MCK Tusaidie Watoto Nursery School and Kibera Primary Schools Project
Superintendent Minister: Rev Julius Kithinji
Minister: Rev Susan Gatwiri Mati
Senior Social Worker: Makena Anampiu
Head teacher: Mrs Elizabeth Mbiti
This project was started by the small Methodist Church in Kibera when the four small rooms they were letting to families became vacant. The rooms became 2 classrooms and they started in 1997 with 20 children from the Kibera slum. The church (used for the Baby class) and rooms are all temporary mud buildings and there is a small play area which is now paved. The provision of water at the project has been improved and drinking water is now separate from washing up and hand washing. However, high prices have to be paid for clean water from local entrepreneurs and the supply is vulnerable!
The children live in the Kibera shanty slum which is reputed to be the largest and worst of all the slums in Africa where 1,200,000 people live in 1 square mile without any basic amenities. Half of those aged 15 – 40 years are said to be HIV+ve and there are many orphans. Some of the children have parents or guardians who do their best for their children, but are so poor that they cannot educate them and this is when 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 a lone parent, or disabled parents, and some live with an older sibling who may be as young as 12, or elderly unsupported grandmothers.
There are 49 children in the nursery, 184 children at local Primary Schools 32 children at Secondary School and 19 in Vocational Training – a total of 284 children. The nursery children have porridge in the morning and lunch every day; the primary children go to the nursery for lunch Monday – Friday. On Saturdays there is a full programme of teaching of school subjects, religious education and personal health and safety, lunch and games. There are 11 full-time members of staff – Social Workers, teachers, cooks, caretaker and security guard; plus part-time teachers giving extra tuition to Primary School children after-school, and voluntary staff for the Saturday programme.
They are desperate for more space and Karibuni sent £26,000 for a plot in Toi Market, the scene of mayhem during the riots in 2008 following the elections, when 90% of the market was razed to the ground – including this site. It has now been taken over by a local NGO and politicians and a market established there for local traders. The Methodist Church in Kenya is negotiating to sell the site or exchange it for another in the area.
The cost of the project in 2011 is increasing every year, especially with the growing numbers of children going to Secondary School and Vocational Training. The first children have completed Form IV and we are waiting for all the results, but we have heard that one boy, Eric, has achieved A- which means he will be able to go to Public University! An amazing achievement