Tusaidie Watoto, meaning let us help the children, is a nursery school in Kibra. It was started by the small Methodist Church in Kibra, when 4 small rooms they were letting to families became vacant. The 4 rooms became 2 classrooms.
They started in 1997 with 20 children from the Kibra slum. All the rooms are temporary mud buildings and there is a small play area which is now paved. As the numbers grew, the church became the baby class.
There are 46 children in the nursery, in three classes. The children have porridge in the mornings and a nourishing meal at lunchtime including meat 3 times a week and fruit on the other three days. When children graduate to the local primary school, they return to the nursery to be fed each day.
On Saturdays there is extra tuition in school subjects, religious education and personal health and safety games.
Recently, access to water at the project has been improved, with drinking water now separate from washing up and hand washing. High prices have to be paid for clean water from local entrepreneurs and the supply is vulnerable. A school in the UK has raised money for an extra water tank to help safeguard access to water for cooking and drinking.
Karibuni’s Current Work
Karibuni helps to fund children from the poorest backgrounds in the nursery as well as 162 children who have graduated to local primary schools, 49 who are now in secondary school and 10 in further education, including 4 at university.
Karibuni has also provided funding for a Savings and Credit Co-operative Organisation (SACCO) to be launched in Kibra. This is a community based scheme, giving families the opportunity to begin a small business to lift themselves out of poverty.
The SACCO scheme is managed by the Methodist Church Conference Office in Nairobi which provides training in basic business administration and accounting.
Minister Rev. Edward Mwikamba, Minister, Methodist Church Kenya Kibra
Head Teacher Elizabeth Mutavi
Project Leader Makena Anampiu, Senior Social Worker
Social Worker Esther Mukiri
Management Committee Chair Rev. Jennifer Muguongo
There are 11 full-time members of staff at the project – social Workers, teachers, cooks, caretaker and a security guard; as well as part-time teachers, responsible for extra tuition after-school.
There are also voluntary staff who run a Saturday programme.
Children at the school live in the Kibra shanty slum, the largest and worst of all the slums in Africa, where around 1 million people live in 2.5 square kilometres without basic necessities.
Half of those aged 15-40 are said to be HIV positive and so there are many orphans. Some have parents or guardians who take care of their children but are so poor they can’t educate them. Many children turn to the streets to survive.
Others have unstable or inadequate parents and come to the nursery in a state of gross neglect.
Some have single or disabled parents, or elderly, unsupported grandmothers. Some are looked after by older siblings who may be as young as 12.
Erick Obudho, one of the first children to be taken into the Tuaidie Watoto Nursery 20 years ago, has been employed onto KPMG’s graduate programme in Nairobi as an Audit Associate – a very competitive scheme.
He is the eldest in a family of five whose parents are casual workers in the Kibra slum. Karibuni supported him through the nursery, primary and secondary school and onto Strathmore University where he gained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree. He came 4th in his region in Economics in his 3rd year exams and achieved an A grade overall.
He also formed and is now Chair of the Kibra Karibuni Alumni Group and mentors 13 boys and 8 girls in the project.
Find out more about Erick and his journey to KPMG
Trustees Visit 2016
When the Trustees visit the nursery school, they are always entertained by the children! Here is a short clip of the enthusiastic performance they saw last year!