GIVE $20, THE PROJECT RECEIVES $30

On June 15th, Global Giving will be matching all gifts made to our project by 50%. If you were thinking of making a gift this month, please consider doing it on this day. In addition to the match, prizes will be awarded to the organizations with the greatest number of donations on this day.

Links:

Student at St. Vincent de Paul
Student at St. Vincent de Paul

I visited this school a few days ago in Kenya. The visit was really moving. The kids are from very poor families in Kibera, considered to be Africa's biggest slum. 25% of the kids, ages 2-5, are HIV+. Many are orphans. They get two meals (ugali and cabbage for lunch the day I was there) some medical support, and a clean place to learn and play. Two college students from Holy Cross were volunteering for a month, and they were appropriately inspired and promised to recruit donors on our next Bonus Day - June 16th, 2010.

Lucy Kawiya escorted Zipporah, Vicky, and myself to their rescue home inside Kibera slum. Along the way we passed the offices of Carolina for Kibera (http://goto.gg/kibera-slum-develoment/), another GlobalGiving partner that works in Kibera. Within two more blocks you can find Hot Sun foundation (http://goto.gg/kenya-slum-filmmaking/) and a few other NGOs.

I looked up at the iron roofs atop the makeshift housing on this dirt street. Some of these shacks had TV antennas, and one even had a satellite dish. “You see that?” I said, pointing them out to Lucy. “Of course.” “It kinda complicates the typical impression outsiders have of slums.” “That’s why we tell people, ‘Just come here and walk around. See for yourself where we work.’”

The Kibera slum is actually many villages connected by dirt paths, clusters of shacks that could blow over in a storm. but within these 13 communities of tens of thousands you’ll find some wealth, a lot of cell phones, and many attitudes. Many NGOs have visited to collect feedback, and the people don’t speak with one voice. In fact, we were the fourth group to visit a nearby girls’ centre in the last 3 months. Such a complex environment calls for some new approaches, and a way to share more of these stories.

That afternoon, we saw a dozen children in the rescue center. One boy (about age 12) was drawing a face. He was obviously a talented artist. “I just wish we could help him pursue arts more,” Lucy said. “What about posting your question to the Map Kibera site?” We were helping promote one recent effort to share community information locally, using cell phones and the website http://kibera.ushahidi.com. People can ask a question, make an announcement, or just offer a general comment and it will be posted. Some who sign up for text-message updates can follow villages or topics that interest them. We'll also be posting the stories we collect in kibera. Lucy handed her phone to Miriam, the head teacher at their nursery school. “You do this. I’m not one with technology yet.”

Miriam wrote: [something like] We have an artist at St. Vincents. Does anyone know about an art program where he can get more training in Kibera? [My computer got hit with viruses so I can't read the exact message off the site right now.] She signing up for SMS-updates, so that if anyone replies, she'll get it on her phone.

The St. Vincent’s Nursery school was a colorful little house on the edge of Soweto village (Kibera) that serves 87 kids ages 3 to 7. Mini tables and chairs in blue, green, red, and bright yellow filled the three classrooms.

I was happy to see color, as I explained color’s importance to Lucy. “I’ve read that children learn better in a colorful environment. And yet so many schools are just gray cinderblocks. Mandela wrote in his biography about his prison. He said it wasn’t the walls but the absence of color that made him feel the most imprisoned. Gray walls, gray food, gray uniforms, and gray skies. Always the absence of color. Thankfully, this nursery school was vibrant, although empty for the Easter break.”

We met under the round shady bantaba in the back and shared stories as part of our training. Throughout the afternoon, several other people dropped by, including Havier and Cathryn – who Australian volunteers who are starting a sort of Montessouri school in the area with the guidance of St. Vincent’s.

Cathryn shared one story. I didn't transcribe it exactly, but from my memory, she said that a few years ago she was walking though a slum in Nairobi and she came to a rickety bridge over a rushing river. She turned to her husband. “Is this safe to cross?” “Probably not,” he said. It wasn’t what she wanted to hear, she said. After crossing, she noticed a run down shack on the edge of the water built on a hill. It looked like it could collapse at any moment. He peeked through a hole in the wall and was shocked to see it was an informal school. Dozens of kids were inside learning. She opened the door into this dark place and the sunlight blinded them. “I couldn’t just leave it as is. We helped them move to a better place.” Recently, she passed by that same place where the shack-school used to stand. Heavy rains had come, and the building had collapsed and washed into the river. “I hate to think what would have happened to the children if we hadn’t given a little money to move the school,” she concluded.

She titled her story, “It doesn’t take much money to make a big difference.”

I was inspired by St. Vincent’s staff, these volunteers, and the several community members that we met along the way. Earlier this week, when I asked Lucy to explain to other NGO staffers at a meeting how they got on GlobalGiving in last November’s Open Challenge, she says “it was a miracle. We were in desperate need of funding and we used GlobalGiving as an opportunity to reach out to all our past supporters.” On behalf of Lucy, Miriam, and others, I’ll thank you for the “miracle” that you made possible by giving a little something to St. Vincent’s in Kibera.

Links:

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Project Leader

Lucy Kayiwa

Director
Nairobi, Kenya

Where is this project located?