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Dec 17, 2014
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Feed & Teach 34 children age 0-4 in S/Afr village
Dec 17, 2014

The Year that was....2014

2014, The Year that it was…

Dear Friends

This year, MCFp celebrated 15 years of incredible outcomes, each generated by addressing the cognitive, emotional and educational needs of over 400 children from Mathare Slums and its environs. Like many other organizations, we experienced increased demand for our services while we navigated rapid changes in state regulations, public policy, and private funding sources.

The economic downturn experienced in many Western countries brought with it new challenges in our efforts to meet the needs of children and other clients we serve, but we continue to face these challenges head on. More children need our critical support than ever before, and so we must double our efforts to give voice to the needs of young Mathare children.

We are so pleased to have partnered with many supportive and generous individuals and organizations throughout the world. With your help, we have impacted hundreds of at-risk children.

Whether you are a friend, a donor, or a private individual, we invite you to join us in our work. Together we can unleash the potential of young children – ensuring a brighter future for them and for us all! We are profoundly grateful for your generosity, and we will continue to work hard to inspire your confidence and support in the future.

Please enjoy reviewing our successes year, 2014.

Sponsorship Programme
We had 106 children under the School Sponsorship Programme this year - at all levels of education, from Nurseries/kindergarten to University/college/vocational training; these have been placed in over 70 schools and institutions of higher learning all over the country. This year we had 14 students sitting for their National Exams, both in Primary and Secondary levels.
The program is hugely successful. Over 40 kids have been able to go to colleges/universities – a seemingly impossible feat from where they started out. They have degrees in Mathematics & Physics, Horticulture and Economics, Software Engineering, Disaster Management and International Diplomacy, Pharmacy, Geo Mapping, Education, Actuarial Science among others, while we have a student doing his MBA!
MCFpanairobi will continue to scale and reach out to more children, providing educational access and opportunity thanks to your support which will allow us to plan with confidence that 120 children will gain access to education next year. Your commitment to help create world change through education makes this possible.

Teenage Mothers Programme
An Early Care and Childhood Development program targeting teenage mothers (aged between 12 and 19 years). Many children under 5 years are often left to their own devices; no one takes care of them. Their fathers in most cases shun away from their parental responsibility, and the mothers, are overwrought by their work to sustain a living for their small family. Children of teenage mothers in the slums have been known to grow up with less affection and love, less attention, often suffer from malnutrition and live in poor hygiene conditions. A number of them will not start schooling and if they do, tend to drop out even before they finish school and the circle continue.

In helping the children of teenage mothers, it is crucial to assist and support young mothers and give them a new perspective in life. Teenage mothers who are empowered social-economically are in a position to provide an additional and reliable income for their households through the proceeds realised from their projects, to enable them to meet the costs of basic needs such as; household utilities, food, and fuel for lighting, clothing, and costs of their children’s schooling such as uniforms, books and fees.

MCFp intervention envisions the teenage mothers acquiring expertise in hairdressing and tailoring. On hairdressing, MCFp has been able to partner with Mathare Youth Polytechnic where more than 40 teenage mothers with their under-five year old train for 6 months every year for the next 4 years while 10 girls are trained in tailoring every year. Currently we have 25 teenage mothers in the programme who will be graduating at the end of the year, 2014. MCFpanairobi has successfully negotiated with an organization this will provide them with loans in groups to set up businesses after 6 weeks of entrepreneurship training.

Livelihood Support Programme
We have two livelihood programmes; mainly Nairobi Walking Tours where 5 young people from the sponsorship programme have been trained in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya on the History of Nairobi. We offer these tours to anybody interested and they act as a source of income to the young people and the project. We have had more than 120 tours this year.
The other livelihood project is for the mothers of children that MCFp serves in the sponsorship programme. These women are involved in the making of handbags from used tetra packs and other local materials plus bead making. MCFp does the buying of the products required and markets them on the women’s behalf. There are some teenage mothers also involved in these businesses especially those that are training to be tailors. More than 350 bags have been sold this year!
MCFpanairobi intends to increase the livelihood programmes from two to four in 2015 that would cater for more vunerable groups.

Reusable Sanitary Towels Programme
There have been campaigns in both poor rural and poor informal urban settlements to provide adolescent girls with sanitary protection allowing girls to attend school uninterrupted, which is key to bridging disparities between adolescent girls and boys both in primary and secondary education in Kenya. Although these campaigns still go on, the impact has been minimal and this is mostly due to the expenses incurred by the organizations – which mostly rely on donor funding - to buy disposable sanitary towels.

Reusable Sanitary Pads are a sustainable and easily renewable resource that allows girls to wash and reuse them rather than having to buy disposable pads every month. In addition, they are comparatively inexpensive and environmentally friendly. The social benefit of the implementation of this concept greatly mitigates the disadvantages and challenges many disempowered girls endure during their process of maturing. So far MCFp has distributed re-usable sanitary towels worth Euros 4,000 to over 895 girls in more than 40 different schools as a pilot project. MCFp is currently looking for donors that will help set-up way of manufacturing the sanitary towels with the women/teenage mothers in our project. The project will be a livelihood project that will not only employ women/teenage mothers and ensure they meet their basic needs through the income they get, but also provide a very basic commodity at a cheap price that is durable that will ensure girls continue with their education uninterrupted.

Computer Lab
MCFp has been able to overcome the digital divide through the opening of its computer lab. The main focus has been the youths, women and local entrepreneurs. The lab is ideal for students as it provides a good environment for research and learning. The lab has also benefited some of the local entrepreneurs through the creation of a platform for them to market their goods and services online. It has also provided services such as printing and photocopying among others which are currently rare and located far apart. The trainer is a former beneficiary of the sponsorship project.

More than 20 students have been trained this year and we hope this number will increase to between 150-300 students next year following the negotiations we are having with NairoBits, an ICT Trust that equips the youth with knowledge in Web Design, IT skills, Creative Multimedia, and Entrepreneurship to improve their opportunities in employment and/or entrepreneurship from Urban informal settlements.

Holiday Programme
This entails community service and clean-up exercises; tutoring and mentoring - peer mentoring and older children mentoring younger ones; educational and recreational trips; holding sessions of Children’s Parliament, computer lessons for preschool children over lunch hour; facilitation of workshops on various issues affecting children; and skills development, especially in arts. This year saw the kids in the project; teenage mothers and their parents undergo skills training on different areas that will improve their current situations. Working with different organizations and partners, the holiday programme next year will have more activities that are both fun and engaging to children. Volunteers/Interns are more than invited to engage with MCFpanairobi on this.

Community Library
MCFp recently partnered with Challenge Aid through Pamoja Trust to establish a community library. The objective of the project is to avail space within the informal settlements where children undertake extra studies in an environment that is conducive to learning in the evenings after school. MCFp provides a study room, volunteer supervisors (2 former beneficiaries of the project), books and other basic amenities found in a library. It will start with serving 30/40 children from the neighborhoods. This number is expected to grow to 70/80 children by the end of the year. We also envision providing opportunities for boys and girls to undertake sporting activities, life skills and extra curriculum activities. The project in addition supports the enhancement of leadership skills for committees managing the library. The committee is made up of community members and MCFp. We await the bookshelves to be finished for the library to start!

Students Councils/Parliament
MCFp is in talks with CHS – (Christiane Herzog Shule) to secure funding for this programme and have these councils established in schools. This is a programme that will enable students to grow up as responsible citizens who are aware of their rights, their influence and their responsibility within communities and their schools. Furthermore, it will strengthen their ability to participate in decision making processes which will lead to better improved relationships between the school administration, teachers and the students through creating a platform of dialogue and learning on issues. This programme has been informed from MCFp’s own children’s parliament held every holiday for the last 8 years. This has helped MCFp come up with policies that are children friendly that has seen a great reduction of drop-outs from schools or the project itself.

Other notable highlights

  • 14 students have finished their National exams; High school education/Primary education while 4 joined the universities to undertake different courses while 3 will be reporting to different colleges at the beginning of the new year, 2015
  • There was not a single drop out of any child within the sponsorship programme while 3 dropped out from the teenage mothers programme after getting married
  • At the beginning of the year MCFp came up with 2014-2017 strategic plan
  • This year MCFp will let go off 16 beneficiaries from the sponsorship programme. They all have finished their studies and we wish them luck in their new lives
  • 9 teenage mothers are either employed or self-employed even before they finish their hair dressing course in December
  • Over 50 former beneficiaries of the sponsorship programme will be meeting this December holidays as a come together party
  • Over 230 young women and teenage mothers and 340 youths and children have been trained on safe motherhood, family planning, fertility awareness, gender based violence, nutrition and HIV AIDS prevention and control
  • 4 new staff members joined the project as we continued to expand, namely 2 social workers, tailoring trainer and an accountant while Susi left back for Austria after a stint with us of more than two and a half years
  • MCFp joined new networks and is playing a big role in them; Nairobi Child Protection Team, Kasarani Gender Based Violence Network, Street Children and Families Network and Children Charitable Institutions. All these are networks that propagate for better lives for children and women in informal settlements
  • MCFp has new partners this year; namely DKA Austria, NairoBits, Challenge AID and Pamoja Trust with whom MCFp will be implementing new programmes
  • A community Library has been opened to children in Mathare to study in the evening and Saturdays – over 40 students are expected to use the library. It will employ two young men from Mathare
  • More than 895 girls from different schools within the country were provided with Re-usable Sanitary towels, an evaluation done and a decision made that beginning next year, MCFp will engage a trainer to help the young mothers and women produce the Re-usable Sanitary towels for sale at minimum costs. It is hoped will generate income for the project and the parents/teen mothers involved
  • In partnership with WRAP, 25 teenage mothers were able to receive food baskets for 8 months
  • MCFp has been able to follow-up on cases of defilement and rape for 12 children where 3 of the perpetrators have been jailed while the rest are on-going. This has been possible in partnership with different organizations, namely the German doctors, WRAP and World Friends
  • More than 120 children received hot lunches during the school holidays; April, August and 50/60 are expected during the December holidays as part of the feeding programme
  • Through the assistance of the German doctors, MCFp was able to meet the medical needs of more than 60 children with 4 being admitted in various hospitals where MCFp spend more than Ksh 80,000 for the medical bills

We will continue to scale and reach out to more children/teenage mothers and other vulnerable groups of people. We at MCFpanairobi will do this by providing educational access and other opportunities thanks to your support. Your commitment to help create world change education makes this possible.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year 2015!

Asante sana!!!
(Thank you)

Educating street children in the Mathare slums

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