Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro
Minister Rev Julius Mbaya
Chairman Mr Henry Nteere
Head Teacher Nursery School Caroline Kanana
Njoro is a small town outside Nakuru in the Rift Valley with a shanty slum area where families fled during tribal clashes in 1998. In 2001 two Karibuni Trustees met some of the families – over 100 people, mostly women and children, came to ask if Karibuni Trust could help them to educate and feed their children. They began to tell their stories – these people had been independent, owned their own homes and small farms, sent their children to school and grew food for their own needs and to sell. In the riots their men folk were beaten and some killed, many of the women were abused and raped, and the children witnessed it all and were very traumatised. In Njoro they have no work, own no land and no money – their children could not go to school, and there is little food. We agreed to help them by giving a grant in 2001 to ‘kick-start’ a nursery school in a run-down ‘polytechnic’, providing education, food, health care and uniforms. They moved to a better plot which they rented, and later bought with part grant/part loan from Karibuni Trust. Subsequently we gave them a further loan to purchase another plot of land opposite the first, where the caretaker now lives and where a Karibuni Trust work party helped to build 3 small rental homes for income-generation. There are 10 sponsored children and 107 fee-paying in Nursery School, with 104 in Primary School who Karibuni Trust feeds in term-time and pays most of the cost of their uniforms – there is a cost-sharing system with the sponsored children’s carers.
There are 8 members of staff – teachers; Head Mistress; cook; watchmen and water sales clerk.
The work parties have helped to build 2 new classrooms and a large hall which is used by the baby class and also serves as the Church, a new fence and security gates. A few years ago a member from a Karibuni Trust work party inspired her church to raise money to sink a borehole on the site. This now produces clean water for all the local community at a cheap rate. It is a source of income-generation for the project and has totally changed the lives of the local community who used to use dirty river water for cooking and washing, etc.
The vision for the future includes a Vocational Training Centre as well as permanent buildings for all their outreach work. They are in the process of preparing a Project Proposal for presentation to larger trusts through Karibuni Trust.
The Valley Hospital, a private hospital in Nakuru, supports the project, and runs an annual health camp there, with Karibuni Trust paying for any drugs needed. This is an excellent project with good staff and Management Committee, and good site and buildings.