Graduation - Vincent
The Journey through 2015…
It is always with mixed feelings that I sit down to write the introduction to our annual Report. It is always tough to sum up a year. In doing so, I alternate between pride and disappointment, between hope and despair. With pride, We are growing. Our project is having an impact, and our reach is increasing. We are expanding our work and reaching more children to whom the world looks better from all the help we have been getting from you all. Looking back at 2015, I can say that we are proud of what we have achieved so far. It’s our dream that every child in Mathare Slums have what they need to succeed. We recognize the children in Mathare as being vulnerable members of that community who benefit from our support, in order to succeed in school and life. By working together, we can build a community where children thrive and families succeed.
We reached 106 children in 2015 and this may seem a small number but that does not make it less important, nor does it prevent us from indulging in a little despair especially when we have more than 70,000 children in Mathare, an area of less than three squared kilometers that are in need. To put this into context: our job, our mission, and our need to change this world to be a better place for children, the world starts with a small step. With friends like you, there is hope in the future for the children we serve.
Looking back on the hard work of 2015, with the parallel achievements of leveraging our existing strengths and laying the groundwork for the future, I am confident that MCFp is poised to make an even greater contribution to advancing children well-being with your support.
New projects that would cater for more vulnerable members of the Mathare community have been initiated and implementation started, namely: the community library through the help of Challenge Aid, Students Councils through CHS support, Re-usable Sanitary towels through Soroptimist assistance, GBV related issues and advocacy, Child Protection through various networks among other areas of interest that will improve the lives of children and people.
As we enter 2016 with a better starting ground, a greater determination to succeed, and a strong commitment by staff in our Mathare office, we are confident of the future perspectives for the children and the general community we serve to manage both the opportunities and the challenges ahead.
We had 106 children under the School Sponsorship Programme in 2015 - at all levels of education, from Nurseries/kindergarten to University/college/vocational training; these have been placed in over 70 schools and institutions of higher learning all over the country.
The program has been hugely successful:
In 2015, 5 children sat for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education while 3 sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education National Examinations in from the month of October to November.
Those in colleges, 5 have just graduated from colleges, two in the medical sector while one graduated with a BA in Commerce, BA in International Relations and a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.
12 Kids exited successfully from the sponsorship programme at the end of 2015.
During the holiday programme (April, August and December), a total number of 12 trainings in different areas of life skills were done, mainly: Reproductive Health and prevention of STIs/HIV, Child Online Protection, Child abuses and prevention. More than 80 children received hot lunches during the holiday programmes in April, August and December.
MCFpanairobi will continue to scale and reach out to more children, providing educational access and opportunity thanks to your support which will allow us to plan with confidence that 102 children will gain access to education in 2016.
Teenage Mothers Programme/GBV Issues
More than 48 teenage mothers have been served this year. This also includes 54 children from the 48 teenage mothers.
Currently we have 26 teenage mothers from the 48 undergoing their training that will end in February 2016.
Below are some of the achievements in the teenage mother’s programme:
• From the earlier group of 22 teenage mothers, 14 are self-employed or employed. This means they can generate enough income to meet their needs although still based in the slums
• 2 have been taken in by an Export Processing Zone factories and are being trained in industrial machines and have high chances of getting employment after their internship
• 1.4% of the teenage mothers got pregnant this year which is a big improvement from last year’s 28% rate of pregnancies
• 6 Teenage Mothers have successfully gotten loans from a local SME loan scheme and continue to pay faithfully
• A culture of savings has been introduced among the teenage mothers, with the current group having saved more than Ksh 10,000 in the last 3 months
• The teenage mothers have undergone more than 18 trainings in different areas of interest and growth towards their lives
• More than 66 cases of GBV incidences were reported to us as an organization with 40% of these cases dealt with to positive conclusions. The rest are still being followed up
• MCFp continues to play the lead role in GBV issues within our district
• We have supported girls with more than 4500 sanitary towels this year with support sourced from different companies and organizations locally
Livelihood Support Programme
Tours have been listed on two online travel platforms -Trip Advisor & I Like Local. Participation went up from an average of 3 tourists a month beginning of the year, 2015 to 26 tourists a month. The tours are providing a good income for the tour guides plus providing income to the project. Challenge is to get more skilled guides trained and the movement of young people in search of greener pastures.
In total, the tour guides made a total of $1010 while MCFpanairobi made $750, 2015.
Heart bags are selling well. Sales have increased and our products are now listed in three more shops.
Tetra bags are slow in selling. Investigations are ongoing as to why that is the case while we introduced a new product - “Hand puppet" and will be launched soon.
We attended 3 Christmas fairs which boosted sales and exposure; the German Embassy Christmas Market and two from the World Bank fairs.
3 former teenage mothers are currently being trained to produce bags and have started earning a bit of income from it.
The challenge has been to get more people trained due to resistance of knowledge transfer from those who have the knowledge and freight charges to Europe where we have had a lot of requests made.
Reusable Sanitary Towels Programme
Reusable Sanitary Pads are a sustainable and easily renewable resource that allows girls to wash and reuse them rather than having to buy disposable pads every month. In addition, they are comparatively inexpensive and environmentally friendly. The social benefit of the implementation of this concept greatly mitigates the disadvantages and challenges many disempowered girls endure during their process of maturing.
This is a livelihood programme that will not only employ women/teenage mothers and ensure they meet their basic needs through the income they get, but also provide a very basic commodity at a cheap price that is durable that will ensure girls continue with their education uninterrupted.
