We are setting up a 'School of Hope' , an after-school study club facility, located in the heart of the informal slum settlement of Mathare Slum, Kenya. St Benedict's School of Hope will support students aged 9 -18 who were once living on the streets of Mathare, from 6-8pm weekdays and at weekends. For some, the School of Hope will be their only access to education . At the SoH children will have access to books, curriculum materials, mentoring , life skills workshops, music & sports training.
It was estimated in 2007 that there were 250,000- 300,000 children living and working on the streets across Kenya with, with more than 60,000 of them in Nairobi. 14% of these children are either orphaned or abandoned. Over 1/5 of children between the ages of 6 - 11 are out of school, estimated at +60% in Mathare slum. St Benedict's centre has worked to rehabilitate and find homes for 100+ Street Sub-Saharan Children in the local community. Most have never or rarely attended school.
The impact of poverty on education in East Africa remains one of the biggest challenges. For many young people they cannot attend school due to work or family commitments or have no place or facilities to study at home.The SoH provides a safe, structured study environment with additional benefits of regular life skills workshops such as drugs and alcohol awareness, HIV & AIDS and entrepreneurship alongside sports, music and cultural education. Over +2500 young people attend SoH each year.
Education has the potential to lift a child out of poverty, by helping children to attend and participate in an educational establishment such as a SoH, they are in a much better position to take advantage of opportunities and find employment in the future. SoH students can study for, sit and achieve their KCPE and KCSE (Kenyan education certificates) , transition between education levels to progress to Higher Education , to be literate and numerate and to be prepared for adulthood.