Tusaidie Watoto was started by the small Methodist Church in Kibra when the four small rooms they were letting to families as homes became vacant. The 4 rooms became 2 classrooms and they started in 1997 with 20 children from the Kibra slum. As the numbers grew, the church became the baby class. All the rooms are 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 separated from washing up and hand washing. However, 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 safeguard the provision of water for cooking and drinking.
In 2016 the nearby railway line was scheduled for widening and one third of the compound and church have been requisitioned by the Government. They lost their pit latrines and much more.
The children live in the Kibra shanty slum which is reputed to be the largest and worst of all the slums in Africa, where thousands of people live in 9 square miles without any basic amenities. Half of those aged 15 – 40 years living in the slum are said to be HIV positive 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.
Karibuni supports 51 children in the nursery, 136 children at local primary schools, 58 children at secondary school, and now 4 at university, 5 in college and 1 in vocational training – a total of 255 children. The nursery children have porridge in the morning and lunch every day; the primary children go to the nursery for lunch Monday – Friday. There are 9 full-time members of staff – a social worker, teachers, cooks, caretaker and security guard.