This is an appeal for the amazing St Marian Children’s Centre which is where I did my voluntary work when in Nairobi in the summer. If you don’t feel able to contribute financially, then please help by forwarding this appeal or link to my blog/Facebook account to 5 other people who may be able to help.
I will shortly post a blog about my experiences at St Marian CC last summer.
P.O BOX 61623 – 00200 NAIROBI, TEL: 0710 748 106, 0721 216 995
1st March, 2011
RE: CO-FUNDING REQUEST FOR PURCHASING A CENTRE HOUSE.
St. Marian Children’s Centre has been engaged in providing shelter for rescued children in the Mukuru slums neighbourhood of South ‘B’ Nairobi since 2009.
We have been renting a house that is unable to take in children numbering more than 16. As such, this limits our effectiveness in growth and responding to the needs of our attachment area, rescuing and transforming lives of the rescued children from sexual abuse, child labour & trafficking, domestic violence, sudden death or disappearance of parents etc.
This year, we need to register St. Marian Children Centre as a Children Charitable Institution (CCI) under Makadara District Children Department (Government of Kenya). Being a CCI will facilitate the integration process, especially in the manner of bureaucracy and co-operation with the Kenya government institutions such as the children’s department and other permanent children’s homes.
The CCI statutes have more privileges in assistance of children which is our core function. Up to now we have fulfilled all the conditions (administration, training) of CCI requirements except one – having a facility that can accommodate a minimum of 20 children.
We have recently identified an ideal house for sale in Nairobi-South ‘B’ for St. Marian Children Centre. It requires a total of €135,000 * See attached budget*.However, we have approached 10 organizations, requesting each one for funds of €13,500. Up to date we have not received any positive response.
We have done the evaluation of the house with our lawyer. We need to make commitment payment of 10% of the house value, which is € 13,500 otherwise the house will be sold. We hereby appeal to your organization for co-funding amounting to €13,500 to purchase the home for the centre.
Justyna Gorna (Project Cordinator)
TITLE: St. Marian Children Centre
SUBMITTED BY: Justyna Gorna (Project coordinator)
Phone: +254 710748 106
Through: Mercy Development Support
P.O Box 18623-00500
Phone: Cell: +254 (0) 733 701 444
Wireless: 254 (0) 20 244 66 50
PROPOSAL SUBMITTED TO: Katholische Kirche Vorarlberg – “Bruder und Schwester in Not”
LOCATION: South B, Nairobi, Kenya
Total Grant Requested: € 13,500*
*Exchange rate at Kshs 104 per Euro
CONTACT PERSON: Justyna Gorna (Project coordinator)
St. Marian Children Centre
Phone: +254 710748 106
Account: Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited
Development House Branch
P.O Box 44285 -00100
St. Marian Children Centre
Swift Code: BARCKENX
Sort Code: 03 202 1576479
Account Number: 202 1576479
St Marian Children Centre is a registered organization in the Republic of Kenya under the NGO Coordination Act of 1990 with registration number OP.218/051/2008/0268/5296 since November 2008. The organization was formed by people who have been working on social issues and have been encountering endless stories of children being exploited in Mukuru Slum / South B – Nairobi.
The centre was founded due to the closure of the Sisters of Mercy children’s home that was catering for the orphans and abused children in the Mukuru slum in December, 2007. Subsequent to this St. Marian Children Centre was founded with the assistance & guidance of Sr. Mary Killeen (Sisters of Mercy) together with the cooperation of Nairobi South “B” Catholic Parish.
St Marian Centre was a result of our years of practice, faith beliefs and personal convictions, and above all the urgent need to answer the difficult situation of the most vulnerable members of Mukuru Slum society.
We aspire to see the vulnerable children living a fully dignified life.
We aspire to rescue children from insecure environments by giving them short term shelter, education and responding to their psychological and spiritual needs. We intend to re-integrate children to safer environment after a comprehensive assessment. We aim to empower the vulnerable children’s guardians through outreach program by making them sustainable.
