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Make a difference

Maji Mazuri Pre-Teens Reciting a Poem

This talented group is comprised of pupils from Maji Mazuri Headstart School. Located in Mathare Valley, the school provides education, counseling, a meal a day and talent development. This greatly contributes to the holistic development of the children.

Pre-unit (Kindergarten Class) Graduation Ceremony

Pupils, Parents and staff of Maji Mazuri Headstart School in Mathare gathered on 24th October 2017 to celebrate as the young ones start their educational journey in Primary School. The Pre-unit class prepares the pupils for school life. This is a special day for the children and the community, as it is a celebration of securing the children’s future through education.

What your support has made possible in Maji Mazuri:

Updates on Maji Mazuri Projects- August 2017
Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre: Maji Mazuri children’s Centre continues to support 42 children who receive care, physiotherapy, education and life skills training. 23 are special needs children, 2 are in primary school, 15 are in different high schools around the country and 2 are in college.
Maji Mazuri Children's Centre
The children resident at the Children’s Centre receive education through the individual education program (I.E.P). A lot of improvement have been noted within the last three months especially in classroom activities, receiving regular physiotherapy plays a great role in this. The physiotherapy department has been upgraded with modern equipment such as wheelchairs, mobility aids, standing aids.

We have five special needs children from the surrounding community who come for physiotherapy services at the Children’s Centre.

Thank you for continuing to support the Children’s Centre

Maji Mazuri Kiserian Farm: Ten Acres of the farm are currently under lease and Maji Mazuri staff are farming one acre of land. Two of the three cows are expectant.
Maji Mazuri Kiserian Farm
Maji Mazuri Projects in Mathare Valley
Headstart Academy

The school currently has a population of 545 pupils, and runs classes from baby class to class eight. Besides offering basic education the school continues to offer a meal a day to all the pupils. This motivates the pupils to attend school without absenteeism which helps them improve their academic performance.
The school continues to nurture the pupil’s talent through different co-curriculum programs such as sports, music and poetry clubs. Through the support of Dignitas project the school managed to support all the 545 pupils with new full school uniform this July.
Maji Mazuri Headstart School
The school is in the process of fundraising for a new permanent school building which will create space for more children to join our school since the current school structure which is temporary cannot take more pupils. This has denied many children an opportunity to access basic education since they cannot afford to join other private schools. The school also needs support in the feeding program, stationeries, child sponsorship and staff salaries.

Teen’s group: The teen’s group talent program continues to shine to the national level through their poetry team which currently performs at the Kenya National Theatre and the National Museum every last Thursday and Friday of every month respectively. The team has also been getting numerous invitations to perform in different platform and this has greatly improved the pupil’s self-confidence. In June the team was invited to perform in a kids program known as “Club Kiboko” which is aired by one of the national main stream media known as KTN Tv.
Maji Mazuri Teens Group

Green Heroes: The team continues with their weekly garbage collection activity in the community every month. Through this activity the team is able create awareness and educate the community on importance of protecting our environment and best ways to manage their waste.The team has also formed a saving group to help its members mobilize savings for future investment as a team.

Maji Mazuri Youth Group: The program continues to empower youth socially and economically through organizing capacity building programs to equip the youth with relevant job market skills as well as life skills to enable them connect to the job market or become entrepreneurs.
During the month of June the youth program conducted three Boot-camps focusing on self-branding, entrepreneurship and financial management. The youth program’s ICT training Centre is currently training 19 youth, who are pursuing Diploma in web design and development.
Maji Mazuri Youth Group
On 15th July the youth group in collaboration with Ghetto foundation and Showbit foundation held a community peace concert within Mathare constituency to preach peace ahead of the Kenyan general election. The event started with a peace walk in the community followed by a concert in one of the open field in the community and was crowned by a community screening later in the evening.
The youth members needs support in scholarships to enable them pursue higher education since most of them are facing financial challenges. The group also needs funds to support its activities which continue to greatly impact the community.
Youth Peace Concert
Thank you for making a difference!

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Email: mmc@sedsmmc.org
Phone: +254722466971

Shining a light of hope for the Children of Mathare Valley.

Maji Mazuri Headstart School continues to be a beacon of hope for the children of Mathare Valley. With a population of 547 pupils in 2017, the school provides the children with tools to change their destinies. In addition to curriculum education, the school provides a meal and talent skills development to the children. The presence of Maji Mazuri Headstart school in Mathare is a source of hope to many children. Your support is making a lasting impact.

Learn more about the school through this amazing video:

Making a Difference- Update

Update on Maji Mazuri Projects- January to March 2017

Happy New Year from us at Maji Mazuri! Some highlights of the first two months of the year:
Headstart School: started the year on a high note, as pupils, staff and parents gathered on 3rd of February to celebrate the great performance of the graduating class of 2016 in the Kenya Certificate of Primary School Examinations (KCPE).

KCPE serves as the entry examination into high school and the pupils’ performance placed them in the path of enrollment into some of the Country’s best High schools. The teachers were also awarded with various prizes.
Headstart
The school currently has a population of 545 pupils from Mathare Valley and continues to offer holistic education to the Children. This year the school is fundraising for a new school building as the current one is a temporary iron sheet structure.

The school also runs a talent programme for the pupils at the school, here they have access to mentors as they identify and grow their different talents:
Teens Group

Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre: The children’s Centre is currently home to 41 children, 21 of whom are special needs children who receive care, physiotherapy and special needs education. The rest are orphans and vulnerable children, 3 are in primary school, 15 in high school and 2 will be joining college this year.

In addition to sponsorship support by international supporters, the home has continued to receive local support. This January the Rotary club of Parklands donated 17 wheelchairs to aid in mobility and also hosted the children for a fun day at the national park. The Catholic International Community donated 7 Special seats for use by the children in the classroom. The home has also continued to open doors to parents of special needs children in the surrounding community, offering physiotherapy services and moral support.
Childrens Centre


Maji Mazuri in Kiserian:
Due to the rising costs of farming, and challenges in meeting operational costs of the High school and primary school, Maji Mazuri has been leasing these facilities to professionals in the fields of farming and education who share a common goal of empowering vulnerable children through these projects. The schools are currently not running, and 5 acres of farm land are under lease. The premises has two employees who maintain the place and look after the cows.
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Maji Mazuri Youth Group: Located in Mathare Valley informal settlement, the youth group currently has a membership of 70 youth, and continues to offer mentorship, life skills and ICT training for youth who would otherwise not have access to these opportunities. The group continues to grow and is currently hosting the ICT training at the Maji Mazuri Community Centre. This year over 60 youth will receive ICT Training.
Youth Group

Your Support Makes it Possible to Continue Making a Difference, Thank you!

Headstart School’s Award Ceremony

Every Year the Maji Mazuri Headstart School Family gathers to celebrate the Pupils, Teachers and Parents for their exemplary work in the previous year. The school continues to be a beacon of light and hope for the community.

Some Pictures from the event:

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Cycling to Make a Difference

Maji Mazuri sends out a cheer to Mark Borsuk who is currently fundraising for our lovely children through cycling from Cairo to Capetown

Find out more on how you can support Mark:

Maji Mazuri sends out a cheer to Mark Borsuk who is currently fundraising for our lovely children through cycling from Cairo to Capetown. Find out more:

Posted by Maji Mazuri on Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year!

The Maji Mazuri family wishes you a Happy New Year.

May 2017 glow with the hope of Making a Difference.

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Maji Mazuri’s 2016 Highlights

702. This is the number of Children & youth Maji Mazuri has directly and positively impacted this year, and you have made this possible. Your support through the sponsorship program, scholarships, visits, and donations, made it possible for these children have access to a better, happy life and a bright future. Thank you. Below find highlights from the Maji Mazuri projects in 2016:

Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre:
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The home continues to provide care to orphans, vulnerable children, and special needs children. 18 of them being High school students. Everything you have done to make these children smile is highly appreciated.
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Headstart Academy:
The school population has continued to grow and by close of the 2016 academic year the school had a population of 573 pupils.
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Maji Mazuri has started the process of registering the school with the ministry of education under the Alternative providers of basic education and training (APBET) framework. The ministry officials have already visited the school and certified the teachers’ qualification documents. They recommended some temporary renovations on the building facilities as fundraising for a permanent structure for the school continues.
19 pupils sat for their KCPE this year and have recorded very good results in the just released results. The class had a mean score of 269.8 while 6 pupils scored above 300 marks and 12 pupils scored above 250 marks.
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The school continues to offer a meal a day to all pupils in the school. However, to sustain this program has been one of the greatest challenges in the school due to the rising cost of foodstuff and the growing pupils’ population in the school.
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The school has also actively participated in co-curriculum activities this year including inter-schools football, volleyball and netball competitions for both boys and girls. This year the Rotary club of Muthaiga established/chartered an interact club in our school. The club is going to greatly benefit the pupils through mentorship. The club also supports pupils to develop leadership skills at an early age.
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The talent develop club known as young kids has continued to expand its network and recognition. The club currently performs at the Kenya National Theatre every last Thursday of the month. This exposure has greatly developed the children’s confidence and self-esteem. The club also performed at one of the biggest Kenyan poetry festivals known as the slum festival. These activities have greatly helped in developing the teens confidence and self-esteem.
The Talent Program has been featured in the local dailies. (Newspaper article below: Powerful poetry from Maji Mazuri Headstart Pupils).

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Challenges/Needs
• The cost of sustaining the feeding program is high due to the increasing pupils’ population and rise in foodstuff prices.
• The school building facility need to be built of permanent structure to create a safer space for the children.

Maji Mazuri Kiserian Schools and Farm
Due to the rising costs of farming, and challenges in meeting operational costs of the High school and primary school, Maji Mazuri has been leasing these facilities to professionals in the fields of farming and education who share a common goal of empowering vulnerable children through these projects. The next lease takes effect on 20th December 2016.

Youth Program

1. ICT CENTRE
This year we started a partnership with Youth caffe to offer ICT training for Youth between the ages of 18-24 years. The training focuses on web design and development, computer programing, graphic design and animation. Between June and December this year 15 Youth have received ICT training, entrepreneurship and life skills training.

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The ICT Centre is now located at Maji Mazuri’s Community Centre in Mathare. A facility that will continue to raise funds through monthly rent to support its continued construction and Maji Mazuri Activities in Mathare Valley. The second floor is currently under construction, and will be ready for use by the end of January 2017.
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Youth Group
The youth group continues to carry out different activities every Sunday. The activities range from capacity building, life skills training, entrepreneurship training, peace awareness campaigns, campaign against drugs and substance abuse among many other activities.
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This year the group through funding supported 18 Youth with scholarships to study different technical courses of their choice. Many Youth have also continued to develop their talents through participation in the talent development groups such as poetry, music, drama and art.
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Green heroes
The green heroes team had started a Hotel and a cyber café as an income generating project to support their activities but due to several challenges the team closed the businesses and is evaluating other business ideas to invest in. This will help create employment for the members and generate income to support the various activities. The team continues to carry community awareness on good waste
management through the weekly community clean ups.

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This project has seen many community members appreciate the importance of keeping their environment clean, an achievement that has created a clean Community and Cohesion in Mathare Valley.

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Maji Mazuri Staff (pictured below) thank you for having given your time and resources, your support has made it possible for the children and youth of Maji Mazuri to shine bright with the hope of a fulfilled life and empowered futures. Thank you!

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Happy Holidays from Maji Mazuri!
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Email: mmc@sedsmmc.org
Phone: +254722466971

Celebrating Hope

This October the Maji Mazuri Headstart Community gathered in Mathare Valley to celebrate the achievement of the little Angels who were graduating from Pre Unit to join the mainstream Primary School classes. This is an achievement worth celebrating as the children have a better chance at life as they get equipped with education.

See pictures of this wonderful day on our facebook page:

This October the Maji Mazuri Headstart Community gathered in Mathare Valley to celebrate the achievement of the little…

Posted by Maji Mazuri on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Maji Mazuri Youth Group- Making a difference

Since its inception in 1998, the Maji Mazuri Youth Group has been impacting the lives of the young adults in Mathare Valley. The group has become a place of hope and family for the youth who grew up under difficult circumstances. The group meets weekly, and has activities ranging from hikes, seminars to talent development.We celebrate the hope and courage these young adults continue to model for their peers in the community.

Together they are making a difference. class-in-session

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Hope For Youth through ICT Training

Maji Mazuri Youth Group in Mathare offers Information Communication Technology Training (ICT) to youth from Mathare Valley Informal Settlement and Environs. This training is making a difference in the lives of the youth who have limited options for education.
To date, the Training Centre has offered this training to over 800 youth in Mathare Valley.

Appreciating and Supporting Talent

Maji Mazuri has a Teens and Talent Programme in Mathare Valley. Recently the children have been performing in Art & Poetry Gatherings, and are masters in Music and Poetry. We celebrate their talent.

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Headstart School is Fundraising for a Permanent School Structure

Maji Mazuri Headstart Academy is an informal school started in 2004 in Mathare Valley. With a population of 564 pupils, the School is a very unique because it operates as a learning institution, feeding program and nurtures talent from a tender age. The school targets vulnerable children who would otherwise not have access to education and other basic needs in life. Maji Mazuri is fundraising for a permanent school structure. Construction of a spacious and permanent school structure will give more children from Mathare Valley access to a conducive learning atmosphere. Providing these children with quality education will ensure that they escape the cycle of poverty and have a hopeful future. This impact will change the lives of the people of Mathare Valley, one family at a time.

For more information please watch the video below, write to us:mmc@sedsmmc.org

Update on Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre, Kasarani

The Children’s Centre is home to 46 Special Needs, Orphans and Vulnerable Children. The children continue to receive care, education, Pre-vocational Skills training, Physiotherapy and the comfort & safety of a home. The Children’s Centre currently has ten orphans and vulnerable children in High school. The Reintegration Programme is also doing well, where the Children’s Centre has been tracing guardians of the Children and reuniting them where possible. The main aim is to cultivate a connection with the Community through families.

