St. Vincent de Paul Community Development Organization

The mission of the organization is to build a society where all children are provided the necessary love and care essential for growth. The organization is run by a small group of local volunteers, dedicated to improving the lives of poor and marginalized children in Kibera, Kenya by promoting their social integration into the community.
Jul 5, 2016

What Does $4 Per Day Mean to You?

St. Vincent
St. Vincent's Nursery School Children at Recess

Could you support your family on $4 per day?

This is how much the typical parent of a St. Vincent’s Nursery School child earns --- and this is when times are good. Considering that work in Kibera is inconsistent, many parents go days without being able to work. This is compounded by the fact that most children from St. Vincent’s Nursery School come from households with sick parents who cannot do heavy tasks due to poor health status, thus leaving the entire burden of income generation to one parent.

With this amount of money, St. Vincent’s parents are unable to provide adequately for their children. These children do not get proper health check-ups or receive medical attention when they are sick. At home, skipping breakfast and dinner is highly prevalent among children. When food is available, it is of low nutritious value. Moreover, children fail to get proper exercise in the cramped slum of Kibera. Without intervention, all of these factors negatively affect children’s physical development, but also their education starting from their early years. Children are unable to concentrate or carry out normal activities and are often absent from school due to illness and fatigue.

St. Vincent’s comprehensive program provides two quality and nutritious meals to each of our 85 children daily. Each morning, our teachers check in with children to get the ‘morning news’. Any child who comes from home without having breakfast, complaining of stomach ache or how they had nothing to eat the previous night are always given a cup of porridge before they start the normal daily school activities.  Each afternoon, the children receive a hearty lunch that comprises fruits, vegetables, grains and meat throughout the week prepared by our cook, Doris. This meal must often last children until the next morning when they come to school. In addition, St. Vincent’s sends any child with medical issues to a local clinic and covers all of the associated costs. These health and nutrition activities keep St. Vincent’s children healthy and ready to learn and grow. They are essential to the overall development of the child at a time when children are at their most important development stage. 

Head Teacher Alice with St. Vincent
Head Teacher Alice with St. Vincent's Nursery Kids
Waiting for recess
Waiting for recess
Housekeeper Beatrice with Children
Housekeeper Beatrice with Children
Mar 21, 2016

98% School Completion Rate for St. Vincent's Kids

Primary School Girls Supported by St. Vincent
Primary School Girls Supported by St. Vincent's

St.Vincent’s believes that the ultimate solution to ensure that children have a sense of hope in life and a bright future is by empowering them with the necessary skills. The majority of challenges that these children undergo can easily be solved if they receive basic education. It is heartbreaking to witness young, innocent children lacking access to basic education, which is an important ingredient in the making of their futures. It is from this premise that the members of St.Vincent’s decided to continue to support children who have graduated from our Nursery School and whose guardians don’t have ability or interest to assist the children to continue with their studies.

Most of the parents and guardians of these children earn less than $1 per day, thereby education becomes least important when compared to and competing with other basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. Surviving in deplorable conditions within the Kibera slums, most of these children are trapped within the vicious cycle of poverty.  The transition from preschool to primary school seems obvious to those outside Kibera, but covering associated primary school costs is a mountain of a task to most people within the slum. Many children drop out of school within their first three years after graduating from the preschool, due to inability to pay school fees and other factors. To ensure that such needy kids don’t miss out, St. Vincent continues to support children who leave our preschool and have the greatest need.

To ensure that our beneficiaries are able to continue schooling uninterrupted, we decided to give a holistic approach in our service. We follow the child to their house and ensure that their nutrition is right plus their health is also good.  Having utilized this approach over 10+ years, St. Vincent’s is proud to say that among those children we have supported to attend primary school, we have had a 98% success rate of children completing their primary education.

Mar 21, 2016

Collins' Story

This is the story of Collins -- a high school student supported by St. Vincent's. Although Collin's wasn't among the initial 6 students identified to receive high school support this year, his case came to our attention and we decided we had to intervene.  We are constantly being referred children in need of school support and having to make difficult decisions about how to spend our limited resources. When Collins' came to us, we knew this was a case that needed our attention.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My name is Collins and I am 15 years old. I currently reside in Gatwekera Village [Kibera] with my uncle. Due to domestic issues, my parents separated while I was still very young and I have never seen my father. As long as I can remember, my mother has always been the sole breadwinner, getting casual employment from tea farms and homesteads that need household work to be done. Since I was born, life has never been easy. The little my mother earned had to be shared to serve different needs in the family. More often than not, basic needs like food clothing and shelter have always been hard to come by. My elder brother had to drop out of school and become a herdsman due to lack of school fees.

Through all this hardship, I never gave up, I worked hard on my studies and my sweat paid off when I did my final primary school exam (KCPE). I was able to score 353 marks out of the possible 500. I was overjoyed when I got my results plus the information that the secondary school of my choice Dagoreti High school offered me admission. Unfortunately, the joy was short lived. I soon realized neither my mother nor my uncle were able to afford to pay the school fees plus the school requirements (e.g., books, uniform, etc.) that were needed. Through the guidance of my former teachers, I applied to various scholarships that had learned about, but luck was not on my side again and I wasn’t successful in any of my applications.  I was almost giving up until I was referred to St. Vincent de Paul to seek assistance.

I was surprised that the members of the organization listened to my story and opened their door for me. They pledged to pay my school fees and the school requirements. It is a promise that they kept. I am now so happy and grateful for St. Vincent to give me an opportunity to continue with my studies.  I am sure that, had they not intervened, I was likely to join my brother in herding cattle. I promise to work very hard with my class work and to be a disciplined student. My dream is to become a doctor so that I can serve people fairly without discrimination of any kind. Though it is a long journey, I know through hard work I will become successful. Thank you all.

 

donate now:

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?
  • $10
    give
  • $30
    give
  • $80
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $30
    each month
    give
  • $80
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of St. Vincent de Paul Community Development Organization

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about St. Vincent de Paul Community Development Organization on GreatNonProfits.org.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.