Mamma Africa is a program in Nairobi that Franciscan Father David began a few years ago. Each day it feeds about 150 homeless men, women, and children. It also has a school for homeless children. Without the chance to go to school, these children have few prospects for a good life. Many will perish from AIDS, and others will run away, perhaps never to be heard from again. We are sponsoring two children to attend Mamma Africa school. This means that we are providing for the child beyond simply the school fees.
The Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, founded by Teresa Nuzzo, care for 48 orphan girls in Nairobi. These girls largely come from the slums of the city, and most of their parents either abandoned them or died of AIDS. They do not have much materially, but the sisters care for them lovingly, and the girls are joyful and well behaved. In order to get a decent high school education, they need to attend a private school. At this time, we are sponsoring three girls for high school: Mercy, Leah, and Margaret..
St John Paul II Mixed (i.e. co-educational) School is located in Kibera, the largest slum in sub-Saharan Africa. It has perhaps 1,000,000 residents. There is little electricity, no easily available clean water, and lots of raw sewage. Yet in the middle is this impressive though humble school. Built rather tenuously of corrugated metal, it has about 150 students. They perform well on Kenya’s national tests, and some qualify for university. The annual cost of a student’s education is about $400, including uniform and books. We are currently sponsoring several boys and girls to attend.
Baraka Za Ibrahim Children’s Centre is also in Kibera slum. It cares for orphans and also offers schooling for children who live in Kibera. The school has very little equipment, but dedicated teachers make this a place of hope. We hope to sponsor children and also to support a library and the purchase of some computers.
Undugu Family is an organization that provides food, a place of study, recreation, and hope for teenagers in Kibera slum. They organize activities such as acrobatics to keep children away from drugs and alcohol and despair. We have helped at least five children to get treatment for drug addiction, and they have returned to school as of January 2016. We have helped to find housing for some homeless children, and we provided food for families of some of these children so the families can be together for Christmas.
Starehe School for Boys is one of the top 10 high schools in Kenya. Its 1000 students are immaculately dressed in the school uniform, and they behave and perform on standardized tests extremely well. Many go to university. About ¾ of the students cannot afford the annual cost of $1900 for tuition, room, and board. For that amount, you can offer a boy an opportunity to change his destiny and that of his family and to serve his country in a profession. Currently we are sponsoring a beginning student named Hillary. He is an excellent student, but his father is severely disabled, and his mother is only able to find occasional work as a domestic.
Across the street from Starehe is St Bridget’s School, a private elementary school. We are sponsoring several St Bridget's graduates in order for them to attend high school.
Ndalani School in rural Machakos is a high school that provides an excellent education for very poor rural children. We hope to sponsor children but also to help with infrastructure. If the school had a deep well, it could produce much more food, thus saving money that can be used directly in the education of children.