The Children’s Centre also has a full time Physiotherapist who is attending to the Children at the Children’s Centre and from the surrounding Community.

Maji Mazuri Childrens Centre

Saying goodbye
Maji Mazuri bid farewell to Stephen Omondi who passed away after a road accident on 1st March 2016. Rescued at the age of 7, Stephen had been in Maji Mazuri for 11 years; he was in his final year of High School and was looking forward to joining college. We were deeply saddened by his death and also grateful that we got to have a positive impact in his life.

Stephen

Thank you for Making a Difference!

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Update on Maji Mazuri Farm & Schools, Kiserian

The Maji Mazuri farm and school, located on the outskirts of Kiserian continues to reach out to the community. The school is currently under lease and is still being run as a school for children from the surrounding communities. Maji Mazuri has entrusted the running of the school to a group of people who have the expertise to run the Schools. However they also face challenges as the number of Students has significantly reduced.

The project is also currently farming the two green houses after carrying out repairs on the green house that had a torn roof. We recently harvested a good crop of Hay, Maize, Onions, Capsicum, Parsley and traditional vegetables. This moves the farm closer to the goal of being self sustaining.

Maji Mazuri Farm

Update on Maji Mazuri Youth Group

Having 60 registered members, the youth group annually reaches out to over 200 youth from the Informal Settlement. This continues to be achieved through talent development, life skills training, education scholarships, Information Computer Technology Training, Mentorship and Counseling.

The group meets weekly and they are a close knit support system for each other. The Green heroes continue to carry out weekly garbage collection at a fee in the community, after successfully teaching the community on the importance of a clean environment.

The Youth Program was previously running the ICT Centre in partnership with Nairobits, who have since changed the Curriculum model, and the ICT Centre is seeking alternative partnership and also considering having a Youth Resource Centre.

Youth Group Pictures

Maji Mazuri Community Centre

In 2008, fundraising started for building a 30,000 square foot community center on 5 floors to bring together the Maji Mazuri’s programs under one, safe and secure roof. $2 million was needed to complete the project and establish an endowment fund to maintain the facility in the years to come. As at 31st December 2013, the construction fund account had $113,340, funds that have been donated by friends and supporters of the Organization’s work in Mathare Valley. This has enabled construction of the foundation and first four rooms, and the rooms were let to raise funds to continue the construction. Currently the next four rooms, and a Community hall are under construction. The youth group also runs an internet café and restaurant at the Community Center.
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Update on Maji Mazuri Headstart School, Mathare Valley

The school started the year on a high note, celebrating the successful graduation of the 16 year 8 candidates to High school. The school has a current population of 591 children from Mathare Valley. The school also offers talent development training to the children through a children’s talent club and this ensures holistic development of the children.
Children at the community playground

This year, the school is fundraising to construct the school as a stone building, since it’s constructed as a temporary structure and there is high demand for the services the school offers to the Children and the Community. The estimated cost of the school building is $205,959. Maji Mazuri UK is fundraising for the school building and Maji Mazuri USA is fundraising for a stone fence for the school.

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The Gift of Education

Maji Mazuri continues to shine a light through providing education, and therefore empowering communities.

Mercy, Wacera, Mary and Bonface

Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre Featured on GBS Tv!

The Caption and the Video as shared on GBS Tv:
Whether you offer your love and compassion, or make a charitable donation of time or money, there are many ways to bring sunshine into the lives of the less fortunate. This led the GBS TV to appreciate and know the value of sharing with the little angels in Maji Mazuri children’s home in kasarani, nairobi, kenya during the 2015 festive season.

Pre School Graduation Ceremony at Headstart School

Pre School Children from the Maji Mazuri Headstart School had a Graduation Ceremony to mark their entry into the next level of learning. It is a very special day for the children, parents and teachers. For these Children, being in School is a golden opportunity. The school currently has 578 pupils and continues to be a light for the Children in Mathare Valley.

The Project Coordinator with the Executive Director

Pupils from the school performing a song

Pupils holding the graduation banner

The Pre School Pupils on their graduation day,

Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre Live on Tv!

Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre was featured on K24 Tv’s The Switch,a Sunday Tv Program that was hosted Live at the Children’s Centre in Kasarani. Amidst music and dance, the program highlighted the achievements and needs of the Children at the Children’s Centre.

Filming as the Children enjoyed the music Highlighting Maji Mazuri's Work to the viewers
Children and Staff dancing along

 

 

 

Giving is Good for You!

Majimazuri_Make-a-difference-giving-is-good-for-youSure, getting a gift feels good. But research shows that giving feels even better. Here’s why.

Science-backed research shows that generosity has benefits for the giver, ranging from a better outlook, to more years of life. Helping others could boost your happiness at work, according to research out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and it’s beneficial to the greater good! In fact, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed generosity trumps selfishness when it comes to success in the long run. In a strategic game involving multiple people, being generous led to more success than being selfish. More was achieved where there was cooperation and collaboration with everyone benefiting from working together, that in situations where one person dominates the other, forcing them to receive a lower payoff.

Continue reading

Maji Mazuri gets “Outstanding Organization’ Award

For the first time ever in the history of Mathare Valley,  leaders from the community came up with an initiative to honor and appreciate different individuals, groups and organizations working tirelessly in the community towards positive transformation and development.  This initiative was dubbed “MATHARE HEROES AWARDS 2015” with a slogan “celebrating our own”. Being the first event of its kind in Mathare everyone in the community was very excited and looked forward  to the day of the event, which was 12th Dec 2015.

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On the other hand the organizing committee had a great task in identifying different individuals, groups and organizations working in the community and grouping them into different categories based on the nature of their service or work they do for nomination purpose. At the end of it the committee came up with numerous categories under which individuals, groups and organizations were nominated for the Awards. Some of these categories were; Best outstanding organization, best peace ambassadors, role models, leadership, sports, best music artist, media, entrepreneurship among many others.

Maji Mazuri stood out by being nominated in two categories first under BEST OUTSTANDING ORGANIZATION and secondly under BEST PEACE AMBASSADORS. This was a great excitement and motivation to us. Each individual, group or organization nominated was then given a unique code for people to vote for them. The one who emerged with the highest votes would be announced as the winner during the celebration.

On the celebration day people from all over Mathare and invited guests filled the Liberty Auditorium in Pangani where the event was hosted. Everyone was very excited and looked forward to the awards ceremony. The time came for the awards and everyone was anxious as different nominees in different categories were called and winners announced.

Then the BEST OUSTANDING ORGANIZATIONS category nominees were called, I felt anxious and excited at the same time as I walked to the dais. 5 organizations had been nominated for this category and we all lined up on the stage as we waited the announcement with bated breath. Then the master of ceremony announced MAJI MAZURI ORGANIZATION as the winner amid cheers from the crowd. This made my day as I jumped up with joy and happiness.

To all our friends, well-wishers and donors we dedicate this achievement to you for always believing in us through your support and donations which has gone long way in making a difference in the lives of many in our community. By winning this award it is a clear feedback from the community that they appreciate our work and services all made possible by your support.  THANK YOU. Daniel Wambua.

Thank You

As we reflect on the the year 2015, the entire Maji Mazuri Community would like to sincerely thank you for your support, for touching lives and your commitment to make a difference. Below are some highlights on what your support made possible in 2015:

681 Children got education, care, life skills, leadership and talent development, and hope for a better future.

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207 Youth from Mathare Valley and the environs were trained in ICT and life skills.

ICT Training for Youth in MathareYouth Lifeskills Training

 

 

 

 

 

 


60 members of the Mathare Maji Mazuri Youth Group got access to peer mentorship, training, counseling and employment opportunities.

The Music Group of the Mathare Youth GroupYouth Mentorship

 

 

 

 

 

 

54 special needs, orphans and vulnerable children got special needs education, medical attention and loving care at the Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre.

We participated in the M-pesa Foundation #‎DoMore Project. Please vote for Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre here: http://www.m-pesafoundation.org/single-submission/?submission_id=OTM1

Your vote gives the children a chance to have a resident Occupational Therapist.

Birthday cakes courtesy of Valentine Cake HouseGiggs at a Physiotherapy Session in Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first Phase of the Community Centre in Mathare Valley is complete and is in use as rental space to raise funds for the next phase of the project. Part of the space is used by the Mathare Maji Mazuri Green Heroes, who started an income generating project at the Community Centre.

The GreenView Restaurant and Heroes Internet Cafe

Community Centre in Mathare, Front View RoomsHeroes Cyber Cafe Mathare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Maji Mazuri Farm grew food for the children and 1,400 trees were planted for environmental conservation.

Tomatoes growing at the farm2Tree Planting at Maji Mazuri Kiserian School

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for putting a smile on the faces of the children, and hope in their hearts.

Maji Mazuri Childrens Centre ChildChild at Maji Mazuri Childrens Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please vote for Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre!

Please click  here to support Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre, by voting for our proposal to the Mpesa Foundation ‪#‎Domore‬ Project. We submitted the proposal on Occupational Therapy for the mentally and physically challenged children at Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre.

Please also share this link with your friends:
http://www.m-pesafoundation.org/single-submission/?submission_id=OTM1

Funding of this project will mean that the children will have access to occupational therapy services all year round. Giggs

Update on Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre

The Children’s Centre has had a good mid year. Volunteers from Cambridge, United Kingdom were able to join the Maji Mazuri projects for a number of tasks from painting a mural in one of the Prevocational classrooms at the Centre, tutoring the Beneficiaries pursuing formal educational and assisting in the Special needs classroom, physiotherapy, general administrative tasks and general care of the beneficiaries.

Over the AugustNicholas School break, our very own Alumni Nicholas Oiko visited the Children’s Centre with his family; wife and two children, Nikita and Freddie. He was able to counsel and give a motivational talk to the children in regards to pursuing their education with determination hard work and taking up the opportunity granted to them by Maji Mazuri to the best of their abilities.

Nicholas remains a big motivation to the Children and is a hope of a better to life to come if they utilize the opportunities (education) presented to them well.

Nicholas, one of the first children to live in the Centre,  completed a degree course at Kenyatta University in English Literature.  Following successful operations, Nicholas was able to walk with crutches. He teaches at a High School in Khwisero, Kakamega County in Kenya.

Peter Njogu another counselor a former teacher was also able to give guidance and counseling and they asked a lot of questions regarding success which was symbolic of the children’s inner self drive to have a successful life which will see them be a beacon of hope for their families and relatives.

The August School break also saw two beneficiaries reconnected with their relatives/guardians.

The two have been in the Centre since the late 90’s and have not had access to their families nor relatives due to various circumstances in their lives. This is a big step towards Group photo reintegration and later on resettling with their guardians. The biggest success of it all is that they will have been rehabilitated and will have better opportunities than when they came to the Centre with both education and skills meaning a better all rounded individual.

Our Director Dr. Wanjiku Kironyo was also featured in Parents Magazine in an article Phenomenal Woman which shows that we are also being recognized for the work that we continue to do. This goes a long way to sensitize the public of the needs of People Living with Disabilities (PWDs).

The National Council of People with disabilities is now very vigilant in assisting in educational support of children with special needs. Friends of Maji Mazuri in the Facebook Group I Support Maji Mazuri Children’s Home continue to bring in new friends to the Centre which has gone along way to ensure our basic needs like food, utility bills, diapers are met. Sustenance of the vulnerable children like orphans and the mentally and physically challenged has continued to be made possible by you and I. Thank you for making a difference.

Maji Mazuri Community Centre

Phase one of the Community Centre Construction is complete.

Four rooms have been constructed. This rooms will be let to maintain the project as the next phase begins this month, which is construction of an additional upper floor to house the ICT training Centre and the youth office together with a stone wall perimeter fence as an additional security measure.

Maji Mazuri continues to fundraise for this project.

Update on the Maji Mazuri Projects in Mathare

Headstart Academy in Mathare Valley

The school has been progressing very well in its activities.The academic progress of all pupils is very good and teachers have been working tirelessly to maintain high academic performance for all pupils.Pupil in Class in Mathare

This has led to huge pupils’ population growth from 402 pupils in January this year to 538 pupils to date.

The growth has also been attributed to the impact of the school feeding program which ensures every pupil gets a meal in the school. This has also reduced absenteeism and improved the pupils’ academic performance.

On the other hand the growth has posed a challenge in the school’s ability to accommodate the increased numbers and even admit more pupils. The school building which is a storey building made of timber and iron sheets has been reinforced and needs to be constructed into a permanent structure, which will also be spacious enough for the growing numbers.

Pupils in Class in Mathare

This will create space for more classrooms and open opportunities to more children from the community to access education.

The school also greatly needs support to continue feeding these pupils. The rising cost of food is a challenge.

The extra co-curriculum departments are doing very well and pupils actively participate in sports, music and drama activities under the talent development clubs.

 

ICT Training Centre

ICT Training for Youth in MathareThe ICT Centre continues to offer opportunities to youth from Mathare valley and its environs in ICT skill training. Since January this year the training Centre has enrolled 140 youth for the training. The program empowers these youth with competent ICT skills and helps them connect to the formal employment opportunities.

During the training the youth are also equipped with life skills to enable them overcome other life challenges and socialize well with others. The training also incorporates entrepreneurship training to equip the youth with skills on how to start their own small business and run them successfully.

 

 

Mathare Maji Mazuri Youth Group

The youth group membership continues to grow, this is due to the impact of the group’s activities in the community, which has attracted more youth to join the group. The success of the Talent Development Clubs has also contributed to the huge growth of the group. The youth can now develop/sharpen their talents through the talent development clubs which have now been equipped with the necessary equipment and tools funded by MMUK.

The holistic nature of the activities in the group calendar of activities also attracts more members to the group. This is because the activities ensure a well-balanced empowerment program that has different activities such as capacity building, social skills training, life skills training, guidance and counseling, talent development as well as community service activities. The group currently has a membership of 70 youth.