Although this programme has not really been implemented, we have had a few successes:
• A diocese of Southern Sudan has engaged us to produce 600 Reusable Sanitary Towels in the next 3 years that total EUR 6,000. We intend to deliver
• Soroptimist has offered EUR 4,500 to kick start the production from 2016. In this regard, an expert in this field has been identified and hired to start working on the production with 4 teenage mothers from February, 2016
• More requests have been coming in and we hope to meet this need starting from next year
• This programme will also act as an exit strategy for the teenage mothers who are training in tailoring
• A proposal has been submitted to a donor and we hope that it will go through
• A Hygiene Menstrual Training Manual has been produced for purposes of training when handing out the re-usable sanitary towels
Jangwani School of Hope (Community Library)
Through the help of Challenge Aid, Jangwani School of Hope (community library) continues to operate after school hours, giving children educational support by providing desks, chairs, lighting and most importantly a good supply of up-to-date text books with responsible supervision in a safe and conducive learning environment.
It has continued to benefit more than 40 children at any one given time while we have more than 75 children at any given day during school holidays. These children are also invited for the trainings that we conduct during the holiday programme.
Mid – year, the library was fortunate to receive a donation worth Ksh 120,000 in form of text books from Longhorn Publishers.
In 2016, it is planned that during the weekends, the children using the facility will engage in drama, music and sports on the weekends to improve on their self-esteem and get enlightened on life skills and health issues including the negative impact of alcohol, drugs and unprotected sex.
MCFpanairobi was able to secure funding from Christiane Herzog Shule and Soroptimist to undertake a pilot project on the establishment of students council in 5 schools with a total population of 3,150 students.
It is envisioned that the students will grow up as responsible citizens who are aware of their rights, their influence and their responsibility within communities and their schools. Furthermore, it will strengthen their ability to participate in decision making processes which will lead to better improved relationships between the school administration, teachers and the students through creating a platform of dialogue and learning on issues
The General Objective is to increase Students’ voices and expressions as responsible citizens who are aware of their rights, their influence and their responsibilities within their schools leading to better performance due to a better learning atmosphere.
For the project to work, the 5 Principals to the said schools, 10 teachers in charge of the student councils and the 38 student leaders duly elected where MCFp monitored the elections, trainings were held on areas like conflict resolution mechanisms and management, student management, Leadership & student mentoring, life skills, stress management and decision making in times of crises.
To crown it all, CHS and the German government has offered to fly 5 student presidents to Germany Mid 2016 as an exchange programme.
The five high schools involved are: Kowuor Secondary School with 192 students, Bishop Sulemeti Girls with 630 Students, St. Thomas Aquinas, Madende Secondary School with 658 students, St. Paul’s Erusui Girls High School with 470 Students and Mukumu Girls High School with. 1,200 Students.
Other notable highlights
- We got a new colleague from Germany – Britta - forwarded to us by Horizont 3000 for a period of 2 years to assist in the running of the project
- MCFp renewed its MOU with Akition Regen (Rain workers) to continue implementing the sexual health and family planning education within Mathare
- CHS group of students currently volunteering in Kenya have started a campaign to raise funds to buy cooking boilers/stoves for the project
- Our new website http://mcfpanairobi.or.ke/ was launched. The plan is to launch a blog and an improved donation functionality during the first quarter of 2016. In alignment with the website we were able to implement individual email accounts for our staff.
- There was not a single drop out of any child within the sponsorship programme while 2 teenage mothers dropped from the programme
- We have an agreement with Export Processing Zone (EPZ) to have the teenage mothers doing tailoring to get attached there for industrial experience. From this, two teenage mothers have been permanently employed
- We have 3 pro bono professionals in the areas of Accounts where Diana is helping improve our financial processes and bookkeeping, IT where Barakissa is helping us improve on our database and working on creating Kasarani GBV Networking Group database and reporting system and Carolynn and Beth who is helping us review our financial model and fundraising strategy while at the same time facilitating us in the review of our strategy plan 2015-2017
- Around 30 new kids have been recruited for the sponsorship programme
- We had a very colorful and successful graduation ceremony for the teenage mothers mid-year, 2015
- CHS students and their teachers (25) visited the project in July. From this visit, one of our girls will be visiting Germany on a football scholarship from February 2016 MCFp continues to take up leadership roles within the networks.
- We are a leading organization in 4 Networks while we joined two more forums
- More than 4500 sanitary towels were distributed to school going girls in support of their education
- MCFp has been able to follow-up on 66 cases of GBV, child abuses with support of different organizations, namely the German doctors, WRAP, World Friends among others.
- More than 160 children received hot lunches during the school holidays; April, August and December holidays as part of the feeding programme
- Through the assistance of the German doctors, MCFp was able to meet the medical needs of more than 80 children.
It has been a good year, 2015 for those of us here in Mathare Children's Fund panairobi. All this has been possible majorly due to you. We appreciate you and believe you will continue standing with us in the New Year 2016.
Please look out us up in our website or our Facebook page to get more regular updates respectively: http://mcfpanairobi.or.ke/ and https://www.facebook.com/MathareChildrenFund
Please let me share with you photos that try to capture our activities throughout 2015...
Kindly also feel free to ask any questions you may have and we will promptly respond as soon as possible.
Time for Lunch
A potential employer visits the teen mums
Time for swimming
Our products from the livelihood program
CHS visit to the project
Am happy after lunch!!!
Trainings to Children during holidays
Community training on Family Planning issues
Student Council trainings
Teen mums showing off their products
I made this dress in 4 months of training
The student leaders training - Student Council
Off to school
We can afford to laugh now...Thanks to you
Busy in the library
Interviews with ORF Rome on life in Mathare
Time for Lunch
GBV - Community leaders
Christmas - swimming
Football kits to the 20 teams of MPL in Mathare