Located in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi, Kibera is Africa’s largest slum. Housing close to half a million people, all living in challenging circumstances, one of their only hopes is that of ensuring that children receive an education, which will help them break the cycle of poverty.
Some facts about Kibera include:
With this kind of background, the Raila Educational Centre finds itself dealing with children from a very difficult and harsh socio-economic background.
In partnership with the Raila Odinga Centre, the Varkey GEMS Foundation has committed to rebuilding a school which struggles to function – not because students do not want to learn – but because they do not have adequate classrooms, resources, and ultimately money to invest in improving their school.
Of the 1,000 students who attend, all are impoverished. The school provides free school meals, and uniforms. Almost 64%of the students are orphans. Imagine having no parents, no role models at home. How can they succeed without any help?
This is why we want to extend our support to the students of this school. Currently, the school is comprised of a collection of ramshackle buildings, mostly made of corrugated iron sheets, which offers little protection from rain or sun.
Reconstructing the whole school will cost £1,903,742.62 / AED 11,016,000. The Varkey GEMS Foundation would like to contribute in helping refurbish a block of 16 classrooms and help build new learning areas at a total cost of £317,117.62 / AED 1,835,000.
The context behind the project
The education centre was founded to provide the community with an additional school to cater for the educational needs and requirements. The government public schools in the area proved inadequate in meeting the demand from the high population. The alternative informal schools in the area for the most part provide a service that lacks the basic tenets of teaching instruction, while charging exorbitant tuition fees to the local community.
The Raila Educational Centre therefore admits a majority of its students from the surrounding Kibera slums, while a minority come from the neighboring slums of Kawangware and Kuindwa. These slum villages are comprised of shacks whose average size are 12ft x 12ft and are built with mud walls, screened with concrete, a corrugated tin roof with a dirt or concrete floor. These shacks often house up to eight people or more, many sleeping on the floor.
Juliet Angaywa, a 12-year-old pupil said:
“I live in Lindi village, Kibera. I have no parents and we are six children. I live with my aunty and my uncle. My mother died when I was five years old. After my parents’ death we stayed with our grandmother in the countryside before we later came to Nairobi to stay with my cousins. I am very sad about everything that has happened in my life. But at least the school has been good to me. They even provide lunch while we are in school.”
How can you help?
The Varkey GEMS Foundation is trying to create a long lasting impact in the communities it is supporting. Together, we can positively impact the lives of underprivileged children around the world.
Your school will be organizing fund raising activities to support this project and we do hope you will support them in order to make a difference to these children’s lives.
If you do have any great fund raising ideas please do not hesitate to contact your school.