Green Heroes

Green Heroes Clean upThe green hero’s team continues to work with the community in ensuring a safe and clean environment. The team carries weekly community clean up in the community where they sensitize the community on importance of keeping our environment clean as well as teaching the community on sustainable waste management methods.

The team highly appreciates the recent efforts by the National Government in engaging the National Youth Service and local youth in improving the sanitation situation in the slums. This is a great boost and achievement of the goal to have a clean healthy environment where the children can play and enjoy childhood without being exposed to numerous diseases.

The team is also in its final stages in setting up an income generating project to help generate income to support their activities. This will also create job opportunities for the youth and improve their livelihoods.

Teens Group

Teens Group in MathareThe Teens Group continues to mold young talent among the teenagers from Mathare. The team leaders identify talent in the teenagers and help them develop.

The group has attracted many members. There’s a current membership of 50 pre-teens and teenagers.

The teens are also taught life skills to help them overcome numerous life challenges they face in their lives. The program has made great impact in their lives, as seen through their high self-esteem and confidence.

Appreciation

Because of your support, Maji Mazuri continues to advance the mission of touching the lives of disadvantaged children and empowering them to change for the better. Your donations, prayers and support have continued to make this possible. Thank you.

Update on Maji Mazuri Kiserian Farm

Currently there are several activities going on the farm.

1. Tomato Farming

Tomato farming has been a successful activity at the farm. This season the farm produced a highly commendable yield.

Tomatoes at the Greenhouse Tomatoes at the Greenhouse in Kiserian Tomatoes Harvested at the Greenhouse in Kiserian Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

2. Bell Pepper (capsicum) Farming

Bell Peppers are also growing at the farm and currently being harvested.

Bellpeppers at the Farm Greenhouse Bellpeppers at the Farm fully grown Bellpeppers at the Farm

 

 

 

 

 

3. Livestock Farming

The farm has reduced the number of cows to a manageable number. The three cows now produce fourteen liters of milk per day. The farm also has rabbits, turkeys, geese and guinea pigs on small scale.

Cows feeding at the Farm Cow at the Farm Calf at the Farm

 

 

 

 

4. Vegetables, Hay Farming and Tree Planting

Student planting a tree at Kiserian School Pupil planting a tree at Kiserian School Hay Fence and Trees Planted

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other agricultural activities on the farm include hay farming, bananas and cabbage farming which is also still in its initial stage.

The Maji Mazuri Kiserian Schools Environmental Project: Maji Mazuri schools in Kiserian have partnered with Tour De Afrique to plant 1300 trees at the school, with the aim of conserving the environment and sensitizing the community on the importance of trees. The children at the schools, together with members of the Green heroes planted the trees and held talks on the importance of environmental conservation.

The children were excited about the project and gained better understanding of the roles the tree play in keeping the air clean, preventing erosion, providing shade and their role in the rain cycle.

Pupils at Kiserian School holding the TreeS Students and Members of the Green Heroes

My Journey with Maji Mazuri

George Okoth – Administrator, Headstart School

GeorgeI joined Maji Mazuri Youth Group in June 2012, as a member and became the chairman in 2013. In early January 2014 I was employed as an assistant administrator at Maji Mazuri Headstart Academy. To date I am fairing on well with my duties and obligations. I have gained a lot of confidence and social skills by working closely with different people. By taking on my roles seriously I have become more professional and responsible for myself and the people I relate with.

In the next few years I am very positive Maji Mazuri Centre International will rise as a National Leadership and Talent Hub for the youth. Due to the massive talent in the youth and leadership programs taught, many are going to be the next trend and pace setters of the nation. Hayawi

Update on Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre

Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre continues to get love from the society. In the first week of May the Milele group of Salons visited the Centre to Visitors to the Children's Centreshave, plait and groom the children. This was a great expression of love and the children enjoyed every moment of it. The children were also treated to a Pizza Fest for children with special needs. It was a fun filled day marked by games, music, and dance.

Two orphans from the children’s Centre were successfully admitted to high schools in various parts of the country.

Friends of the Children’s Centre also donated a year supply of diapers. Children's day out

Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre appreciates the generous giving by all the friends of Maji Mazuri who ensure that the children have enough supplies of food, clothes and other needs at the children’s centre.

The Physiotherapy Department in Maji Mazuri Children Center continues to improve day by day Thanks to The Catholic International Community. The department initially did not have enough physiotherapy equipment; the physiotherapy room is now more equipped to serve our children and special needs children from the community.

Wanjiku mentoring Students

Dr Wanjiku Kironyo, the Executive Director, has been hosting the children of Maji Mazuri during the school breaks for mentorship and counseling sessions. The children love the sessions and look forward to the two day camp during every school break.

Progress Highlight: The Sponsorship Program, supported by friends of Maji Mazuri locally and InternationallyGiggs at a Physiotherapy Session in Class has enabled children like Ryan, to turn their lives around.

Ryan joined Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre in 2013 for rescue, therapeutic exercises and academic activities. He has never let the challenges he had stop him. With the help of class activities the teacher introduced him to basic learning based on real objects, where he was able to identify different pictures and objects. Through rote method of learning, he now speaks and is also able to hold a pencil and scribble, hand paint, identify real objects and numbers. He is very joyous and expresses himself through the manipulation of various materials. His physiotherapy activities started in July 2013 and he is now able to joyfully move from the classroom to the open ground. Maji Mazuri appreciates your generous support towards the sponsorship program, which is making a lasting positive impact in the lives of the children.

Headstart Academy – A Real ‘Head Start’ to Life

 

070414_maji_mazuri-29Universally a school is an institution that equips individuals with skills and knowledge to help them cope with life struggles. Education is particularly crucial in Mathare Valley slum, is an informal settlement with a lot of challenges. In Mathare Valley parents take their sons and daughters to school with the hope that some education will help them secure employment in future and give them a better life.

Maji Mazuri Headstart Academy is an informal school in Mathare slums with a population of about 500 pupils from baby class to standard eight. Baby class is one of the stages in a child’s life that determines how the child will relate and cope with life. It can be fundamental in the determining a child’s future – a real head start to life.

Maji Mazuri Headstart Academy is a very unique institution compared to the other schools around Mathare valley. This is because it operates as a learning institution, feeding program and nurturing talent from a tender age.

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Maji Mazuri Mathare Youth Group

Maji Mazuri Mathare is a youth group based in the Mathare valley, along Juja road in Kenya. Maji Mazuri Mathare has partnered with Nairobits School of Digital Design and offers ICT courses to youth from Mathare slum as well as the less fortunate from the neighboring areas popularly known as “mitaa”. This training takes place during weekdays; Monday to Friday. On weekends the various youth groups have meetings and workshops in the facility to nurture skills and talent.

This group was initially started to unite, educate, empower the youth with good morals and help them learn how to become peace ambassadors. This good-will step was motivated by what Mathare was known for; high crime rate, prostitution, teenage pregnancies, petty crimes, drug and substance abuse and a lot of idleness among the youth. Maji Mazuri has played a big role in transforming Mathare slum as a whole through empowering youths since they are the leaders of tomorrow.

Power of 120 Minutes Picture1 LeadershipThe Mathare Maji Mazuri  Youth meet weekly; every Sunday afternoon from two to four o’clock. These meetings serve as an opportunity to gain skills to combat the difficulties we face as youths. They also empower us with general life skills such as  leadership, financial discipline, good decision making among others. 

Twice a year, the youth members meet and propose various activities to have then evaluate how the activities were as well as opportunities for growth and development. Some of the skills gained during our meetings are:

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Hard Work Pays

IMG- Joseph WambuaMy name is Joseph Wambua.

Currently, I am a member of Maji Mazuri. The organisation has been doing a lot of community development in my hometown which I am very proud of.

I am also  a salesperson, having graduated from the Kenya Institute of Supply Management in the year 2010 and also have a certificate in Computer applications. I have worked for Crown Paints Kenya for one year from 2012 to 2013.

When I was a student, from 2013 to 2014 I worked as a route salesperson at coca cola; juice center in Minute Maid, where I was a member of the Standards Institute of Supply and Management .

Working Smart

Tyson John OnyangoMy name is Tyson John Onyango. I am 25 years old and a proud Kenyan. I live in the West side of Nairobi in a place called Kangemi.

I am the last born in a family of two children. I follow in the footsteps of my eldest brother. I am a proud CPH (Certified Public Hustler) and this skills and traits developed during my early days in Heshima Primary School. This was later developed in high school – Parklands Boys High School. At this juncture I came to realise my talents which later became my hobbies. These are drawing, socialising, playing soccer and traveling.

Although I had all these talents and friends; high school was the worst part of my life. This was because at the time I was joining Form 1 my mother was unemployed and she was the sole provider of our basic needs. She was thus unable to pay my fees. Therefore all through my high school; life was unbearable but all the same God is good and he remains faithful. Amidst all that I was able to finish High School. Through all this I quickly adapted to the system of working smart and now I am an enterprenuer owning a movie shop called Flix Ent.

A Greener Environment by the Green Heroes

Just as the name depicts, Green Heroes is a project managed and coordinated by resilient and energetic young men and women of the Mathare Maji Mazuri Youth Group which is based in Mathare slums in Kenya.Green Heroes in Action

It was back in the year 2010 when the issue of a clean, green and safe Mathare community was the talk of the day and ways to combat the ever increasing garbage mismanagement in the slum ghetto.

This led to the creation of Green Heroes, a project that not just any human being would want to work in voluntarily. The project was then initiated in 2011 with a handful of youth members with the view of bringing up “mazingira safi mtaani” a Swahili phrase for a clean environment in the community.

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Hayawi – A True Definition of Talent

Hayawi is a Kenyan band from Mathare, Nairobi, formed in 2013 under the Maji Mazuri Youth Group. Hayawi is an extended portmanteau for the Hayawi performing at a functionwords Having- Your- Answers-Within.

The band currently consists of Leader Singer/ Guitarist- Kevin Ajode, Percussionist/ Back-up Singer-Maxmillan Lukale, Keyboardist-Sam Odera, Vocalist-Maureen Edung (Kim) and Back-up Bass/ Spoken Word-George Oluoch.

The group released its debut record ‘My Drive in Life’ in 2014 and is currently recording their second ‘A Butterfly in War’ – preparing for its release later on in 2015. The group is on its early development stages but appeals both locally and internationally.

On the international platform, the group has worked with renowned artists such as Nelleke Nijhuis (the writer of the book- My Drive in Life) and locally, it is an inspiration to many talented youths in Mathare with most of them starting to embrace their talents in different areas i.e. singing, drawing, rapping, dancing, modeling, sports among others.

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Wheels of Opportunity

One of the beneficiaries of the bicycle donationsMaji mazuri youth group is dedicated to working closely with the youth enhancing leadership skills, and nurturing various talents of the youth members.

Just recently in march 2015, the youth group had the honor of being given bicycles by – Tour De Afrique and wheels of Africa – one of the great friends of Maji Mazuri. This was the third donation in a row and has helped to impact lives of the youth in different capacities.

A group of about twenty youth were awarded bicycles.  These bicycles have helped tackle the challenge of transportation. Movement from one location to another can be a major huddle for the youth because of transportation costs particularly because some of the youth are still in school or seeking jobs.

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The Compounding Power of Compassion

A poor boy was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school. One day he found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.

He drank it so slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”

“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied.

“Then I thank you from my heart,” he said. As he left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but in his faith in God and man. He had been ready to give up and quit.

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The New Talent Programme Equipment & It’s Impact On The Youth & Talent Development.

Early this year, the Projects Coordinator of Maji Mazuri Projects in Mathare, Daniel Wambua announced in one of the Sunday meetings normally held at the ICT Training Centre that the group had received funds that will help develop in its various spheres of talent by acquiring new equipment.

The group has various clubs that focus on the promotion and development of  different talents. Three specific clubs benefited from the programme:

  1. Art Club
  2. Multimedia Club
  3. Poetry Club which also has a music band known as HAYAWI, an acronym for `Having Your Answers Within`

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Everyone can be great because everyone can serve

Billboard_Serve_Be_Great_Make_A_Difference
Have you ever wanted to give and do more, but weren’t quite sure how? When faced with a challenging situation or someone in trouble, do you want to be able to step up, take charge, and make a powerful, positive, and lasting difference? The truth is you can.

Greatness lies within you.

Every day the news is filled with people who call themselves leaders but who seem to be driven only by greed, ego, and selfish ambition. The world needs true leaders, selfless individuals who are committed to creating positive changes in themselves and others.

The ultimate definition of a true leader is simple: A true leader is someone who inspires others to become more of who they truly are. A true leader brings out the greatness that lies within each human being, and enables individuals to put that greatness into practice consistently. Leaders inspire themselves and others to do, be, give, and become more, creating more leaders in the process. When faced with challenges, leaders defy the odds, set a new standard, and step up and create the future as they see it. They lead themselves and others to make positive, lasting change. They serve.

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Maji Mazuri and mentorship

I’m Lilian Njeri Gachunji. I am the first of three children and come from the central part of Kenya.

I was raised in Nairobi where I pursued all my studies. During my high school years, I enjoyed playing volley ball, basket ball and lawn tennis. After graduating from high school, I enrolled for computer studies.Lilian

I briefly studied film production, before later enrolling in a college. I have thus far graduated with a diploma in nurse aid from Avenue homecare and I’m currently working at The Retreat limited as a nurse aid.

In 2012, I joined maji mazuri youth group and got fully engaged in the several mentorship programs and projects that the organization offers. Over time I have acquired skills in counseling, leadership, multimedia and film production.

My credits include best actress in a group documentary, the most active member of the group and being the employee of the month at The Retreat limited.

At the Retreat limited, I have also acquired skills with regards to the rehabilitation process and scaling a client before discharge.

