Handbag making by our Mamas
As we continue to increase awareness and raise funds for our children in Mathare, who would otherwise have never stepped into the hallways of a school, we would like to kindly update you of what we have been up to the last few weeks.....
We had few programs going on during the August school holidays;
1. Review of the previous Hansard report for April Parliament proceedings in August
The children asked that we review the proceedings of the previous April parliament since they felt a few things agreed on had not been implemented. This was evident for lack of benches to sit on as agreed between the office and the children in April. (We have proceeded to the buy benches as agreed with the children)
2. Children Rights vs New Kenyan Constitution
We had more than 50 children attend the 4 day workshop sponsored by Pathfinder International –APHIA Plus. We discussed the recent Kenyan (2010) promulgated constitution versus The Children’s Act of 2001. In the new Kenyan Constitution there exists an advanced Bill of Rights that among rights recognizes Socio-Economic rights of all children. These rights among others were compared to what we have in The Children’s Act 2001 and gaps identified especially on areas to do with the survival rights, Development rights, Protection rights and Participation rights. During the workshop, children from St. Benedict’s project were invited to attend too.
3. Origami and T-shirt design
We had a couple with children from Austria visit us on their holidays and two of them wanted to stay and help the children learn how to make Origami animals and design T-shirts with different colours and patterns. They came bearing gifts for our project from Austria. Our hall is now beautifully decorated with Origami art and kids have T-shirts with all types of design. See photo
4. Parents meeting
We had our quarterly meeting with parents where several issues were discussed among them next year’s agreement on sharing of responsibilities when it comes to shopping and transport. This created a lot discussion but there can only be growth if one knows how to fish and not getting fish all the time in a silver platter. The mothers who are interested in basket making among other craft works were asked to sign up since we were starting a project on crafts in the month of October.
We have started making handbags from waste paper – tetra pack– with a group of 7 women. This group of women who would generally be washing clothes for a small fee have embarked on the training and as we report these, they have learned and currently are producing 3 bags a day. MCFpanairobi will act as the middleman in which we will try and get a market for the products within Kenya and outside the country. This was agreed since sales and marketing is one area that the women are incapacitated for the time being. We have seen this works after one of our children currently in the University started making bangles, rings and chains from copper was able to get his hostel fees from the sale of these items when we connected him to a fair trade shop in one of the malls in Nairobi.
Sooner or later we will be asking you to buy one and support the mothers and we hope you will. They will also learn how to make chains from beads and paper for further income.
Children Protection Policy and Code of Conduct
We can finally report that we have finished writing our Code of Conduct and Children Protection Policy for our organization. Although it took quite a while, we cannot stop from thanking Niamh, who is a board member who assisted us with her vast knowledge on this field having worked for long in the children sector. She visited the project for a week when she was meant to be on holidays and helped us in finishing the policies.
Third term – reporting back to school
In September, all public school teachers went on strike demanding an increment of their salaries. This created concern is now being raised over the negative impact the teachers strike is having especially on class 8 and form 4 candidates. The school calendar has also been changed affecting the holidays and syllabus for the whole 2013 year. It’s important to note that we have elections next year and most schools act as polling stations and this too will affect the education calendar of 2013.
Exchange Program between DESECE and MCFpanairobi
With the assistance of Horizont3000, we were able to have an exchange program between MCFpanairobi and DESECE project in Bungoma County. DESECE staffs were able to visit our project in late August while we visited them mid October for learning experiences. We will continue to grow our relationship on areas we could cooperate.
Nairobi Only Walking Tour
We finally printed posters and made brochures of our new project where we are offering walking city tours of Nairobi. We have had more than ten Nairobi walking tours since inception and the feedback is great. So when you’re in Nairobi, remember to book a tour with us. These monies go into the project while the children (above 18 years) who undertake these tours with our guests get an income to enable them meet some costs in college or home.
We were lucky to get one of our long term donors and a board member visit us and with them, they came bearing gifts for the children who will get them come December. Thank you Wendy, Niamh and you are always welcome to visit again and again.
Dennis Cricket Exploits
Remember during a previous update early this year we told you of how Dennis had joined a cricket team that had been invited to play in an elite National Junior Championship during the August holidays? Well, his team played and they won the championship although it was the only team which had to take public means to the competition. During the championship Dennis was awarded a trophy as the best bowler and we cannot be more proud.
Lastly my dear friends If you have any queries regarding our organization or the updates please feel free to contact us anytime and we will promptly respond.
Lots of Love from Mathare
Nairobi Walking Tours Poster
Group work during the workshop
Exchange Program btw DESECE and MCFP