I hope the New Year has been kind to you. Here in Mathare, things are back to normalcy after months of political campaigns that brought a lot of tensions especially after the experiences of 2007/2008 post-election violence.
As you continue to help us realize that something good can come out of the lowest strata in society (Mathare slums), please allow me to give you an update of the many happenings in our project and its environs.
Reporting to Schools – Thanks to your support, 96 kids have reported back to school without any hiccups. Currently we have three children in Kindergarten, three in special schools, 34 in primary schools, five kids waiting to join high school, 30 in high schools, nine pupils are waiting for their high school results and twelve students are in college. We are planning to take 15 more children in, who will be introduced to you in the next emails.
We also saw a total of 15 youths say goodbye to MCFpanairobi this year. Some of the children include; Vinoly who trained as a Civil Engineer and is currently working as one in a consultancy (She earns more than we do but am not jealous J), Stephen who did not do well in his high school exams is currently working in a research firm in Kisumu after he did his basic computer skills training with us, Vivian who trained in IT – Higher Diploma and currently lecturing in a small computer college in Nairobi and writing projects as a consultant for students in the university, Kevin who trained as a primary school teacher and is currently employed in a private school and Samson is currently working with the Ministry of Immigration where he works as a registrar of persons .
High School - Our 5 children who sat for their class 8 (grade 8) national exams finally got their results and all of them have performed above average -250 out of 500 would be the average – and are gearing to join high school in 2 /3 weeks. They were 4 boys and one girl.
Early Childhood and Care Development Program – On the 15th of February, 6 teenage mothers and their children (below five years) joined our project. They will be coming 3 days a week in our centre. We will provide a safe environment in which the development of the small children can be improved while their mothers are trained in a skill; tailoring or hair dressing, Parenting skills training, family planning workshops and a feeding program are also included in the initiative. We have bought two sewing machines for the tailoring department, a trainer recruited, a salon where the girls will be trained in hair dressing identified.
Income generating projects
The handbags project continues and we have been able to sell them both in Kenya and overseas and continue to try and establish more markets. So far we have been able to sell bags worth € 400 and the market looks ready for more. Our aim is that we sell about 30 bags per month which should create a net income of € 280. The second project is the MCFpanairobi Tours. This is a walking tour of the city of Nairobi offered by former street children who have finished high school waiting to join college. Through this initiative, our kids earn some pocket money, get exposed to new cultures, and learn important communication skills and MCFpanairobi invests the profits in the educating kids in the project. From the beginning of this year, we have had the privilege of hosting 17 tourists and we have more coming.
Stanley passed on last month – February. He was born with hydrocephalus and was not able to walk or use his hands. Last year, the teachers in his school could not handle his frequent illness and asked his mum to stay with him until he improves. Sadly when Stanley became sick, the medical practitioners were on a go-slow and hence Stanley died while waiting for medical attention in their local dispensary. We have had the opportunity to be with Stanley amongst us for the last 7 years and he was a jolly good kid whom we were fond of. May he rest in peace.
Elections March, 4th 2013
In 2007/2008 Kenya suffered its worst humanitarian crisis since independence following the December 30 results of a hotly-contested presidential election. Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his supporters rejected the declared victory of incumbent Mwai Kibaki, alleging it was the result of rampant rigging. Protests degenerated into widespread violence as decades of economic frustration and ethnic rivalry spiraled out of control. In the days immediately after the results were announced, gangs of youths blocked Kenya’s main roads and set fire to hundreds of homes of perceived ‘outsiders’. In all, more than 1,200 people were killed and some 600,000 displaced into temporary camps, with an equal number seeking refuge with friends or relatives.
Due to these factors, our project and 30 other organizations under the Gender Based Violence Network to plan and strategize on how we would help out in case of pre and post-election violence. We approached the police and local administration to provide security in case of rescue and protection. Other resources identified include: safe house for survivors of rape and sexual assault, ambulances for rescue of violence; namely children and women, medical personnel, hospitals and medical centers, trauma centers and the necessary personnel and centers where children would be referred to as safe houses. Though the electoral drama has not been fully resolved, Kenya has greatly defied expectations and remains peaceful. The raft of reforms this country made after the crisis of late 2007 and early 2008, and the extensive anti violence messages during this election, seemed to have found their mark. Since the election results were announced on Saturday, giving the presidency to Mr. Kenyatta, top politicians down to neighborhood activists have been calling for peace — and the peace has been holding.
While the needs are great and almost overwhelming, the team in Mathare is impacting the lives of the people we work with, in a genuine life changing way. The team in Mathare and the board believe deeply in creating futures through education for disadvantaged children in the slums. So far, 450 children have passed through MCFpanairobi program and we can proudly say that we now have teachers, engineers, Lab Technicians, Military, Mechanics and many more professionals with a very humbling background from Mathare. We have seen what this has been for the children we have touched and all these have been due to generous contributions from persons like you. We hope you continue to be friends of MCFpanairobi and support our work here in Mathare.
Please if you do have questions or need more clarification feel free to ask and we will definitely get back to you with responses. You can also visit us on our Facebook/webpage page in German or English: http://www.facebook.com/panairobi (www.panairobi.net)or http://www.facebook.com/MathareChildrenFund
Thank you and greetings from the team.