I have recently enrolled for a short course to further enhance my knowledge and skills in my field of study.

Youth and Talent

George OkothBeing born and raised in Mathare slum, Maji Mazuri has transformed me positively in different aspects of life. My transformation from a shy boy with low self esteem to a confident and motivated young man has really made me outstanding in all the places I go. As the last born son in a family of nine members, it has always been my responsibility to care and protect my younger siblings due to absence of my older brothers who are in their homes.

My passion for writing music and voice over for documentaries has pushed me into learning about the camera basics, shooting clips, editing and photography as well. Some of my work is evident in the Maji Mazuri Youth Group Multi Media archive.

The favorite work of my hands is on Youtube “Against_All_Odds” by Oluoch Okoth. This video put me in the lime light and has motivated me to teach some of the interested members of the youth group about the camera.                    – George

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Maji Mazuri and ICT Training

My name is Monica Adhiambo Oyugi. I am 21 years of age born in April 1994. I’m the 4th born in a family of 6. I live with my dad in Nairobi Monica Adhiambotogether with my other siblings.

I went to Mathare Community Outreach School in Nairobi for two years then Rang’ala Girls Primary in Nyanza province which is still in Kenya. I proceeded to Ogande Girls High School then joined Nairobits Digital school (a youth based organization that uses ICT multimedia creatively to improve the lives of less privileged children and youth from the non-formal settlement) where I got developing and designing skills using programming languages.

Currently I am a free lancer. I develop and design Webpages of my own and work on other people’s too.

When free I love to act (theater), dance and spend time with my family and friends.

I’m enthusiastic, professional, and self-motivated, always looking forward to learn more and explore my skills all round. I amm humble, social, and love making new friends.

Green Heroes and Passion

Isaiah ochieng is a college student at the Kenya college of accountancy (KCA) university main campus at Ruaraka and currently taking a diploma course in information technology (IT). As an IT student Isaiah is good in programming and computer studies, he works as a warehouse assistant at School of Tomorrow Kenya and also helps in other IT solutions at work.

He also has a vast experience in working with young children and young adults as he facilitated them in some social skills in vocational camps that he helped to organize.Isaiah Ochieng

He finished his primary education in Mathare Community Outreach (MCO) primary school where he passed his final primary school examinations and was granted with a full academic scholarship to fund his high school studies.

Isaiah is also passionate about community work and is involved in a clean up activity in the community (that is mathare) that is speared by the Green Heroes. He served as the secretary of the Mathare Maji Mazuri Youth Group  in the year 2014 and is currently serving as the chairman of the youth group. He is a well rounded individual who lives with passion, devotion, dedication, and grace.

Maji Mazuri Youth Group’s Impact in My Life

Moses Owino is a creative designer. He has been designing professionally since 2012. He is competent in Web and Graphic design. He also does blog writing, and has worked with both local and international brands and currently working at Bean Interactive as the lead creative.
Enough of me talking about myMoses Owinoself in the third person. I have attained a diploma in web and graphic design from Nairobits Digital School of Design.
I’m interested in creative design, music, sports and fantasy literature and poverty eradication. Computer first appeared in my life when I was 20. At first I was just playing computer games, but later I came to realize that I could do a lot with the machine.

My inaccessibility to computers growing up was due to the fact that I came from a from a humble background. As the sixth born in a family of ten (five sisters and four brothers) in Eastleigh, my parents could not afford to take us all to colleges to partake courses.

All this changed when I joined the Mathare Maji  Mazuri youth group and was introduced to sponsored ICT training by their partner Nairobits where I developed my passion further. My vision and mission in life is trying to bridge the gap for the people from humble background by giving them biggest asset in life… education.

Past a fog of challenges to greatness

Kevin Ajode is an avid writer, poet and afro soul musician based in Nairobi, Kenya. Born twenty four years ago, he openly enjoys the world of creativity which is evident in his current work. Some of his poetry works have already been included in an upcoming book and his band is enjoying the pleasure of their music playing in Ajondea prominent radio station.

Currently, he works as an online writer and doubles up as the treasurer of Majimazuri Youth Group, a position he has held since 2013. His passion for environment drew him to join Green Heroes; an environmental project conducted by the youth group. The main goal of the project is to see a clean environment in Mathare slum and its environs.

Kevin has plans of initiating an art model due to start in four months time. In partnership with the organization V.O.C.A.L (voices of change all over), he plans to mentor youngsters with passion in music, drama, poetry and any other form of art that suits their ability.

In his free time he enjoys reading books, cycling, playing guitar and swimming. As the maxim goes… the sky is the limit, Kevin’s future is seemingly bright as he walks himself past a fog of challenges to greatness.

Scaling the Heights of Education

IMG_20150413_124618_0I am Rosemary Muthoni.

As the first born in a family of three and the only daughter of the family, I am accustomed to being around adults primarily. I grew up being always mature for my age even when together with my friends, at home and at school. I went to Warugara primary school where I did my K.C.S.E from and managed a B-. I joined Hiriga Girls for form 1 and 2. Later I joined Mayori High School for form 3 and 4. I am now at Mount Kenya University pursuing a journalism degree.

I grew up in a humble condition, and have been raised as a Christian. In my social environment, I always seek to understand and utilize my talents.

Being a member of the Maji Mazuri youth group has enhanced my talents and helped me to grow socially. My hobbies and talents include public speaking, debating, golfing, swimming and traveling. Also do a lot of writing including poems and articles. I am an avid reader and constantly seek to learn more new techniques. Success in my career would be the epitome of my achievements.

 

Shine a light

make a difference - Majimazuri - Shine a light DawnI grew up in a village that did not have electricity, and as children we dreaded the hour just before dark because it would be a long time before we would see light again. Incidentally this time is known as the golden hour in photography circles and as the magic hour in cinematography. Light always meant hope for us at the village, we felt safe, protected and energized.

One day while sitting in class in school the teacher came in with a list and called out names, asking those on the list to leave the school immediately and to not come back until all the school fees balances were cleared. One of the children who was on the list cried so hard that we all cried along, as we had seen her heartbreak each time she was sent home. She knew that there was no one at home to pay the required fees. That was the first time I experienced darkness in broad daylight, and the start of my walk towards community work. make a difference - Majimazuri - Shine a light

All around us there are children who need help, who need someone to shine a light and give them the golden hour, lest it becomes the start of a dark life.

That is why I signed up to volunteer at Maji Mazuri right after my college education, and is also the reason why 9 years later I still participate as Maji Mazuri shines a light in the lives of needy children who have no homes, or opportunities to go to school, children who are trapped in darkness waiting for us to shine a light.

– Janet Kabue

Maji Mazuri “Good Water”

make a difference - Majimazuri - kids togetherMaji Mazuri meaning good waters is not just an ordinary NGO. It’s an organization that is genuinely focused on doing “good” – from a good children’s centre to a good farm; good well wishers to good staff; good schools to good youth groups, the good that gets around is endless.

When I first stepped at Maji Mazuri as an employee, I looked at my work during orientation and thought solid professionalism should define my work. Over the period I have come to understand that working at this organization more than that. It is working for a good cause. This organization has given me a chance not just to grow my career, but also to grow in my heart of love and compassion, and give back to the society which brings out the “good” feeling in me.

I’m particularly passionate about Headstart CBO (a primary school) which has been good news not only to the organization as a whole, but also to the pupils and their parents/guardians. With its location in the slums of Mathare – Nairobi, its pupils have access to education at a subsidized cost and enjoy a meal during school hours. Seeing a smile on the face a beneficiary of such a project, who wouldn’t want to associate themselves with such a good cause?

make a difference - Majimazuri - kiserian I also get inspiration from Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre which accommodates vulnerable and special needs children. It has helped restore hope for the children through education and accommodation. There is this young girl who visits the Centre since her brother is one of the special children at the home. I have grown to admire her a lot. She comes around and just spends time with the special children; playing with them, moving them on wheelchairs and doing small chores.  Her actions are a constant reminder that no child’s merit should be determined by the way his or her muscles move, how his brain works or whether he or she looks and speaks in the way that people typically look and speak. She shows how these children with special needs can move people in the world to do good and make a difference in the world.

Maji Mazuri School and Farm in Kiserian are also a product of “good” support received from well wishers. This growth plan is aimed at supporting the other Maji Mazuri projects through food supply and providing education for the children.

Lifelong Learning Experiences at Maji Mazuri

by Rosenell Nyakinyua

Maji Mazuri has taught me a lot especially on fundraising. It is also so amazing to see people of diverse cultures and races give back to support a cause. It has been a lifelong learning process and the testimonies from the donors after giving are just amazing. I have heard not one but many instances of individuals and families who set out to give back to society and they say they are not looking back. Majority say that they have not lacked since they started to give back to society. It is a shared joy for all the participants; the children smiling, the giver and the organization at large as we get to impact on vulnerable people who would otherwise be on the streets begging. ‘A smile of a child is a hope that tomorrow will be better.”

One of the biggest joy in serving at Maji Mazuri is seeing a success story and looking back to see where the child has come from. For instance one beneficiary of Maji Mazuri children’s Centre by name Victor Ali is one such success story. He joined Maji Mazuri as a very shy boy always fearful and almost in tears daily and never giving you direct eye contact. He has been cared for, shown love and it has taken a lot of team work to get him to what he is today. Today he is a jovial boy schooling at Carnini Beehive School in Athi River and currently in Nursery school after graduating from baby class in the same school. Victor had been taught in a Special class setting at Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre and achieved a lot within a time span of only two years thus necessitating the need for him to graduate to formal learning.

About the writer

7As a young girl passionate about writing in early years the passion for reporting and telling stories became so profound that I thought of making a career from it. “What about being paid for something you love doing and do not tire as you do?” I asked myself back then. That was my main starting point and each and every day was a day to make myself better in writing coupled with reading a lot of story books, newspaper articles and over time novels.

Today as we speak I am a holder of the journalist of the year due to the story covered in the Kenyan TV station; K24 weekly series ‘Newsmakers’ as we covered an outstanding organization that believes in Making a Difference for the less fortunate by name Maji Mazuri with various projects spread all over Kenya. The project highlight was their rehabilitation works for the mentally and physically challenged. I am also a nominee for the upcoming Journalist of the year in 2014/2015 and I believe that this is the Year of Unlimited favour.

Besides work I enjoy watching movies, reading books and my main work out is either swimming or household chores and I am more of a DIY kind of a person, a people’s person who believes strongly in being humble, and a great listener.

Youth and Life

I am Donald Wafula Barasa born on a rainy day in June 1989 in Busia County, Kenya. I live in Mathare, Kenya with my parents and my two siblings.

Donald Barasa

I joined Moi Air Base Primary School in 1999. I struggled to learn Swahili and English which were contrary to my mother tongue that I was very conversant with. Later I joined Dagoretti High School in 2006 to 2009.

In 2012, I enrolled for a Diploma in IT at St. Teresa’s Information and Technology Centre and got experience in the job market. I joined the Maji Mazuri Youth group in 2010 and have been active in the youth’s activities to date. I am the Art club leader.

Life to me means friends and family who you can trust and who trust you.

2015 is my turning point in that I am working on plans to start a business and in the years to come I hope to be stable to be able to meet my needs. I also hope to see many youth members thrive in their endeavors.
I believe if you think it, it can be done.

Beginning With Self

Maxwell Kabue is an IT technician and freelance writer. He holds a Diploma in Business Information Technology and has been a writer for three years now. He acquired his diploma from Mount Kenya University. Currently, he resides in Kikuyu, Nairobi and works as an academic writer under an Academia Research account. Among others an area of experience includes teaching introduction to computer skills which he did voluntarily for a community-based organization at his rural home area. This was before relocating to Nakuru to pursue his career goals. He is also a member of the Maji Mazuri Youth Group.

Maxwell KabueMaxwell has always believed that societal development begins from self thus his vast interest in community based programs and leadership forums. For him these are a source of knowledge and skills which culminate in accelerated relative progression.

As a youth member, he believes in harmony as the prevalent way to help peers grow despite the different ethnic backgrounds and other predestined variations that act as barriers to development and substantial achievement. Apart from the professional writing, he also enjoys writing short articles on current affairs as a hobby and reading through blogs like Tech Ranker, Tech radar and others.

Maji Mazuri Youth Group & Opportunities

James Mwangi NAME: JAMES MWANGI MBUGO AGE: 23 YEARS OLD

I was born in a family of two my mother taking the whole role of raising us up. All in all we made due. My brother and I are independent folks in terms of catering our needs and bills. Currently I reside in Bahati Makadara – such a cool place to be. Our home church is not far away – I attend regularly.

I love being part of a community based youth group – Maji Mazuri where  I have built my social skills. Excelling and pushing for my dreams is something fundamental that I have held on to. That’s why I strive to polish my talents and skills.

These include: art type of writing and public speaking. I have a collection of my writings in my  diary by my bedside and share some in my twitter handle.

MY PERSONAL OBJECTIVE

To access wisdom and knowledge from the various aspects of life, both from my field of practice & interactive sectors. This will help reach a sustainable & reasonable life.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Was a secretary of Maji Mazuri youth group for two terms.
  • Also became their chairman for one term. This was a great experience that will help me on my growth path in life.

I spend my free time tweeting short poems and writing articles. Also love reading online articles & studying poems. Lately I’ve been reading bbc.com and poemhunter.com. Currently I am an entrepreneur. I like business. Also in the month of April I will be completing college where I studied hotel and catering. I hope to to continue this adventure  and achieve a lot in this life.  It is a competitive life. Thank you.

Life and Choices

My name is Befrey Musavi Barasa. I was born on 4th September 1990 at Pumwani maternity hospital in Nairobi. I was raised and schooled in Huruma estate Nairobi.

Befrey Musavi I attended Salama primary school.