BACKGROUND TO THE PROBLEM
Mukuru slum is situated about 10km outside Nairobi City Centre and is approximately 35 years old. It comprises 20 villages with a population that is estimated around 400 000 people. The average family lives in corrugated iron shacks measuring 10′ X 10′. Large families are crammed into this tiny space to survive. Most of the people are landless. Some were pushed from their rural homes by tribal and land clashes, or are economic or environmental refugees. Many of the slum dwellers in Mukuru work as casual labourers in the manufacturing industries situated close to the slum. Others operate small-scale businesses selling vegetables and fruit or hawking various items. Earnings are pitifully low and inadequate to feed their families. Consequently, their children look to other means of survival such as prostitution, drug peddling, begging and criminal activities.
At the moment St. Marian Children’s centre is renting a house No. 219 in riverbank estate in south “B” which is about 200 meters from the Mukuru slum. Mukuru slum is approximately 8km from the airport on your way into the city centre adjacent to Mombasa road-the road leading into the city centre.
The high level of poverty puts basic education beyond the reach of many families. This has impacted negatively on education. It has contributed to high illiteracy and drop out levels among those fortunate enough to be going to school. Dropouts amount to 44% of the school-going children in the slums (according to World Bank reports). Many parents are unable to pay the few hundred shillings (€ 4 approx) per term towards school fees. The Sisters of Mercy sponsor 4 schools within Mukuru where the children of St. Marian centre attend primary school.
In line with St.Marians policy of education continuity, we sponsor the children who pass through our centre to Secondary school through individual sponsorship of well wishers and volunteers. Most of the children that we have re-integrated back with their immediate families and/or extended relatives have to be placed in boarding schools because their guardians are unable to cater for them.
The slum condition poses many challenges and many children are neglected abandoned or lack the basic needs for survival. As a result they are very vulnerable, especially to any exploitation. Often Children are engaged in petty productive work to supplement basic family needs. Child labour in Mukuru includes hawking, petty trade, transportation using carts, household work, begging around the shopping centre and housing estates.
In terms of health the most common diseases are malaria, typhoid, dysentery and tuberculosis. Malnutrition is visible among the children. This is primarily related to the high cost of food in relation to the low family income. Medical treatment is beyond the reach of most of the residents except for services of Mary Immaculate clinic where medical services are subsidized by the Slovak mission. The scourge of AIDS is the biggest killer and creates another social phenomenon – orphaned children.
To Rescue and support, vulnerable, neglected, and abandoned children with basic needs for survival, education and health care
The founder of St. Marian Children Centre was greatly assisted by the expertise of its supporters/board members. We work in the following way, every child comes to the centre through a referral from District Children’s Department, local authorities-namely area chief or social offices. The centre provides safe environment for the children who have been victims of abuse, child labour, human trafficking, home based violence, sudden illness and imprisonment or death of a parent.
While the children are placed under our care we start the process of selection to identify a responsible relative or extended family and, in case of orphans they are referred to permanent children’s homes. This process (re-integration) normally takes a very long time to build up relationship between the victim child and relative.
St Marian Children Centre makes sure that each child gets basic education and continues with school after being re-integrated with the support of sponsors. In collaboration with our partners we provide badly needed education for the children boarding schools and day schools alike. Additionally, children in the centre are trained properly in the correct methods of hygiene and housework, which is a lifelong skill that will benefit them.
The children are helped to recover from their traumatic experiences through councelling, play, art, drama, story telling, singing and good nutrition. The staff are assisted with counselling and support groups to help the children. Maryanne-experienced nurse is available for advices concerning children’s behaviour and problems etc
Guardians, who are taking care of orphans staying in Mukuru slum, are supported with food for a short period while they are empowered to earn money themselves through setting up small businesses.
ACHIEVEMENTS SINCE 2009-2010
Re-integrated children- 32 (Children who were taken back to their relatives, but are still supported through sponsorship for their education)
Boarding school- 10 Children
Supported by outreach program-35 Children
DESCRIPTION AMOUNT ( EURO)
Purchase price of House 125,000.00
Renovations and Improvements 10,000.00
*LIST OF APROACHED CO-FUNDING ORGANIZATIONS TO PURCHASE CENTER’S HOUSE:
Peace and Cooperation Foundation
Pontifical Association for the Holy Childhood in Germany
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada
Katholische Kirche Vorarlberg – “Bruder und Schwester in Not”
Terre des Hommes Netherlands
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES