We work and partner with local organizations and programmes to make a difference. Children of every gender deserve an education.
We go beyond providing each child with a desk and a pencil. We assist with after school programmes. We pay teachers salaries and assist in the purchase of school supplies which include computers. We work toward a higher quality of teaching and discourage the high turnover of instructors by ensuring competitive salaries. We also coordinate programmes during school holidays to keep children safe and away from gang violence and drugs — which are prevalent throughout the slum.
MCEDO - Mathare Community Education and Development Organization is a community based organization operating in the heart of Mathare slum. The school currently has a population of 450 children aged between 6 and 18 years. Its daily operations are run by a team of 17 volunteer staff (15 teachers, 2 non-teaching).
Mwelu Foundation - is a registered Trust founded in 2007. We are working with a group of approximately 80 ambitious, positive and talented young people to help them realize their potential through photography, film production and the building of life skills.
CME Trust - CMETrust is a partnership of dedicated and passionate individuals in Mathare and in Canada who believe in the power of educated individuals to change their lives, their families, their community, and the world. Our goal is to create a critical mass of these individuals, so that their impact will be truly transformative. To do this, we support bright, dedicated young people throughout their educational journeys, and we actively foster the spirit of giving back to the community.
Mathare Roots Youth Group - is a community-based organization established in 2006 by a group of young men and women of the Mathare slums. We would like to try and bring “good fruits” from the slum, which would paint a better picture of our community – from Roots to Fruits! We pride ourselves on vast experience in community development acquired from long-term involvement in our community.
Paamoja - An after school teen program designed to change the day to day negative lifestyle of the young people who live within the sprawling slums of Mathare Valley and its neighbourhoods, by creating effective awareness, via our activities, about Sexuality, Leadership and Life skills, and their interrelatedness; thus improving the living and knowledge standards of Mathare residents.
Life in the Slum
Unemployment in Mathare is at least 70%. Having proper education and dedicated teachers is key to the Mathare children's’ success.
Traditionally, teachers have worked for meals, or for a nominal monthly salary as low as $80 a month. The adults who do have work make up to 1$ a day.
There are over 70,000 children in Mathare Valley.
There are only 3-4 schools.
25% of the Mathare population do not have any education.
Many children cannot afford the high costs for education because they are raised in single parent units or orphaned living under trusteeships.
Children in Mathare do not go to school unless that school has food. Their parents would prefer that they go into the city to beg for food.
We provide lunch and an afternoon snack for all 450 children attending MCEDO. As a result of the food program school attendance is close to 100%. The kitchen we support at MCEDO meets the standards outlined by the World Food Organization.
Life in the Slum:
There are no western styled kitchens. At best, food is prepared on charcoal burners (called gekos) outside, next to pathways divided by raw sewage and garbage. Diseased livestock goats and chickens also live here. The animals typically feed off the waste.
Starvation is a daily occurance. Unemployment at 60% for men. Most women do not work. If there is no work, children will go without food.
We are currently creating a programme to address the needs of teenage girls upon the recommendation of community youth workers and school principals. Young teenage girls are at risk of human trafficking in Mathare. PCA will fund these programmes taking place during school breaks each year.
In 2012, Project Chance pioneered the first clinic in the southern part of the Mathare slum. The clinic was first opened to serve the needs of young mothers. The clinic sees approximately 1000 patients a month. The clinic has become a successful component of Gertrude's Children hospital outreach program.
Life in the Slum:
As there is no existing infrastructure for waste removal- human waste and garbage is everywhere.
Children do not use facilities. They use the streets to relieve themselves.
There is no sanitation system. This means there is a high amount of communicable diseases amongst children.
The few clinics available are privatized, and astronomically unaffordable for the people of Mathare.
Without a proper healthcare system children are at severe risk of developing serious mental health problems due to alienation and violence.
Programs For Women
We work with community leaders and centres to build programmes to empower women. One of the strongest so far is Mathare Stitches.
Children need strong maternal role models. We initiate gender equality by empowering local single women. We provide safe spaces to share skills such as sewing and dressmaking. Stitches makes and sells reusable sanitary napkins. We provide materials for school uniforms like zippers, needles, thread, trim, and sewing machines. In addition, this program offers supportive counselling and parenting workshops to encourage a stronger sense of community, and other workshops on technology to build computer skills and financial responsibility
Life in the Slum:
There is little to no light at night in the slum, and without safe spaces many single women are robbed and raped.
Mathare women, are mostly single mothers. Women in this culture are generally subservient to men and forced to provide everything for their children.
Women live at a higher risk of abuse and disease.
It is an exhaustive fight for survival and many women are HIV/AIDS positive, forcing children as young as 6 years old to take care of younger siblings.