I was a monitor from class six to eight of which I had the responsibility of securing school property by opening the door and closing it after school, ensuring there was order in class and keeping the teachers and pupils’ books organized. I attended Ndururuno Secondary School where I got introduced to new subjects that made it interesting. I also made great friends and have been social with my colleagues.

I believe that life is about choices. My choice was to attend Nairobits Trust where I did graphic and web design.  That has enabled me to acquire knowledge. I also made a choice to join Maji mazuri youth group that has enabled me to interact with my peers, build my self esteem, network and to enhance my leadership skills. I was the vice chair lady.

I want to further my studies get a degree in computer science, empower the community with my skills and train people to make them employable thus giving back to the community.

Update on Maji Mazuri projects, February 2015

Kiserian Projects

1. Maji Mazuri Kiserian Schools

Education and talent development is a strong focus at Maji Mazuri. Learning is ongoing at the Kiserian school. The primary school has a population of 101 pupils and the high school has a population of 26 students. 

Children in class at Maji Mazuri Kiserian Primary      Cupsicums in the Nursery

2. Maji Mazuri Kiserian Farm

Under the guidance of a farm consultant, there has been lots of activities ongoing in the farm.

Green House Growing: Of the two green houses one is currently growing tomatoes; the crop is a month old. Weeding is ongoing in this green house. The second green house has been prepared and cupsicums (“pilipili hoho’) will be planted in a week’s time.

Green house tomatoes growing      Cupsicums in the Nursery

Other activities include:

  1. Cows: The farm currently has three milk-producing cows and three calves. Grazing is regulated to just with Maji Mazuri land and zero grazing. Milk production is good and the cows are in good health. In addition, the cows make it possible for the pupils and students to learn practical agriculture.
  2. Hay: Made possible through funding by MMUSA and friends, Hay has been planted on three acres of land, partial fencing done and the rest of the fencing will be done over the next two weeks, this includes new fencing for the whole hay area and reinforcing the barbed wire fence of the whole project and replacing the worn poles.
  3. Banana farming is ongoing on a small scale.
  4. Farm animals: On small scale rabbits, geese, turkeys and guinea pig are also reared on the farm.

3. Planned activities

  1. General repairs on the fence and new fencing for the rest of the hay project.
  2. Ploughing of part of the farm meant for cupsicums and other vegetables.

 

Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre

Maji Mazuri Children's Centre studentsThe year started on a high note as the Children’s Centre had two new admissions to High School. As of 2015 the Children’s Centre has two form 4 (end of high school) candidates and four class 8 (end of primary school) candidates where we hope that they will do exceptionally well and join good secondary schools and tertiary institutions respectively.

One of the banks in Kenya by name CFC Stanbic bank funded a proposal of tiling the Kitchen and a badly worn out Special Needs Education classroom and went further to cover materials for painting the classrooms. Resource mobilization for the funds to cover labour for the painting is ongoing. The Water Services Trust Fund also funded painting of a Dormitory and one classroom and the children are now enjoying studying in a conducive classroom. The painting of animals on the walls also ensures easy learning for the students.

The children at the Children’s Centre and from the community continue to receive physiotherapy. Three children from the surrounding community who have been Physiotherapy ongoingattending the physiotherapy sessions had delayed developmental milestones and can now walk. The rest continue to improve and the parents are very appreciative of the services offered to the children. The Centre has admitted two new children who are also in need of special care. As part of rehabilitation measures the Children’s Centre involved an orthopedic surgeon to look into the needs of the physically challenged children and a few materials like Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis (KAFO) were acquired that could fit some of the children for effective rehabilitation. The surgeon also recommended that the home needs a regular occupational therapist to ensure full rehabilitation and empowerment of the children.

The children’s Centre will also receive rehabilitation equipment from the Association for People with disabilities through provision of Special seats courtesy of Water Services Trust Fund. This will go a step forward to ensure correct sitting posture and easy mobility of the children.

The Centre also donated wheelchairs to Thika Level 5 Hospital. The hospital expressed appreciation as they were in dire need of wheelchairs and has now offered partnership through provision of a regular physiotherapist and occupational therapist at a fee that is still being discussed.

The children were invited for a prom party courtesy of a neighboring children’s home. This was a good opportunity to shine, laugh, dance and interact with other children. The children also got swimming sessions courtesy of Kasarani Aquatic stadium and a cake each month to celebrate birthdays from Valentines cake house. This is a significant event since most of the children have not celebrated their birthdays before and also signifies celebrating their new lives full of hope for a better future.

education_program2      Quote Maji Mazuri Save the children -Sponsor a smile

The computer college gained full accreditation with the Computer Society of Kenya thus the students will be examined through the Organization.

 

Maji Mazuri Projects in Mathare

1. Headstart School

Child in Class at Headstart SchoolThe school has experienced huge growth and development in the past few years. The pupils’ population has grown from 254 pupils in January 2014 to the current 502 pupils in February 2015. This has been realized through better academic performance in the national examinations (KCPE) over the past years and our holistic nature of services which includes feeding program and talent development activities.

The feeding program has highly motivated many parents to admit their children in our school since they are guaranteed of a meal a day in the school. The program has also encouraged pupils to attend classes regularly which has translated to good academic performance in all classes. With almost 90% of all the pupils in the school coming from very poor backgrounds, these pupils look up to the one meal they get in school.

On the other hand the talent development program popularly known as the “Teenz group” has greatly helped in Headstart School Computer Lessonequipping these pupils with the necessary basic life skills to help them overcome numerous daily life challenges they are facing e.g. peer pressure, early exposure to drug abuse, early marriages, and domestic violence. The program has also made learning exciting by introducing various activities like singing and dancing, theatre groups, football games and other talent development activities which motivates pupils to attend school.

The school has also set up a small computer lab were pupils are introduced to basic computer skills. This motivates pupils a lot as they have the opportunity to gain computer experience at a tender age.

However, the huge growth has come with numerous challenges including increased staffing cost, high operational costs especially connected to the feeding program and limited structural facilities (class rooms) to accommodate the high pupils population as well as absorb more who are looking for admission. The current school facility which is made of iron sheets and a storey building made of timber needs reinforcement to accommodate the huge number of pupils. Steel reinforcement has been done as a temporary measure and this year we will be fundraising with the hope of starting construction of a permanent building in phases. This will also create more space to admit other pupils looking for admissions as we seek to widen Maji Mazuri’s impact in Mathare Valley.

 

2. Community Centre

Construction of the four rooms is in its last stages. Final touches are going on now and the full financial as well as the construction report will be availed after the contractor hands over the finished building to Maji Mazuri.

education_program2 Quote Maji Mazuri Save the children -Sponsor a smile

 

3. Youth Program

ICT Training Centre

ICT Training Centre ongoing classThe youth ICT training Centre which offers free ICT training to youth from Mathare valley and environs has also recorded huge growth in the past one year. Early last year Maji Mazuri increased the number of students per intake for both levels of training in order to create more opportunity for the youth and meet the high demand of the training in the community.

In level one where youth are taught among other things basic computer packages, basic design skill and entrepreneurship, the number of youth per intake from rose from 30 youth to 50 youth creating 20 extra opportunities. The training at this level takes 3 months and the ICT Centre trains 4 groups of 50 youth each totaling to 200 youth in one year.

In level two where youth are taught among other things comprehensive ICT skills, web development and design, Ongoing Class at the ICT Youth Training Centreanimation and other graphic designs we increased the intake number from 30 youth to 40 youth creating 10 extra opportunities. The training at this level takes six months and we are able to train two groups of 40 youth each year totaling to 80 youth in one year. After successful completion of the training the youth are fully equipped with competent skills to get jobs from corporate world as well as create their own jobs.

In total the training Centre graduates 280 youth from the community with competent and competitive skills to the market each year. It is a joy to see the youth securing good jobs with well know companies and others having started their own businesses and even created jobs for others.

However, the growth and the nature of our target group of vulnerable youth has brought some challenges. The growth has increased operational costs including electricity bills, water bills, internet bills and other utility bills. On the other hand our target group which are vulnerable youth from the community are only required to pay a minimal commitment fee which accumulatively is below the operational costs of the training Centre.

 

Youth Group Project

Youth Group Retreat at the CoastThe youth group is doing very well in the implementation of their activities. The membership of the group has continued to grow with current membership of 60 youth. The youth have grouped themselves in talent development clubs where they nurture their talent and support each other. These talent clubs include music and poetry club, art and design club, multimedia club and drama club. The clubs helps members sharpen their talents/skills while the group at large creates a platform for the members to build their confidence.

The music club has already recorded a song which has penetrated in local radio stations and they are currently working on producing another song soon. The clubs got a big boost when Maji Mazuri UK team funded a recent proposal to buy basic equipments for the talent clubs. The equipments have already been bought and the youth are highly excited in the clubs activities.

Last year in September the youth launched the first ever motivational resource book titled “MY DRIVE IN LIFE” which has motivational stories of youth members in ourYouth Group Weekly Meeting group. The book aims at motivating other youth to keep positive no matter what challenges they are facing. The book was compiled by Nelleke from Netherlands who interviewed the youth and compiled the stories together in a book. This was a great achievement for the group for being the first group to launch a motivational book in the community.

However, the group also faces numerous challenges in their operations including funds to finance their activities, funds to support their needy members for trainings and scholarships and funds to buy necessary equipments for implementation of their program.

 

Green Heroes 

Green Heroes Cleaning the CommunityThe green heroes’ project has continued to receive over whelming support from the local community. The group continues to carry their weekly garbage collections in the community as well as educating the community on importance of a clean and safe environment. This has grown their client base to about 200 households in the community. Through the group activities the community members are now more responsible for their environment and appreciate leaving in a clean environment.

In last year May the group invested the 3 million world environmental day prize in the Old Mutual Money market fund. The fund now generates small income which the group utilizes to fund some of their activities. However, the income generated through this investment is very small and the youth are planning to invest part of this money in several business ideas which will create jobs for some members and also generate profits to support the youth activities.

The group needs more protective gear during their clean ups and equipments to carry their activities e.g. wheel barrows, spades, rakes and carts.

 

Appreciation

We are very grateful to you, friend and supporter of Maji Mazuri, none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you for touching a life.

 

Staff Highlights:

Daniel Wambua – Project Coordinator, Maji Mazuri Mathare Project

Daniel Wambua, Mathare Projects CoordinatorI joined Maji Mazuri in 2004 as a beneficiary in one of the projects. After finishing my high school education I volunteered at Maji Mazuri children Centre Kasarani   in 2009 while I attended college studies sponsored by Maji Mazuri. In 2010 Maji Mazuri employed me as administrative assistant at Headstart academy. I am now the Projects Coordinator of all the Mathare Projects.

Being part of the organization has given me a wealth of experience, knowledge   and skills in my career. This has developed my self-confidence and taught me how to work in a team. The organization has also developed me to the person I am today since I joined it as a young boy.

I see Maji Mazuri as an icon in the community that other organizations look to as an example to emulate. I am inspired by the organization’s grassroots focus, with local initiatives that have national and international impact. My future plans are to initiate sustainable projects which will continue to make a difference and impact the lives of the young ones and the community at large.

www.majimazuri.org. mmc@sedsmmc.org. +254722466971. Find us @majimazuri on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

Give a gift. Change a life.

It’s that time of the year when people start looking for quick ideas on tax deductions.

One question that often comes up is, “How can I get a tax deal for charitable giving?”

We invite you to consider writing a check to Maji Mazuri. There are obviously rules, restrictions and limits that apply, but basically, documented donations offer a dollar-for-dollar income tax deduction. Make a tax-deductible gift that helps save lives. Your gift today is so important!  When you give, you give dignity, childhood opportunity, health, education, time, jobs, hope, equality, life and so much more.

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Thanksgiving

It’s that time of the year when we stop to give thanks and count our blessings.

We are thankful to our donors and  volunteers for your selflessness in both time and money, without which our initiatives would not have been such a success. Through your generous support, a child’s future is brighter, a family’s meal is secured, a tree will grow making our environment a little greener and a life will be transformed.

As you begin to finalize your plans for the Thanksgiving holiday, we invite you to partner with us and make a difference. Come together with your family this Thanksgiving to donate to a cause, and extend your table all the way around the world.

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for your trust and faith in us. We look forward to another great year serving with you.

Gobble, gobble!

Utumishi kwa wote (Service to all)

Do a little big thing to make a difference. Volunteer.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

No matter who you are or where you’re from, everyone has the power to do something that improves the life of another. Whether it’s pledging to help one person or working on a project that benefits a whole community, every contribution makes a difference.

The spirit of service has been pivotal in the success of some of the most generous philanthropists of our time such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and George Mitchell. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Maji Mazuri gives us all a chance to play a part through volunteering. There are plenty of ways each of us, irrespective of our bank account balance, can make a difference as huge as, if not more, than that of the philanthropists mentioned above.

You can contribute your time, talent, expertise and even love through Maji Mazuri.

Using your talents to volunteer not only makes you a better person, it will take us a step further towards a better society and a better world. Serve someone today and volunteer at Maji Mazuri.

 

Sponsor a smile

Maji Mazuri Academy, located at the heart of Mathare slums, has brightened the hope of a future for Mathare’s children through its education program. With your generous donations, sponsorship and support, children born in this poverty and violence stricken area now have a chance to smile.

education_program2      Quote Maji Mazuri Save the children -Sponsor a smile

Mathare Valley slum has an estimated 70,000 children, with only 3-4 schools to educate them. Educating these children and empowering them with knowledge, saves them from a life of crime and prostitution and gives them a chance to better their lives and their community.

An ariel view of Mathare slum

An aerial view of Mathare slum

A hopeful smile from one of Maji Mazuri's beneficiaries.

A hopeful smile from some of Maji Mazuri’s beneficiaries.

 

 

 

 

70% of the world’s out-of-school children are girls. In Mathare Valley, some girls end up in prostitution at the age of 9 and some boys become drug runners at the age of 5, because there is not enough food at home. For many, education is not even a distant dream. These children deserve better. They deserve safe environments, quality education, and support that allows them to realize their full potential.

You can make a difference.

Donate now and sponsor a smile.

Celebrating 30 years of Service

Since 1984 Maji Mazuri has touched over 250,000 people.

We are incredibly proud of and humbled by this milestone, and more excited than ever to see how the continual evolution of our giving can positively impact communities, not just locally but globally.

What began as a simple idea has evolved into a powerful model helping address need, and also advancing health, education and economic opportunity for women, children and entire communities.

This year, we’re thrilled to be celebrating 30 years of service. To commemorate this significant event, we are making limited edition T-shirts in assorted styles and colors.
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The Human Race

by Alison Wachtel

We ran in a half marathon to raise awareness and funding for the beautiful and dynamic Maji Mazuri organization. Our focus was to find sponsors for 96 children. Luisa Frias graciously donated her time to design t-shirts for us to wear in the race. And so, the morning of the half-marathon we donned our Maji Mazuri t-shirts, and we were off to the races!

It felt inspiring to wear the Maji Mazuri emblem over my heart, and to have the message of “Running for the Lives of 96 Children” on our backs. That’s what we have-or what we try to have, their backs… As we were running it struck me how many fellow racers had a shirt with an emblem across their hearts and a message on their backs: Childhood cancer, childhood diseases, schools, projects, in memorandum of a loved one, celebrating a survivor of a horrific disease…So in those miles, what I found most beautiful, was the collective energy of all these people running for the betterment of our society, our world. No matter what they were running for, they were running for someTHING or someONE. And that to me was breathtaking. This was the Human Race.

When I went to Nairobi, all those years ago, and I saw the disparity between the rich and the poor, that too was breathtaking. The wealthy were driving on paved roads in their Range Rovers- windows rolled up, heads straight, eyes on the road. And directly next to them, walking in the dirt aside the road, were children, without shoes, playing with sticks in ragged clothes. The drivers of these fancy cars took no notice to all the children around them…Or did they?

Recently I went to a women’s conference organized by Marianne Williamson, where we discussed social and political issues facing our generation and our nation. One of the main focuses was a discussion regarding children living in poverty, right here in our great nation. And this is when I started to squirm in my seat. The rise of children living in poverty has sky-rocketed here in this country. Children living in my town, right under MY nose & meanwhile I get to drive in my cushy-cushy car where my universe is contained, and at the push of a button my ass gets warmed. So this squirming in my seat was good for me, you see? This injustice exists in our country too. It’s not a problem that’s just, “Over there.” It is Right here in my town. It’s in your town. And worst yet, it’s growing. We may not see the children but they are here- they are suffering, they are cold, they are hungry, they are scared. This too is the Human Race. This is the shadow side.

This disparity between the rich and poor exists, it is striking & the WORLD needs healing. Only when we are aware to a problem can we give rise to a solution. To shine a light on it, even as hard as it is to look at “it”, brings about an awareness to its existence. WE do this so we may come to the conclusion, THIS is injustice. THIS is inhumane. WE need to change our mindset at how we view the poor, especially the children. NO Child should go to bed hungry. Ever.
WE the people just had another election. A very contested election season that lasted FOREVER with a total of FOUR BILLION dollars spent to fund essentially two parties. I like to think of how those billions of dollars could have been better spent, especially for our children and education… Jeffrey Sachs, world famous economist, director of The Earth Institute, professor at Columbia University, and author of The Price of Civilization, as well as, The End of Poverty, touts, if countries acted globally we could end poverty now. Poverty could end with this generation. This economic philosophy is not to simply continue safety nets, but to provide concrete opportunities to end the vicious and systematic cycle of poverty.

When we finally realize we are in this “thing” together, when we see the best in each other, when we exercise our voices and truly listen, when we practice the art of compromise, when we are lifting our neighbor UP instead of tearing them down, when we STOP judging and START feeling, when we act with our hearts and souls attached to our minds rather our pocketbooks, when the bottom line is people and not money– we are then the collective human race. And a collective human race can eradicate poverty here in my town, there in your town and around the world. It is the choosing to SEE the ugliness of our society and to ACT to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Every day we get the choice to choose what kind of person we are going to be. Every day you put on a shirt with an emblem across your heart and a message across your back. It is your choice if your message is positive or negative. My message to you is this, “Be the Change you wish to see in the world.” This was stated and lived by Gandhi. My hope is, your message is a positive one. You matter. You make a difference. And so do those living and suffering below the poverty line. No matter where they live, and no matter how they got there. We are ALL God’s children.

Green Heroes nurturing nature

Join Maji Mazuri Green Heroes in a quest for a clean environment.

Maji Mazuri’s green initiatives seek to use fun and unique avenues to reach out people in communities such as Mathare to improve the quality of life and make a difference. The Green Heroes actively clean up the environment in Mathare, demonstrating that we can take decisive action to heal the environment. 

We can each heal our environment by partnering with the Green Heroes in different ways such as donating funds to purchase equipment, sensitize the community and provide employment for the youths who volunteer in these Green Initiatives. Individually, we can also mind the ways in which we contribute to the ecosystem in general. For instance, we can all take a conscious step to avoid littering.

“It’s the little things that citizens do that will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.” – Wangari Maathai

Let us borrow a leaf from Wangari Maathai, Nobel peace prize winner, Kenyan social activist and environmental crusader, to do something, however small, in service to the environment and in turn, in service to our future generations. 

The first step can be as simple as pledging to stand with the Green Heroes in their heroic activities. Pledge to be a Green Hero.

Maji Mazuri 2014 Picture Highlights

Thank you for your tremendous support as we empower the beneficiaries of the project and strive to make a difference. Your contributions are vital to this work. We remain as deeply committed as ever to promoting the dignity of the people we serve, and appreciate your support!

Celebrating the Green Heroes

Maji Mazuri would like to celebrate the Green Heroes for their outstanding work in cleaning the environment.

The Green Heroes’ journey started in 2011 at Mathare Valley and is set to positively influence the green economy far and wide. The Green Heroes have purposed to transform Mathare valley through scheduled garbage collection and cleanups in the area. The results of Green Heroes’ efforts are evident from the cleaner streets at Mathare and more informed and hygienic activities carried out by the people living at Mathare Valley.

“…Mimi, mambo na mazingira naona ni muhimu kwasabau once umeenda ukachukua zile takataka uka zi recycle, una earn money…” – Member of the Green Heroes
Translation: “Matters to do with the environment are important to me because I can collect garbage and recycle them to earn money” – Member of the Green Heroes

The achievements from this vibrant youth group are far from small. In 2012, the Green Heroes won the United Nations World Environment day Challenge for organizing a communal cleanup day, a football match and a discussion on Green Economy in which over 2000 people were mobilized. They also received literature to educate them on environment conservation to help them in sensitizing their family friends and neighbors on the importance of a clean environment.

Here is a video that illustrates what motivates the youths of Green Heroes to clean the environment.

You can support the Green Heroes by donating or volunteering in any way to help them achieve even bigger dreams.

April-May Update

We are pleased to present the April- May 2014 photos. We hope you will enjoy this overview.

Thank you for your tremendous support as we empower and rehabilitate the beneficiaries of the project for a brighter more fulfilling tomorrow. Your contributions have been vital to this work. We remain as deeply committed as ever to promoting the dignity of the people we serve, and we look forward to working with each of you!

We appreciate all you do to ensure we move the project to greater heights and to enabling us build the nation the best way we can!

Yours,

Rosenell Nyakinyua,
Project Coordinator,
Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre, Kasarani
P.O BOX 45603-00100, G.P.O Nairobi
TEL: +254 716 179 304
www.majimazuri.org

Maji Mazuri March Update

Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre Partnerships

picture_596x290Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre gave a platform to 7 students from Kenyatta University studying Theatre, Arts and Technology to shoot a documentary. The documentary covered the daily running of the Centre and will be used as a tool of creating awareness on the needs of the children. This year the Children’s Centre has also had three students from various Universities and colleges volunteering at the Centre to get on the job training. All have committed to be ambassadors of the home in their learning institutions.

Maji Mazuri would also like to thank Ian Mbugua and the Brookhouse School BTEC Music Class for their support. The class composed a song that will be used in Maji Mazuri promotional videos.
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Maji Mazuri’s February 2014 Update

 

Commissioning of a new classroom

Aziz Arrouchdi & friends fundraised to have a much needed classroom built at the Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre ahead of the Centre’s plan to offer Special Education Training to the community as a course. Maji Mazuri thanks Aziz and the Netherlands community of friends who supported this venture.

The classroom will go a long way in easing and aiding the special needs children quest for vocational training and also bridge the need for the proposed Maji Mazuri Institute slotted to begin operations in the third quarter of the year.

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Maji Mazuri’s January 2014 Update

Dear Friend,

Happy New Year and greetings from Maji Mazuri! We thank you as we continue in this journey together.

In November and December 2013, students from the Maji Mazuri Schools sat for the end of Primary School education examinations, which prepare them for high school. Maji Mazuri is happy to report that the students performed well as follows:

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Education is opportunity

Education makes a world of difference.

Give Education - Opportunity

1.8 million children lives in sub-Saharan Africa could have been saved in 2011 if their mothers had had at least a secondary education.

As the education level of the population increases, it enjoys better health, lower birth rates, increased life expectancy, higher per capita income, the ability to participate in our global economy and increased gender equality. Given that the positive effects of education persist across so many standard indices of quality of life, we along with many others, firmly believe that investment in an individual’s education is the most effective way to help them in the long-run. An education and a thirst for knowledge can never be taken away, and by providing an individual with the skills, tools and desire to help themselves, they can affect positive change for the rest of their lives

Investment in education sets an entire country’s path towards a brighter future, and most nations in the developing world have set goals for expanding access to education; we are here to play what role we can in making access to education universal. The following is a list of benefits of education:
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Our Story

Maji Mazuri, which means “good water” in Swahili, is a social economic development program based in Kenya. Founded by Dr. Wanjiku Kironyo in 1984, the organization is composed of 4 interrelated programs: Education & Talent, Economic Empowerment, Community Development and Mental & Physical Health. The programs seek to address the root causes of poverty and focus on alleviating poverty by empowering people to transform their own lives.

The program was initially developed to help women and children in Mathare Valley, the second largest slum in East Africa. Mathare is a desolate place. People live in abject poverty with no functional utilities; no clean water, no sewage system or electricity. They live in shacks made of mud, bits and cardboard and rusty corrugated iron. Crime is rampant and the streets are permeated with drugs, prostitution and a lethal brew of illegal alcohol called Chang’aa. Over 90% of the households are headed by single women, many of whom have been in abusive relationships and now engage in these illicit activities to survive.

Wanjiku Kironyo, a family marital therapist, set up office in Mathare Valley and began counseling women. Many of the women suffered from severe depression and other psychological syndromes caused by helplessness, hopelessness, single parenthood and the struggles in this impoverished setting. In addition to counseling, Wanjiku realized the women needed economic empowerment and began to help them organize into small economic groups, a prelude to the Mavuno Micro Enterprise Networks later established by Maji Mazuri.

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Maji Mazuri Mission

Maji Mazuri is a non-profit organization that seeks to address the root causes of poverty and focuses on alleviating poverty by empowering people to bring about change in their own lives.

Maji Mazuri means “good water” in Swahili. The social economic development program is based in Kenya. Founded by Dr. Wanjiku Kironyo in 1984, the organization is composed of 4 interrelated programs: Education & Talent, Economic Empowerment, Community Development and Mental & Physical Health.

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Terrorist Attack on West Gate

Greeting from Maji Mazuri Centre International (MMCI) Kenya.

You’ve probably heard by now about the terrorist attack on West gate on Saturday 21st September 2013.
MMCI at the moment has verified that all its staff and beneficiaries are well and fine but psychologically affected by the attack which has resulted into 62 people dead, and 175 people injured. More than 1,000 people were rescued according to officials of the Kenyan Government.

We wish to inform you that the situation has taken three days and it is being managed by a combined elite team of the Kenyan Armed Forces. We believe that the threat have been neutralized and will soon be over.

We joined the entire country and globe in support as follows: a few members of staff and youth in Mathare donated blood, and a donation of two thousand shillings. Individual members of staffs and beneficiaries might have donated more to the West gate Attack Fund. The entire community of MMCI offered prayers.

The nation is in prayer and we wish to request you to remember us and the whole nation in prayers. We also seek prayers to help in controlling such attacks not to happen to any person and country.

Thank you so much for your numerous empathetic inquiries on the well being of members of staff and the beneficiaries of Maji Mazuri. We truly and sincerely appreciate your concern.

May the Almighty God enrich your lives eternally. God bless!

Warmest regards,

Wanjiku Kironyo
Executive Director
Maji Mazuri Centre International

Provide Educational Pathways Out of Poverty

In the developing world, school fees as little as $150 per year keep 115 million young people from continuing their education and realizing their immense potential. A quality education can expand employment opportunities, lead to better health outcomes, and strengthen communities.

When Wanjiku began her work with women in Mathare Valley in the early 1980s she was confronted with the concerns they had about their children and youth. Youth in the slum have very little access to proper primary education and are at risk of becoming involved with crime or prostitution from a very young age.
Growing up in a marginalized environment with very few opportunities to build a life outside crime has contributed to a generally poor self image among these youth. They don’t believe they are able or deserve to have a life unmarked by dire poverty. Lack of hope and low self-esteem make these youth highly susceptible to peer pressure, which often leads them to a path of crime, drugs or alcohol addiction and prostitution.

Maji Mazuri initiated a youth program to provide youth with life-skills training, educational outings and counseling. Through this program Maji Mazuri youth have been able to discover and develop their talents and learn leadership skills. They have also gained exposure to people, knowledge and new environments. All these have enabled them to develop a positive self image. Many have become role models, mentors and community leaders and are now in a position to give back to the younger Maji Mazuri members.

