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. For about $200, you can sponsor a homeless child for a year. 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.
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. For $500, you can sponsor a girl for a year.
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.
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 will support the study center but also the feeding program they have because hungry children are not able to concentrate on their studies.
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 $700 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.
Across the street from Starehe is St Bridget’s School, a private elementary school. We will sponsor children to study there because they have a good record of preparing students well for high school and university.
Ndalini 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.