Children
 Kenya
Project #4168

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

by St. Vincent de Paul Community Development Organization
Vetted
St. Vincent
St. Vincent's Children at Tennis Practice

In the packed slum of Kibera, it is quite rare for children to have the opportunity to participate in organized sports. With the help of St. Vincent's, 14 children are getting a unique chance to learn and play tennis. For the past 6 years, St. Vincent's has supported children to participate in weekly lessons with Coach Joe in Nairobi. The participating children come both from St. Vincent's Rescue Center, as well as from St. Vincent's community outreach activities. In addition to its physical benefits, the tennis program offers children the chance to have fun while acquiring confidence skills and a sense of commitment and pride all in a protected setting. 

One of these tennis athletes is 12-year old, Grace, who has grown up with St. Vincent's. A graduate of our Nursery School, Grace and her family continue to receive support from St. Vincent's as part of our community outreach program. Grace lives with her mother and sister who was permanently injured several years ago in a train accident that took her left leg. With extremely limited access to resources for children with disabilities available in Kibera, Grace's mother struggles to care for her girls while simultaneously earning enough money to attend to the girls' basic needs. St. Vincent's support enables Grace to attend school and to participate in the tennis team, despite her mother's inability to pay fees.

Upon being introduced to tennis, Grace quickly developed a love for the game. She joined the tennis program from the outset and has been an active member of her team for the past six years, during which she has honed her skills in the game. In December, Grace was invited to join the team at a tournament in Mombasa, 480 km from Kibera. With St. Vincent's support, Grace was able to participate in the tournament. Toting a trophy in her hands, Grace proudly returned to St. Vincentt's following the tournament to report on her adventure and of course, to show off her trophy!

Agnes is ready to take her serve
Agnes is ready to take her serve
Grace shows off her trophy
Grace shows off her trophy
Families receive staple foods over summer break
Families receive staple foods over summer break

In December 2013, 63 families eagerly convened in the courtyard of St. Vincent’s Nursery School in Kibera to participate in our second annual holiday food basket distribution. The purpose of the food basket initiative is to ensure that St. Vincent's nursery school families have available nutritious food supplies during the school summer break. 

Weekly home visits conducted throughout the year by our Head Teacher, Alice, indicate that the majority of nursery school children are highly dependent on the two daily meals provided by St. Vincent’s Nursery School. Many of our children experience hunger during the weekends and holidays when school is not in session. With the price of food supplies continuing to soar in Kibera, the 6-week summer holiday in December and January is particularly challenging for families and leave many unable to provide food for their children.

All nursery school families were invited to participate in the day’s events. Participants received a hot meal prepared by St. Vincent’s cook, Dorcas, as well as a package of food that included maize flour, porridge flour, cooking oil, wheat flour, rice and sugar.  Parents expressed their relief and appreciation through a song and dance. 

The day’s event was organized by St. Vincent’s through the support of a generous private donor, as well as with the support of Kenya Commercial Bank.

Baskets include flour, sugar, oil, rice & porridge
Baskets include flour, sugar, oil, rice & porridge
63 families benefit from food basket distribution
63 families benefit from food basket distribution
Families receive hot lunch during distribution
Families receive hot lunch during distribution
Families receive hot lunch during distribution
Families receive hot lunch during distribution
Building strong foundations for children
Building strong foundations for children

For 13 years, St. Vincent's Nursery School has provided approximately 85 young children each year with a healthy start through its education, feeding and support program. But many ask, what happens to these children after they leave our care? 

St. Vincent's support doesn't end with our nursery school -- that's merely the beginning of our engagement with needy families. After children graduate from the nursery school, we continue to be a resource to families and follow how children are doing. We do what we can with the little resources we have available to help families access the services they need for their children, making sure that the work we have done to give children a strong start is not lost. 

As part of this effort, we identify the most vulnerable children and families and help them to pay for school fees and supplies so that their children can be enrolled and stay in school after they leave our nursery school. In 2013, St. Vincent's is pleased to report that we have supported 24 children from primary to college level with scholarships that cover school fees and other associated costs. This support is a huge assistance to families; it helps keep children in the family while also ensuring continued access to education.  

As always, thank you for your continued support of our work in Kibera!

Sports Day
Sports Day

In high-density Kibera, open space is rare. For children attending school within Kibera, classrooms are compact and recess time confined to small, enclosed spaces where children typically play with tires and other homemade toys. Throughout the year, St. Vincent's hosts Sports Days to give our nursery school and rescue center children the chance to be active and play unconfined. These days are much anticipated by our children. 

On a sunny July morning, students were bussed to a local park along with teachers, older children from the rescue center, and many volunteers. Handmade balls wound with twine and tape, wooden blocks, and ropes filled both the free play time and were used for planned activities. Each child appeared enamored and occupied with the expanse of green grass, opportunity to freely chase and cartwheel, and the chance to win stickers, given out by Teacher Alice for small field day victories. Milk, biscuits, and oranges were handed out, as children waited patiently for their turn after rinsing their hands in water retrieved by volunteers. We wrapped up the day cleaning the green space, children picking up much more waste than belonged to them. The day ultimately left both children and park better than before. 

Sports Day Games
Sports Day Games
Sports Day - Open Space
Sports Day - Open Space
Sports Day - Children Drinking Milk
Sports Day - Children Drinking Milk

Links:

What are you doing this Valentine's Day?

Take a minute to vote for St. Vincent's Nursery School & Rescue Center's work to promote LOVE for vulnerable children and families in Kibera, Kenya

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St. Vincent's mission is to build a society where all children receive the necessary LOVE and care essential to survive and thrive. We promote love by treating both children and parents with the love and respect needed to flourish. 

We are thrilled that this work has been recognized by The Fetzer Institute. St. Vincent's has been selected to participate in the What In The World Are You Doing? contest for its work to promote love and forgiveness. 

With YOUR vote, we have the chance to win $5,000.

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Vote NOW until February 28th. It's easy and free! 

  • Go to St. Vincent's entry page (see link below) 
  • Vote by clicking LOVE IT! 

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The NGO or nonprofit organization that gets the most votes by midnight EST February 28, 2013 will be awarded $5,000 for being the MOST LOVED!

And as always, thank you for your support!

Links:

 

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Organization Information

St. Vincent de Paul Community Development Organization

Location: P.O. BOX 56486-00200, Nairobi - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​Www.kiberachildren.org
Project Leader:
Lucy Kayiwa
Director
Nairobi, Kenya

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