In the course of the years, the youth program grew into an extensive education and talent program encompassing different ages (with separate groups for teenagers, adolescents and young adults) and both formal and informal educational pathways.

There are 3 main projects in the Education and Talent Development program:

Head Start School – The Headstart Project serves dual purposes of providing children with beginning education and a safe environment in which to stay while their parents are working. It primarily serves those individuals involved with the Micro-Enterprise project, who would otherwise be forced to leave their children at home unattended.

Teens and Youth Groups – The teens group was started to explore the talents of the children in Mathare Valley and redirect their talent in a positive way through creative arts, card-making, songs, drama and presentations to local churches and the community. The Teenz group is an entry point to the Youth group which they can join when they complete their primary school education. The youth program provides life skills training and an opportunity to develop leadership. They gain valuable skills such as technology as well as self-respect, co-operation, initiative, vision for the future, career development and deeper insight into themselves and the world in which they are growing.

Kiserian School – The school was created in Kiserian to enable the children of the local Maasai community, which is plagued by HIV / AIDS, to gain an education in order to lead healthier lives. The school has also initiated a boarding facility for marginalized children and a high school for girls.

Colleen Mast shared this lovely message on Facebook:

“I’ve been a yearly sponsor to an orphan for awhile now and have to say its one of my few but most important commitments I feel I’ve ever made. I thank Bill and Marina Shaw for introducing me to this incredibly hard working, selfless and beneficial charity. I hope more people will join me in contributing to their immense effort not only for the one child that will be transformed by their contribution, but for their own self transformation that naturally occurs from selfless acts. In gratitude to all those who I never thank but who are out there doing the work, thank you and may we all lift each other up as we are lifted. Co “

Contribute to support this program. Together we will create a program that nurtures capacity, leadership and talent through education which enables well-informed, inspired, global critical-thinkers.

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Head Start School Celebrates Outstanding National Examination Results

The Maji Mazuri Community, staff, teachers, students and parents gathered at Headstart School to celebrate the good examination results of the School’s ever first candidate class 2012.

The  School, based in Mathare  has grown from a day care to a storey school that hosts close to 300 students, we had our first candidate class this year, and the results were impressive, considering the fact that the students study amidst tension, violence and lack of basic amenities in their homes. The first student scored 351 out of 500 marks.

Click here to see the event pictures on Facebook.

New Kitchen at Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre

On the 18th of January 2013, the new kitchen at the Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre was officially opened. The kitchen construction was funded by UNIASC, Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation and the Trangnguen Family.

The former kitchen was made of iron sheets and was not spacious. This new kitchen has a dining area for the children and they love it.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed towards making this project a reality.

Click here to see the pictures.

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Maji Mazuri’s Appeal to You

Greetings from the Maji Mazuri Centre International (MMCI) – Kenya Family.

We would like to first thank you for your continued support over the years. We are grateful to you, because you have frequently provided funds and support in many ways, which has enabled Maji Mazuri to transform the lives of people in poverty on a massive scale since 1984.  Your financial assistance helps Maji Mazuri Kenya provide food, shelter, education and empowerment to our beneficiaries. In addition, The funds have frequently supported the three MMCI programs at the Kasarani Children’s Centre, Mathare and Kiserian, paying utility bills and the salaries for the service givers i.e staff.

MMCI appreciates your financial assistance and the value you add to the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of transforming the community through better livelihoods and sustainable development. When we change a life, we change the world.

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FP_Maji Mazuri Commitment to Women and Children

Our Commitment to Women and Children

Little research has been done to understand how investments in girls impact economic growth and the health and well-being of communities. This lack of data reveals how pervasively girls have been overlooked. For millions of girls across the developing world, there are no systems to record their birth, their citizenship, or even their identity. However, the existing research suggests their impact can reach much further than expected.

Continue reading

classtime at Headstart

5 Great Reasons To Make A Difference With Maji Mazuri This Year!

It’s 2013! Kick off the year right by being a change maker. Starting a fundraising campaign to alleviate poverty by helping people transform their own lives. It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s the best way we can think of to start the new year. Your support in 2013 can really make a difference.

Donate in honor of your Valentine and change someone’s life.

#1 HOPE CHANGES EVERYTHING. 

Hope dramatically improves quality of life. Maji Mazuri means good water, but for over 25 years,
and to over 1000 participants a day the community represents hope, an oasis in the midst of strife.
Maji Mazuri seeks to address the root causes of poverty. By providing programs and tangible tools
Maji Mazuri alleviates poverty by empowering people to bring about change in their own lives.

#2 100% OF YOUR DONATION GOES TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE. 

Private donors pay for our operating costs so you don’t have to. 100% of every dollar you give
directly funds project costs which include education & talent development, conflict resolution,
economic empowerment, micro finance, community outreach, green initiatives and awareness
on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as assisting orphans and
children with special needs.

#3 JUST $20 CAN GIVE ONE PERSON A LIFE. 

That’s right, $20 is all it takes to help one person – one entrepreneur start a business
or one child get an education for a month. That’s the price of two movie tickets or a DVD.
And $100 can help an entire family.

#4 YOU’LL KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES. 

After we send your money to the field, we’ll report back and let you know exactly what
your donation was used to do.

#5 YOUR GIFT IS FULLY TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. 

Still not convinced? Maybe this will help: Maji Mazuri USA (EIN # 201871180) is a
registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Now is the time to take action! We need your help.

If you don’t have money give your time. Volunteer or follow us on Twitter and share your messages @majimazuri. You can like Maji Mazuri on Facebok to stay up to dates with what’s up at Maji Mazuri and share opportunities to make a difference with your friends. Have you shared yet? How about forwarding this email right now? 

Let’s use the power of the Web to positively influence the lives of people everywhere.

Great energy sent out will always come back to you tenfold.

Warmest regards,

Wanjiku Kironyo

Save the Children with Special Needs

Maji Mazuri changed my life.

While volunteering there, I was able to work with adults and children with disabilities. In particular, I met an eight year old boy named William.

Volunteer - save the children MajimazuriWilliam lives and goes to school at Maji Mazuri’s Children Center, and has some significant disabilities. William is the reason why I came back to the states with a new career path. I am now currently in a graduate program for Special Education for students who have severe needs.

William taught me a lot about education. Mainly, that even with significant needs, a language barrier, and an utter lack of adequate school resources learning is possible. William wanted to know about the world he lived in, and I was ready to teach him. In the short three months I was there, William amazed me everyday.

Without Maji Mazuri, I fear for the life my William would have lived. The thought of it hurts my heart, and to know there are other children out there, like William, who don’t have Maji Mazuri, keeps me up at night.

I came home to Southern California with a passion for teaching kids like William, and now I can say my life truly means something. I owe Maji Mazuri for leading me in the direction of truly making a difference. I know I’ll be back, and I know I’ll see my William again, but until then there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him or Kenya. It stole a little piece of my heart and I will be forever grateful for that.

Maji Mazuri Childrens Home is a safe haven for mentally and/or physically challenged children, as well as children orphaned by parental loss from AIDS.

Maji Mazuri Childrens’ Home is a safe haven for mentally and/or physically challenged children, as well as children orphaned by parental loss from AIDS. They receive 24-hour care, rehabilitation, medical services and specialized education. The center has an Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist, who give therapy to the handicapped children helping them gain use of their limbs and muscles. Special education teachers handle their academic needs. As a strategy towards self sustenance, the children are also trained in communication skills, small business management, beadwork and art & craft. There is a long waiting list of children who need these services in the community. Maji Mazuri believes, teaches and advocates that disability is not inability!

Currently the project is at an expansive phase that needs your support in the following areas:

  • Medicine
  • Physiotherapy equipment
  • Rehabilitation sponsorship

Pledge today to support a child with special needs.

Green Heroes in Action

The Mathare Maji Mazuri Green Heroes emerged as winners of the World Environment Day Worldwide Challenge.
Part of the regular activities of the Mathare Maji Mazuri Youth Group, MMMYG are clean ups. This unique project was introduced by the youth of MMMYG in 2011. On weekly basis they collect the garbage of 100 house holdings in the community. The youth collect not only the garbage but they also offer service by clean ups of several dumpsites in Mathare and clearing of trenches.

Green Heroes is designed to benefit the community of Mathare on different levels:

Youth undertake a positive activity every Saturday morning and seek to serve as role models to other youth of Mathare:

  • Creating job opportunities to the youths of Mathare valley. (see information below: Future Plans of Green Heroes)
  • The environment is cleaned by clean ups, collecting and transporting garbage besides the recycling programs (see information below: Recycling and Briquettes)
  • The community of Mathare is sensitized for the importance of a clean and safe environment

Recycling

Green Heroes emphasizes on the environment through the regular clean ups of the major dump sites, the garbage collecting and a recycling project. Youth separate metal, paper, plastic as part of their Income Generating Activity (IGA). For now this part of the project is still in progress.

The objective of Green Heroes is to expand this project to a higher level. They are planning to make the community aware of the value of garbage. Their idea is to collect not only the garbage but also materials like metal, paper and plastic from the house holdings of Mathare. With a weigh scale they offer individuals small motivation fee to separate the materials. By collecting these in large numbers, another IGA is born for the youth.

Briquettes

Briquettes are made from charcoal dust and paper and burn a significant amount of hours in comparison to the regular charcoal and wood which is used in Mathare. Youth from Green Heroes will be trained in the next 2 months of fabricating briquettes. Selling points will be created in the community of Mathare. It will profit the environment as part of a recycling project; next to minimize the expenditure for individuals or businesses.

Future plans Green Heroes

Green Heroes are making a difference in the community of Mathare Valley | Nairobi Kenya. To maintain this project the following challenges are met and in need of funding:

Employment of the youth

Youth of Green Heroes are till this day working every Saturday morning on voluntary basis. Part of the profit of Green Heroes is spent on buying lunch for the youth as a motivation fee. To make sure this project will maintain long term, employment of youth is a priority.

Every 3 months 5 youth (3 youth from Maji Mazuri and 2 youth from Mathare) are employed for 5 days a week. They will be part of the recycling project with the condition that they collect the garbage every Saturday. The rotation will ensure that many youths are included in the program and giving a possibility to be exposed to this working field and earn a living.

Weekly truck hire

In cooperation with the City Council every week a truck must be hired for not only collecting but also transporting the garbage to the nearest dumping site Dandora. At this moment the truck is not consistent. This creates an unworkable situation due to the fact that youth are endangered by getting arrested for pushing the garbage up to the main road. For truck hire the recognition letter must be arranged soonest possible, besides paying fees on a monthly basis for the truck every week.

Expansion of equipment

There is a lack of equipment which is holding the project on this level. The amount of house holdings can expand when equipment is more available. Especially overalls, wheelbarrows and spades are lacking.

Creating awareness of the community

Green Heroes can only be successful if it is supported by the community of Mathare. To stabilize a solid and long term interaction between Green Heroes and the community, creating awareness of a clean and safe environment in Mathare is a must. The challenge connected to this priority is to sensitize the community consistently through door-2-door outreach in combination with open air discussions organized by Green Heroes in cooperation with the Mathare Network Environment (a network of 15 CBO’s in Mathare concerning environmental issues).

Choices, Changes and Chances

Majimazuri.org is going through a challenging but exciting transformation. We need your support now, more than ever!

You are probably thinking, there are thousands of organizations out there looking for financial support. WHY support Maji Mazuri? This is why…

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    1. Maji Mazuri is an organization founded by a local Kenyan woman, a professor turned social worker, Wanjiku Kironyo. In 1984, Wanjiku selflessly walked away from her prestigious position at The University of Nairobi to begin a microfinance organization for women in the Mathare Valley Slums. When Wanjiku Kironyo walked away from her job as a professor, she also walked away from her income. For years, Wanjiku worked without a salary to address the needs of her countrymen and women. This organization is headed by a selfless visionary!

2. All international supporters are volunteers. The US Fund is based in Atlanta, GA. Anyone “working with” the US Fund IS an unpaid volunteer. Therefore this insures 99% of all monies go directly to the Maji Mazuri organization and directly impact the children of Maji Mazuri!

3. Your direct impact is huge!!! Because the Maji Mazuri US Fund is small, and the Maji Mazuri Not-for-profit Kenyan Organization is nimble, donations do not get tied up in red tape as often happens with large bureaucratic organizations. Therefore, any money you donate, you can be sure is not diluted by the time it reaches the child in need!

4. This is a grassroots organization that is fully locally run. When organizations speak of “tools of empowering persons out of deep poverty” (development, education, healthcare, nutrition) the “means” are quite simple in theory BUT the application of these “tools” are quite difficult for many reasons. Two reasons that come to mind are:

  1. organizations run by foreigners at a local level can cause friction due to cultural differences and
  2. organizations that are so large monies lose money in administrative and operational costs.

5. Maji Mazuri thinks long-term and in terms of sustainability. They are always thinking 10 years/20 years ahead. Maji Mazuri can shift the organizations needs to have the highest impact.

6. Maji Mazuri is environmentally conscious. Their youth help clean the ghetto with trash removal and raising awareness of others that live in ghettos by using performances and speeches. Maji Mazuri’s Kiserian Boarding School use solar panels and a windmill to generate electricity. They also have an organic farm and a water bore for irrigation purposes as well as sustainability!

7. Your donation means food, hope, and life. The country of Kenya is currently experiencing a famine of great proportion. This has directly affected the cost of food. So the poor are getting poorer and those most vulnerable, the children are suffering from hunger the greatest. The Maji Mazuri organization makes sure it is able to feed the sponsored children even with the sky-rocketing food prices!

