The Mathari Childrens' Fund has supported hundreds of children. Here are biographies of five: Kevin, Jennifer, Vincent, Vivian and Dennis:
Kevin Ouma Odongo
Kevin was born on the 20th November 1988. Both his parents died. The children were left under the care of their aunts and uncles who live in various towns outside Nairobi.
He is the Sixth child in a family of seven, three girls and four boys. The mother died in 1995 and the father died in 1997. Two of her sisters who are elderly got married. He was left under the custody of their aunt (a sister to their mother) in Siaya. Their youngest brother went to stay with his aunt in Nakuru.
The aunt enrolled Kevin at Siaya Township primary school but was unable to pay his school fees so most of the time he was in and out of school. After completion of his class eight he score 335 out 500 marks, he dropped out of school.
He started helping his aunt by fetching water for people at a fee and sometimes digging farms and he would use the money to support the family. His case was highlighted to the MCFP by his elder sister Julia who had joined the project earlier, his case was discussed, home visits done and it was felt that Kevin was a bright needy student he needed to be given a chance at an education.
In 2004, he joined MCFP and the project enrolled him at Barding Secondary school where he had been selected due to his good performance, Barding is a provincial school. The project decided to take him because it is a boarding school and in the same town where his aunt lives, thus making it easier for her to pay him a visit at the school without incurring to much cost on travelling etc all those things that come with school visits. He was in that same school for four years and he had been a good performer all round the four years in high school. He sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 2007 and scored a mean grade of B-.
In 2009, he joined Nakuru Teachers College where was undertaking a two year course in P1-Primary Teacher. The college is in Nakuru, and this is where Kevin had been staying with another aunt of his after his secondary education. In December 2011 he graduated with a credit 4 certificate which means that he performed well in his studies.
He has graduated as a Primary school teacher and is currently working at a private primary school in Nakuru waiting to be confirmed. With the pay he gets from the school has been able to rent a house nearby and he is taking care of himself.
Reading Novels, travelling, watching movies and acting.
|Jennifer's mother died in 2002 leaving her under the care of her father who later passed on in 2009 due to HIV related complications. Jenifer together with her sister Irene were taken in by her aunt.This brought issues with her husband who demanded that they leave his house claiming he was not in the business of raising children that were not his. The taking care of these children brought about separation of the aunt and her husband. She moved out with the children.She has been selling fish for survival but recently she was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and although she is under ARVs she still gets sick once in a while but she is still able to fend for the 2 orphans. We recently enrolled Jennifer in Mathare North Primary school in class and she has settled in fairly well. She intends to be a nurse in future and work in an hospice, catering for sick persons especially the terminally sick.|
|Vincent lives in Kariobangi slums, Darfur Area with his mother.He never saw his father because he died while he was still very young.The mother is a casual labourer in Baba Dogo Industries where she goes there every day to check on whether she can get anything she can do for the day to enable her put some food on the table for her children.The casual jobs are not guaranteed,so when she is not picked to work for that particular,she prepares groundnuts and sells them by the road side in Darfur. The profit that comes out from selling the groundnuts is so minimal that she cannot save for the rent ,and this has led her to be in trouble with the landlord severally being thrown out of the single mud house.Vincent had been picked up by the St.Martins Informal school but he could not be in school because his mother cannot afford to buy even the simplest things that the center requires parents to participate in,this has led him to be on and off the school. MCFP recently took him up and we have enrolled him to a formal school and he is doing pretty well and has settled in his new school and recently introduced us to his friends from school.|
|Vivian has been a beneficiary of Mathare Children Fund Panairobi for more than 8 years in which she has been able to achieve alot during that time.She joined the project from the age of 13 years from a family of 25 children, 8 belonging to her mum and the rest of the siblings being orphans from her aunt and uncle who had died from HIV/AIDS some years back. Due to poverty related problems especially in the slums of Mathare she was able to join a secondary school where she did her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams where she performed fairly well and got a C plain. She later got admitted to Kabete Technical Training Institute - a tertiary government Institution that offers different technical courses - She took a diploma in Information Technology finishing this year in August. During her holidays she has been engaged in giving tuition to smaller children in the project among other activities that we have in the project and currently she is attached to United States International University (USIU) at the IT department where she is able to get some money that go into providing for her extended family as she awaits her final results from the Kenya National Examinations Council. Her goal is to be able to live in a decent house far from the slums and help her mum in uplifting her siblings from the "yke of Poverty" as she calls it.|
|Dennis is a new recruit in the project. We took him in, in November last year, 2010. Dennis is a 3rd born in a family of 6 children, whose parents are both HIV positive. Currently the mum is hospitalized after going to give birth to her 7th child but unfortunately the child died due to HIV complications. The mum has a tumor in her stomach amd the dad is also usually bedridden due to opportunistic diseases. Dennis joined St. Martins project in Ghetto slums before we recruited him and is currently in a formal school, class 5. His exams this semester was encouraging, he was in the top 10s in his class and is usually a jovial boy who intends to be a doctor and help not only his family but those that have terminal illness like his parents although he believes he family has been bewitched and that's why his parents are always "sick|