Project #5764

Green Education Center for Kenyan Street Children

by Jitegemee

One of the wishes for the new Jitegemee Education Center was that we have a space dedicated to teaching our students digital skils (e.g., coding, website development, mobiled development, etc.) Consequently, we priortized the creation of that space in our new building, with the hope of launching a pilot training program soon after. To get that started, we put out a request for proposals in April, seeking partners to help us get this program off the ground. We've received many good submissions and will be announcing our selected partner shortly. On the other side of that, we have indentified five student candidates to be a part of the intial pilot. We hope to launch the pilot in June, and we will let you know how it goes!

Hans and Students
Hans and Students

Thank you for building it!  We now need your help to make our Jitegemee Education Center come alive in the New Year.

Purity is one of those students who will live her dreams in the new building.

Purity showed her excitement as she took my 13 year-old son, Vidar, and me to the tailor’s shop for our custom-made Kitangas.  She had led a hard life on the street and it showed in her face.  The things that seemed to bring her guard down and bring on a radiant smile were working with the younger Jitegemee kids, talking about her plans for travel one day, and the destination for our trip - her internship at the tailor shop.  You and your support made her internship (they’re called “attachments” in Kenya) possible.  As is the case with all our young people who complete an internship, Purity will be able to bring her extended family out of poverty.  If she has children one day, her children will be better nourished, better educated and better able to avoid poverty because of the training you helped her receive.

The new building that you supported and funded means that more young people will get the chance to earn a living and bring others in their family up with them.  They will have more spacious classrooms and vocational training spaces. They will also have access to the wider world through the Internet and a library, and improved nutrition.

We have a wonderful building to house their dreams but now we need your help to bring these dreams into the light.  Please make a donation in any amount you can afford.  Even $25 dollars will change the life of students like Purity. She used to be one of the young people who are at the mercy of the elements and predatory adults as they sleep. They hide behind the temporary security of the large vehicles at the truck stop. They are young people who will walk miles for a chance at an education or a job.  We want more of these young people to find themselves under the care of the loving and dedicated Jitegemee staff. 

Purity and the other students at Jitegemee have not had a lot of heroes in their lives.  When I spoke with them during my visit, they expressed their gratitude for the heroes in the United States whom they had never met.  People who had no reason to care beyond a belief in our shared humanity and a sense of fairness – people like you.  I have no doubt that Purity will one day own her own tailor shop and it will employ young people who traveled her same journey.  You helped put her on a better path.


Hans E. Hageman

Executive Director


Our founder in front of the new building
Our founder in front of the new building

Wow. Wow. Wow. This has been such a long journey that you've been on with us. When we set out to raise money for a new state of the art education center for the street kids of Machakos, we weren't sure it was possible. However, over the past four years we have consistently been amazed by the amount of support that we've recieved to help make this center a reality. On GlobalGiving alone we'ver recieved over 750 donations. That's amazing!

Thanks to YOU, on August 12th, we officially opened the doors to the new school! Many of the staff and supporters who have worked tirelessly on this project were able to be in attendance, for what was a truly amazing day in Machakos. We've attached some pictures of the festivities!

There is still some work to do to complete the second phase of the building, as well as outfit our digital learning center, so we will keep this project open for those who still wish to contribute. But, for now, enjoy the truly remarkable accomplishment that you helped make happen.

Asante Sana!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Jitegemee Mural 1
Jitegemee Mural 1
Jitegemee Mural 2
Jitegemee Mural 2
Jitegemee Mural 3
Jitegemee Mural 3
Jitegemee Building
Jitegemee Building


North Side Looking South
North Side Looking South

Jitegemee Supporters,

This coming August, Jitegemee is planning to celebrate the completion of Phase I of its new education center. Phase I of the new center will include new classrooms, along with a library, and a digital learning center for our students. This work would not be possible without your support. It has been a long road from thinking big about what a new center would look like, to starting to lay the first brick. We're still not done, but we can start to see the finish line coming into view. Below are a few of the most recent pictures of the construction. You can see more of them posted on our Facebook Page:

Asante Sana,

The Jitegemee Team

P.S. If you haven't, check out the book, The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa, to see how Jitegemee's work is helping shape the next generation in Kenya.

South Side Looking North
South Side Looking North
Ground Floor Looking South
Ground Floor Looking South
South Side Looking East
South Side Looking East
Top Floor
Top Floor
Building Progress
Building Progress
Dear Jitegemee family,
I got into nonprofit work because I loved kids. Then, somehow, I found myself consumed with budgets and letters to donors. When you are doing this work at 5,000 feet, it’s easy to forget why we’re here.  
But today, I spoke for two hours by phone with Mike Kimeu, our program director, and without meaning to, he reminded me.
I asked him about how many kids we are going to sponsor in secondary school in 2014. He told me we will have 24, including five new kids who are joining Form One (9th grade). He went through one by one, by name and school, until he reached the last one – “the girl we retrieved from an early marriage.” She had been a child bride, and our staff intervened to free her from the situation and taken her back to primary school. She had done well on her Standard 8 (8th grade) exams, and gotten a calling letter to a high school near town. But Mike said no. He wants to find a school that’s far away from the town, “where she can concentrate on her studies.” 
What else is on Mike’s to-do list? To begin work on the roof of our main building, which we hope to complete this spring. Mike’s under pressure to get it done. The landlord of the old building we currently occupy wants us out as soon as possible, so he can tear it down and build something that will bring more rent. If all goes well, Mike says, “June should find us in our new place.”
But it’s not enough to build a new building. We also have to outfit it with programming that justifies this important investment. Mike, and Jitegemee’s board members are working to outfit our computer lab and begin a pilot class that we hope will teach web design and programming.  
I’ll be honest: Not all the news that Mike gave me was good. He gave word that one of Jitegemee’s students - a girl in Standard Six (6th grade) – had passed away. She learned that she was HIV positive last year, during our annual “health day.” Through our program, she was connected with services, such as antiretroviral drugs and counseling. Initially, her health improved. Then she got meningitis. She is, to my knowledge, the first child to die in our program. She’s an orphan, so it is Jitegemee staff and Jitegemee students who will give her a proper burial.
That story brings home the difficult work that Mike and his dedicated staff do every single day, to ensure that street and destitute children have advocates, access to education and dignity, in life and in death. 
Sometimes, there are heartbreaks. Other times, triumphs. Mike let me know that Peter Muasya, one of the brightest kids to pass through our program, is now in his third year at University of Nairobi, and has already passed three difficult exams on his way to becoming a fully-certified public accountant. 
It's easy to forget stories like these when you have budgets to pass and funds to account for. It is easy to get lost in the numbers - the "how many" - instead of the "who." But every once in awhile, we must take a step back just listen to these stories. It's these very special kids and these very special teachers that form the reason for why we do what we do.

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Organization Information


Location: Somerville, MA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Clarence Wardell
Somerville, MA United States

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