“The responsibility of taking care of the children is on all of us. If we fail, the entire future generation fails with us.”
These were the words of Mama PK, a well known volunteer health worker in Ngong Central Region. She leads a cell group in Geshagi slum of Ngong community. Mama PK said these words at a meeting that brought all ten cell leaders together to inspire and encourage them in this work.
Without words like these and people like Mama PK this work would not be possible. We are very aware of that truth.
When your work feels impossible, where do you turn to find inspiration?
At a recently held Tatua forum Sarah Welch, Tatua Co-Founder, said, “child poverty goes beyond taking a child to school, it goes beyond books, uniforms and pens.”
This statement was echoed by Grace, the Director of Bounty Hotel in Ngong, who said,
“You see, the poverty we see today is as a result of our in actions as a community, we are no longer talking to our kids anymore about what’s acceptable and what is not. Instead we are busy making money or running around trying to make ends meet. Even our school subjects like home science and agriculture are no longer deemed important. We want lawyers and engineers, but how many makes it there? The majority of them end up marrying at a young age unprepared for the challenges ahead and what we call child poverty is the result. The solution is to go back to our roots and find ways of starting to talk to our children as we find a solution to the already existing problem”
Tatua organizers are working alongside their communities and get encouragement everyday by people like Grace who are willing to stand up and make the issues known.
What do you see as the challenges facing your community?
“Many children in this community go to private schools associated with one of the biggest churches around this community where they are all sponsored. Money coming from the sponsors abroad for one child is big enough to cater for many children. Where the rest goes nobody knows, the worst is that the teachers receive full assurance that their salary will come from the sponsor no matter the output and therefore are not under any pressure to push the kids to their best, they simply don’t care. These children after completing their high school cannot communicate in proper English, they cannot even write a letter. They end up at a Miraa den around here threatening the security of the residence. Parents who raise complaints are threatened with the termination of their children’s sponsorships.
I have joined this team as a Cell Leader to work with the members of the community to build Cells that will bring the members of the community together to start talking about issues like this and many more because I do not think kids need to be in a certain school to be sponsored or that it might be better if I struggle to pay my child’s school fees rather than have him sponsored and not getting proper Education.”
– John Karanja, Cell Leader in Bul Bul, Ngong Community
Youth in Action is a youth led organization working in Ngong and beyond to encourage the spirit of volunteerism. They mobilize youth to sign on with them and together they volunteer their services, time, and other resources to the community or community based organizations.
Last Saturday I attended one of their events at Tusemezane. Tusemezane is a community based organization that provides a feeding program for children living in Mathare Slum. Together with the children served by the institution, we cleaned and beautified the grounds.