What a busy month it has been
To all our wonderful supporters, I thank you for your generosity to the families of Kibera and the education of the children. Following on our last ‘Update’, I am delighted and very excited to say that we now have 23 new secondary students supported and that these boys and girls have all commenced high school. We still have several that are not sponsored but, in the meantime, WkW has sent these students to school hoping sponsorship will be found soon. We also have a large number of primary children who are attending school but are not sponsored. WFWIA is able to cover these children through our Education Fund but we hope that in the near future these younger boys and girls can gain sponsorship so more children can come on the program. The staff of WkW are to be commended for their dedication, diligence and support of so many children and families. The staff Leonida, Ben, Caroline, Daniel, Evaline, Humphrey, Ferdinand and the wonderful student and post student volunteers, are the most amazing, hard working and dedicated group. I am so proud of them and all that they achieve. I wish you all well as we face the COVID future here in Australia and again I thank you for your generosity and concern for families living In far off Kenya
Marguerite Ryan, AM
Chairperson – Women for Women in Africa
If you would like to sponsor a child or if you need any information re our sponsorship program, please click here
The 2018-2022WkW SP plan had projected the high school department to have 129 students in 2021. This projection seemed unrealistic a few months ago especially when the Coronavirus pandemic struck the country. Things looked bleak and hope seemed to be at a distance.
The High school department, however, would like to report that the current high school population has grown in numbers and has reached 143 as of now, a remarkable growth that exceeds the projected intentions.
This would not be any possible were it not for the generosity of WFWIA through the passion and love of Marguerite, the distinct and supportive leadership offered by Sr. Leonida, management and the WkW team. Now, the children from Kibera can get quality and dignified education.
The WKW Kenya Organization currently has 26 KCSE candidates in its Education Sponsorship program. These candidates will sit for their national examination (KCSE) in March 2022. We wish these candidates all the best in these exams.
Form one recruitment process 2021.
In order to get more children sponsored, the Australian office offered 40 Education sponsorship vacancies for children joining form one. To qualify for this opportunity, children from Kibera who had done their KCPE examinations back in April 2021 applied and were taken through interviews.
29 students were successful and have been absorbed into the system. This process is ongoing and 23 out of the 29 have found individual sponsors from Australia. We are grateful and sincerely thank WFWIA and many families who have so far come forward to give these needy children from Kibera a golden opportunity to acquire education. We seek, hope and pray that more families, individuals and organizations will come forward to offer sponsorship opportunities to other needy children who have not been sponsored.
Several students and schools were visited during the last quarter. Such schools include Domus Mariae, St. Annes Girls, Holy Ghost schools, Ofafa Jericho, St. Theresa’s and Aquinas High School.
Ofafa Jericho school had a fire in one dormitory and students were sent home immediately. There were no casualties, though many students had been rushed to the hospital because they had tried to put out the fire and, in the process, inhaled a lot of smoke.
It is our pleasure to report that all sponsored children in various schools are doing well and are taking their studies with seriousness as expected. During follow up in school, we meet, talk and encourage the children, talk with teachers concerned and continue strengthening our relationship with those schools.
Home and family visits in Kibera
Home visits are very central to our mission as an organisation. The high school department takes this activity very seriously especially this time when the Coronavirus is adversely affecting the families from Kibera. Home visitation is one bold way of telling the parents ‘We are a family and your pain is my pain, and in all of these, you will never walk alone.’
Through home and family visitation, a lot of issues emerge which would not have been otherwise discovered by simply operating from the office desk. Home visitation enables the office to do physical assessment thereby being more impactful by creating sustainable, practical interventions on areas of sponsorship, medical and nutritional needs among other family needs.
Food distribution, Rent and Health
Every family of the sponsored children in high school continue to receive food packs every month. They remain grateful and their feedback on how the food we issue them each month is very emotional. Basically, in these troubled times, families sometimes go several days without having proper meals and the food packs we issue them provide them with an opportunity to prepare proper meals for themselves and their children. Brian’s father is a watchman who earns 4500 Kenyan shillings every month. His son is in form one. Recently, he came to collect a food pack after the office had called him. Seated and talking to one of the staff with tears on his face he said ‘Thank you so much for this food. My salary has not come and we are in the mid-month. It should have come by the 6th but to date, it has not come.I have walked, I have been asking for my money and lastly, they rudely told me that I was not the only one the company employs and so I needed to shut up and wait for my money. I am old and my age is advanced, I have rent to pay, water to buy, I have my sick wife to care for and I do not have money …..It is you my friends who call me to give me food. May God bless you so much!’
Apart from giving food packs to families, there have been families calling out for our help on matters of rent. To avoid a situation whereby the families, get ejected from their houses by cruel landlords, the organisation has continuously intervened and paid house rent for such families who are either very sick to pay rent or very poor and vulnerable.
The organisation has also recently intervened by supporting some families by helping their children to go to the hospital to seek treatment.
A sick parent who benefited from house rent
Covid-19 is still a threat to the wellbeing of everyone. We are conscious that families and children we serve are very vulnerable because they do not in most cases observe the MOH covid-19 protocols.
The results of C-19 in Kibera are so obvious that last week for example, after meeting a parent walking barefoot, Sr. Leonida was so shocked and felt so much compassion for the parent and decided to go out of her way to purchase a pair of shoes for the parent. It was too emotional and dignity was restored.
C-19 has left many families extremely poor, vulnerable and distressed because so many of them do not have active sources of income. Recently, a disgruntled jobless man was so angry with the landlord for ejecting him out of the house because he could not pay house rent. He would torch the same house making 35 houses burn down in the Kijiji slum. This particular slum houses several WkW beneficiaries. It was by sheer luck that there were no casualties.
There has been also an upsurge in gender-based violence, families shifting locations looking for better opportunities or rather seeking other alternatives, violence against children and women and many children from Kibera slums simply dropping out of school.
This is why the department would like to resume in the near future but in a gradual manner the variety of life skill programs because we see it as a very strong pillar of support to children and families from Kibera.
Creating more impact on the high school education sponsorship program demands the staff to enable the beneficiary to experience holistic learning. While this is happening in the various schools the beneficiaries are learning, the high school department is strategising on the gradual introduction of holiday-based life skill workshops, mental health education through the now very functional counselling department at the centre.
We continue to help families with food packs, to some families we help with rent and a few students’ get medical help from the Organisation. This is in line with the organisation’s strategic objective outlined in the SP which included improving the livelihood and wellbeing of Kibera families by tackling issues of education, nutrition, health and also it is in the spirit of the founder’s dream of finding other extra alternative ways to be more impactful in the lives of Kibera families.
The High school department is open to new information, learning experiences and challenges that may improve its service delivery to the children and families of Kibera.
The form one recruitment process is still on. This means the high school population will grow in the near future as we keep on following up on needy cases.
The organisation is keen to continue working with locally-based leaders, teachers, child protection officers and family members in identifying extreme cases and those which requires quick responses, rescue and help. Recently, a senior teacher based in a locally very poor public secondary school in Kibera has played a very key role in informing us about children in extreme poverty and vulnerable environments. Her help has enabled us to identify some of the worst cases of child poverty within the slums of Kibera.
The Department is grateful and deeply indebted to the WKW team, the WKW inspiring leadership, the compassion, and the ever generosity of the WFWA and many loving and supporting families and individuals who are both from Kenya and beyond.
The future can only be brighter with the love and support we get from everyone even if we are currently riding fast and high on the crest of a bleak wave of the C-19 pandemic.
The Ugandan Refugee women have attended an extensive Course in basic education, financial management and marketing on what they have to sell. The Course has been very well attended, the women are delighted and those running the Course very happy with the response. This was the last day of class for the Ugandan women. Now they go to the field and the trainers will be visiting them once a week. They will also be meeting at the centre once a week. They are really happy with the training.