On Monday, January 11, 2011, the St. Vincent’s Nursery School commenced a new school year. Twenty-three newly admitted children reported to school for the first time, together with returning students from the Pre-Primary 1 and 2 classes. There are a total of 87 children enrolled in the Nursery School in 2011.
The new students were accompanied by their parents and guardians who waited patiently for their turn to be served and cleared by the head teacher, Miriam Wawira. For some of the new children, they could not hide their anxiety of starting school and could be seen looking curiously at the older children, now comfortable with their surroundings and the school routine. While for some of the newly admitted children, tears rolled down their cheeks as they saw their parents leave them behind.
With the New Year, St. Vincent’s also welcomed two new members to its teaching staff. Alice Wanjiru joined St. Vincent’s as teacher of our Pre-Primary 2 class, while Millicent Kituku joined us as instructor of the Pre-Primary 1 class. While we were sad to say goodbye to our two dedicated teachers Virginia and Esther, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome Alice and Millicent who come to us from local teacher training colleges and are extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity to join our team.
More than just provide education and daycare, the nursery school serves as a safety net for families in the community so that they are able to continue caring for the children. Parents and caregivers come to St. Vincent’s when in need of support for food, housing, medical costs, and other basic survival needs. This support is provided on a case-by-case basis and is made possible because of the close relationship that St. Vincent Board members and staff (teachers) proactively establish with the families they serve. In addition to direct support, St. Vincent’s provides referrals/linkages to other social services in cases where they are not able to assist and even liaises with other service providers on behalf of families, which is particularly important considering the marginalized population with whom the organization works.
By prioritizing the enrollment of orphans and other children living in the same households, St. Vincent places an important value on the orphaned child. Their existence in the household serves as a gateway for the other children in the same household to enter into school. Thus, despite the additional burden that may be placed on the household in caring for an additional child, the prioritization of orphans and children living in the same household enables orphaned children to bring something positive to their households, thereby serving as a protective mechanism for that child. St. Vincent’s also subsidizes school fees depending on families’ ability to pay; enabling the most needy and vulnerable children to attend.
This year, St. Vincent’s admitted 3-year old Baraka to its Baby Class. Baraka is cared for by a young couple from Kibera who recently adopted him. A few months ago, the couple spotted Baraka in the local market while they were setting up their shop; he had been abandoned and was the victim of abuse. As nightfall approached, Baraka was still in the market, alone and crying. The couple made the decision to take Baraka, who would not speak, to the police station to try to find his family, but without any luck. Ultimately, the couple took Baraka to their tiny one room home --– a 10 foot by 5 foot room with no sanitation, running water or consistent electricity, where seven people live – and eventually adopted him as their fourth child. Shortly following his adoption, St. Vincent’s admitted Baraka to the nursery school where he is receiving early education, daily meals, and a safe place to go during the day while his mother is at work. At St Vincent’s, he’s slowly started to speak, to interact with the other children and to trust his teachers. Baraka’s mother is hopeful that St Vincent’s is the start to a successful education for her son.
SVPCDO is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of three organizations (among thousands) to be selected as part of this promotion from Rough Roads (UK). All you have to do is visit the site below, play the game, and at the end select the "Feed and Educate Kibera Kids" option from the drop down menu and a donation will be made each time you play.
Click here to play: http://www.roughroads.co.uk/
It's super easy, only takes 2 minutes, and most importantly, it will benefit our nursery school and the children in Kibera at a time where we are still in great need of funds. We hope you will help us by taking a couple of minutes to participate.
Remember -- it's NO cost to you! And also by spreading the word about this great opportunity through Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thanks for your help!
It was in June 2009, when the St.Vincent De Paul Community Development Organization (SVPCDO) was hit badly by global financial crisis. The crisis came towards the end of the year, when the organization was operating on its last tranche of savings and was unsure what the new year would yield in terms of funding.
During the month of November 2009 a friend of the organization introduced us to Global Giving and shared with us the details of their work. It so happened that Global Giving was about to launch a “challenge” for which they needed participation from organizations like ours’.
We managed to beat the deadline and send all the required paperwork to introduce our work in the community of Kibera. Our efforts quickly bore fruits as we managed to be among the top three institutions that participated in the global challenge, raising Ksh, 1.3 million (over $16,000 USD) in just one month.
The support received through Global Giving during this challenge, and since then (over $23,000 to date), has truly brought our organization back to life; living with hopes of a better today in order to save a child with basic unmet needs in our community. We are glad to be part of the Global Giving family as it has opened our horizons by getting space on an international perspective.
The nursery school, with the current population of 87 children, has benefited greatly from the money we have received so far. Here is a breakdown of some of the areas where have been put to use over the past year:
School Uniforms: Our newly admitted children at the nursery school all received school uniforms and a pair of shoes.
Feeding Programme: Feeding 87 children has not stopped. Provision of two nutritious meals per day during school days Monday to Friday is still on course.
Stationery: Learning has been enhanced as all the necessary stationary needed by the school was purchased. This reflects on the children as all strive to outdo each other and work hard.
Bills: Monthly bills of water and electricity continue to be paid on monthly basis without fail.
Salaries: Staff salaries continue to be paid promptly at end of each month, which motivates the staff to perform better.
We say a BIG THANK YOU to Global Giving, as we can happily boost on being on the global map by keeping the St Vincent de Paul Nursery School known to the world by appearing on your website, which brings hope to Kibera children for a better today.
We also say a BIG THANK YOU and A BIG HUG to all our kind donors and friends who gave us a helping hand when we needed it most and have continuously contributed generously so as to keep the wheels of St. Vincent spirit rolling on and on.
Thanks to the help of one of our dedicated volunteers, SVPCDO is pleased to announce the launch of our new and improved website. Please check it out at: http://vincentdepaul-organization.jimdo.com/.
We think you will enjoy this new site -- it is more user friendly and allows visitors to learn about our program activities, see pictures of the children we support, and (importantly!) provides a direct link to the ways in which people can support SVPCDO. The site will also feature updates on recent events that happen at the nursery school and rescue center.
JUNE 16th IS A MATCH DAY ON GLOBAL GIVING -- YOU GIVE $20, THE PROJECT RECEIVES $30
On June 15th, Global Giving will be matching all gifts made to our project by 50%. If you were thinking of making a gift this month, please consider doing it on this day. In addition to the match, prizes will be awarded to the organizations with the greatest number of donations on this day.
I visited this school a few days ago in Kenya. The visit was really moving. The kids are from very poor families in Kibera, considered to be Africa's biggest slum. 25% of the kids, ages 2-5, are HIV+. Many are orphans. They get two meals (ugali and cabbage for lunch the day I was there) some medical support, and a clean place to learn and play. Two college students from Holy Cross were volunteering for a month, and they were appropriately inspired and promised to recruit donors on our next Bonus Day - June 16th, 2010.
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