8. The organization works to assist children with special needs who have no where else to turn! There is a stigma concerning children with special needs, physical and/or intellectual, in this part of the world. Often these children are left unattended and locked up in houses during their days and nights. Often there have been house fires where these children parish because they can’t fend for themselves. When the founder of Maji Mazuri finds out about these children, she goes directly to their parents and asks to have them placed in her care. Once these children are in the custody of the Maji Mazuri organization they are placed in the safety of the Children’s Centre. The Children’s Centre provides shelter, food, Education for special needs, vocational training and therapies such as Occupational and Physical therapies. These children are engaged. These children are finally safe under the care and guidance of the wonderful Maji Mazuri staff and teachers!

9. Maji Mazuri does not have any religious affiliation or angle. They treat those living in deep poverty in a holistic manner assessing each person as an individual as well as their needs.

10. Maji Mazuri is a proven social economic development organization in that it has been running since 1984 – that’s over 30 years!!! In that time it has pulled thousands of children out of the cycle of poverty and will continue to do so for years to come!!!

THESE CHILDREN NEED YOUR HELP! PLEASE CONSIDER A DONATION OF .98 CENTS A DAY!!! LESS THAN THE COST OF A CUP OF COFFEE… THIS DONATION WILL TRULY CHANGE THE LIFE OF A CHILD FOREVER!!! YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! YOU CAN MAKE A HUGE IMPACT IN THE LIFE OF A CHILD!!!

Bring Creativity to Life

Art can make a HUGE difference in a youths’ developmental skills and knowledge.

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Educating youth on the importance of self expression, cultivating creativity and helping them gain fundamental skills is powerfully impactful and empowering. The goal is create a weekly class which will provide the fundamental skills and knowledge for youth. Youth will get an introduction to the world of art! They will be taught how to use art as a creative and productive outlet to express themselves. We will use their interest in art as the foundation to teach and advance their practical knowledge and life skills. Having someone experienced with an art background to guide and cultivate the skills necessary to excel not just in art but gain confidence to face life.

Through this crowd-funding campaign, the materials and equipment needed for class and weekly projects will be provided. We will also feature guest speakers with a wealth of experience in the creative field who will visit and share their experience with the class. At the end of each course an Art show will be held for youth to share their work with family, friends and community.

With your contribution we will be able to get the space needed for weekly art classes, as well as purchase the supplies and materials needed to launch and maintain this program.

More specifically your contributions will help us purchase:

  • Pens and Pencils
  • Color Pencils and Crayons
  • Markers
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Acrylic and Oil Paints
  • Paint Brushes and Sponges
  • Gloves and Smocks
  • Stools
  • Easels
  • Canvases
  • Flat Wood (for painting)
  • A LOT of Construction Paper
  • The creation and maintenance of an art space on the Maji Mazuri Website

Here Are Other Ways You Can Help

Help us get the word out about this program and our crowdfunding campaign by telling your family, friends, co-workers, and the guy eating next to you at Subway:

  • Post this link on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and LinkedIn)
  • Write a post about this exciting project on your blog, include the link, and encourage people to make a contribution.
  • Write a post about this project on blogs that you follow, include the link, and encourage people to make a contribution.
  • Begin a thread about this project on art community forums, include the link, and encourage people to make a contribution.
  • Email your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors and include the link to this crowdfunding campaign. The more people who see this page, the more likely we are to meet this exciting goal and change the lives of many children.
  • Embed this link on your website’s homepage.

Caring makes a difference. Let’s change some lives together!

Unleash The Power of Social Entrepreneurship

Invest in market-based solutions to catalyze change, empower people and end poverty

microfinance-Invest in market-based solutions to catalyze change, empower people and end povertyThe Maji Mazuri team has always been passionate about the power of market-based models to fight global poverty. While working with constituents and program participants it is clear that the ability to make an honest living is crucial to self respect. With such an income comes the ability to feed and educate your children, and guide them as they grow to become fully rounded contributors to society. Wanjiku had this critical insight over 20 years ago and started the micro-lending in 2001. Since then the program has expanded rapidly to include Mavuno Youth, an initiative that assists youth at risk with entrepreneurship training and loans.
At Maji Mazuri, our goal is to develop, not just small business owners trying to keep their heads above the water, but world-changing entrepreneurs in commerce, technology, healthcare and consumer products that meet real needs in our community.

We remain committed to our cause, alleviating poverty by empowering people to transform their own lives and seek sustainable social value with business, and capacity development. We believe business must play a leading role in solving the world’s most challenging social problems. There is a lot of experimentation as we figure out for-profit models that serve people at the bottom half of the world’s economic pyramid: low-income laborers, farmers and families, as well as small businesses in underserved markets.

We are passionate about solving challenging, often intractable socio-economic problems through social enterprise and technology with the careful application of new business models for emerging markets and beyond.

We combine a passion for social entrepreneurship and change with innovative solutions.

We would love to have you as a partner as we develop new innovative market-based models and transformative special projects. Support this cause with your tax deductible donation.

Green Farm for Sustainability

Kiserian Farm Help Organic farm growEveryone has hopes for their future, their families, and their communities. These hopes can be as simple as the opportunity to get an education, to enjoy lasting relationships or to develop skills and be able to use them to provide for others.

For many people however, these modest goals are made impossible by the constant struggle for survival. Lack of food, adequate shelter, and access to healthcare push people’s visions and hopes for the future out of reach. Maji Mazuri’s mission is to alleviate poverty by empowering people to transform their own lives.

The Kiserian Farm Project was initiated in an effort to establish an income generating strategy that could that could aid in the realization of Maji Mazuri as a self-sustaining charitable organization. The farm seeks to reach out to local community with agricultural skill training and will expand to include a resource center and commercial farming.

In addition, this Kiserian project provides a safe and self-sufficient farm in the Kenyan countryside where children can live and learn. A clinic has also been established to cater for the medical needs of the community. Currently the Kiserian project runs its activities on wind, solar and biogas energy.

Contribute now to support this incredible green initiative.

Currently the project is at an expansive phase. This year Maji Mazuri is:

  • Building new structures for the rabbits, turkeys, geese, hen and a cock
  • Planting maize Kale, tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, water melon, bananas, napier grass
  • Transplanting crops in the nurseries
  • Erecting full water storage
  • Installing drip pipes
  • Preparing hay for the animal feeds
  • Enhancing tick management and deworming of the animals
  • Improving the feeding options and nutritional value of animal feeds
  • Working on a process to improve the hygiene standards of the cow shades
  • Improving the housing structures of the farm workers – lighting, bathroom and a common room
  • Equiping the farm office with necessary stationeries and new tools as needed
  • Maintaining farm equipment (e.g servicing the tractor, solar panels etc)

Kiserian Farm - Jump to sustainability Wanjiku inside the greenhouse at Kiserian among a cabbage patch

Maji Mazuri’s green initiative seeks to address the challenges of climate change, environmental degradation and wide spread poverty.

Around the world, people are waking up to the reality that this fragile earth we live on needs to be preserved. Kenya is also becoming aware that it cannot take the environment for granted. We’ve watched our neighbours in the horn of Africa suffer from  a drought which, according to USAID, has killed two and a half times more than the earthquake in Haiti and the Tsunami in Indonesia combined. Kenya also finds itself in the worst environmental and economic crisis in generations. The impact of climate change has triggered an unprecedented public demand to undertake mitigation and adaptation measures to deliver proactive strategies geared towards sustainability.

In line with it’s mission of community development and empowerment, Maji Mazuri has sought to address the challenges of climate change, environmental degradation and wide spread poverty. With the assistance of The Rotary Club, Maji Mazuri sought to develop a well-coordinated, strategic and sustainable approach to champion green production.

The Kiserian project seeks to catalyse demand-driven green production and consumerism backed by:-

 a strong, green entrepreneurial transformation
 dynamic design for environmental protection
 well coordinated community participation program
The dream started almost 20 years ago, when Wanjiku Kironyo visited Kiserian, a dusty parched region south of Nairobi. Upon closer inspection, she realized the land was excellent for growing vegetables and fruits but lacked consistent water supply. 15 years later she had raised sufficient capital to purchase some land in the area. With the assistance of the Crosscurrents International and the Oswald foundation, funds to drill a borehole on Maji Mazuri’s own land were obtained and an abundant supply of good quality water was found. A generator was purchased to pump the water. In addition, elevated water tanks were constructed, to farm water when it rained. With the pump and water tanks, farming commenced and Maji Mazuri was also able to provide much needed water- at a modest fee- to the local Maasai community whose cattle herds are often threatened by severe drought.

Kiserian was also established to rescue children at risk, and orphans. Also, in the Maasai community, girls are often married young, as a second, third or fourth wife to a much older man. They are forced to leave school and have children. This girls are often isolated, illiterate and vulnerable to HIV. A girl in this situation, and her family are stuck in a cycle of poverty. For many, the solution is as simple as the opportunity to get an education, to enjoy lasting relationships or to develop skills and be able to use them to provide for others.

Maji Mazuri sought to rescue some of this girls and provide education, but the building where they were running were run down, and school supplies were scarce. The Rotary stepped in. In a joint effort of The Rotary Club of Dayton Ohio USA and The Rotary Club of Muthaiga (Nairobi) Kenya, the clubs took on this remarkable project with the primary goal of rescuing children at risk. In addition to a new school building and a clinic, the Rotary funded groundbreaking projects in green technology.

Kiserian Farm - Jump to sustainability

Currently the Kiserian project runs its activities on wind, solar and biogas energy.

As more funds are obtained, the area of irrigated cultivation will be expanded. The farm has great potential to make a major impact on Maji Mazuri Programs by:

  • producing a range of vegetables and fruit for consumption by the children’s, teachers and staff in the primary school, the Headstart Program in Mathare Valley and the Children’s Home in Kasarani.
  • generating substantial income from the sale of cash crops in both the domestic and export markets (the neighboring farmer exports passion fruit to the UK)
  • providing a facility for agri-business training for those graduates of the primary school not going on to secondary school, for some of the youth in the Mathare Maji Mazuri youth group and for members of the local community.

This project has the potential to be a poster child for the nation’s green initiatives (and the world), showcasing the efficient utilization of the available technologies, with the lowest impact on the environment.

Maji Mazuri Media Fact Sheet

What is Maji Mazuri?
Maji Mazuri means “Good Water” in Swahili. Amongst poverty and despair, the Maji Mazuri Centre is an oasis. Children who barely survive are provided a chance to flourish. Youth cast aside by society are given a community to thrive in. Men and women with no financial means are given an opportunity at economic empowerment. Communities fractured by strife and mistrust are replenished and unified by development goals. Operating in Nairobi, Kenya, the mission of the Maji Mazuri Centre is to help people escape the bondage of poverty, ignorance and myth to fully realize their potential.

HISTORY:
Maji Mazuri was founded in 1984. It is the brain child of Dr. Wanjiku Kironyo, a native of Kenya. As professor at the University of Nairobi in the early 1980s, she tasked her students to research the needs of the local community. She set up field placements in Mathare Valley slums, less than four miles from Nairobi’s city center. What they found were some of worst living conditions in East Africa.

While it is estimated over 400 000 people live in Mathare Valley, no one knows how many for sure. People live in inadequate housing – 6’ x 8 ‘ shacks with no indoor plumbing. These single rooms often house up to 10 people. There are few bathrooms and toilets and there’s a fee to use them which most people cannot afford, so gutters outside the houses are often turned into sewers. Mathare Valley is largely populated with women – victims of domestic violence and unwanted pregnancy who are frequently forced into an underground economy of illicit activity. Most of the residents of Mathare Valley live off less than a dollar a day and the shanty town is rife with crime, and prostitution. Maji Mazuri’s mission is to alleviate poverty by empowering people to transform their own lives.

Since 1984, Maji Mazuri has taken a comprehensive approach to these conditions with four interrelated programs.

  • Education and talent development
  • Economic empowerment
  • Community development
  • Mental and physical health

It is one of the first programs in the world that takes a comprehensive approach from pre-birth to death for the complex, interrelated challenges and opportunities of the community it serves.

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Contact us at – info@majimazuri.org
P.O. BOX 45603 – 00100 G.P.O Nairobi
Tel: 254- 20– 3003274
Mobile: 0722-466971
www.majimazuri.org

18 children move into the new facility at our Kiserian school

The orphaned or abandoned children at our Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre are in most cases (but not all) physically or mentally challenged. Those with purely physical handicaps, and the able-bodied, have been living at the Children’s Centre alongside our mentally challenged children and this is not ideal for them. We had enrolled them in the local state run elementary school, and despite the challenges of huge class sizes (75 and more) and the fact that they were new to the school, and in some cases seemed ‘strange’ to the physically fit kids, they did pretty well.

It has always been our intention to move these children to our Kiserian campus in the countryside where we have a flourishing school (with class sizes of 20 to 30) and a farm. What we needed was residential accomodation. Well, we have completed a new dormitory, and kitchen and dining room, and they have been fully equipped. This means we were able to move 18 children to Kiserian a few weeks ago. They have a foster mother who cares for them, as well as several helpers to cook, do laundry and so on. The school is right next to the dormitory and there is a large playing field.

We thought you would like to see the comments that some of the children made, below. (We will make sure they all have blankets – see Victor’s comment!) Many thanks to all our supporters for doing so much to help make this possible. This is a wonderful step forward for these children. It also means that we have more space in the Kasarani Children’s Centre for new orphan cases, and to cater better for our mentally challenged children.

645x300-Banner Volunteer economic development targeting extreme poverty

Ways to Get Involved

Through your participation, we can successfully accomplish the Maji Mazuri mission of alleviating poverty by empowering people to bring about change in their own lives.

Make a donation

Maji Mazuri Center greatly appreciates any form of donation you can provide. There is a great need for many different types of items including medicine, clothing, books, wheelchairs, shoes etc. If you have specific supplies you think could be helpful, please contact us. You can also make cash contributions by clicking donate now.

Volunteer

There are many volunteer opportunities available for compassionate and dedicated people. No experience is needed… only an open mind and a willingness to help! For more information on volunteer opportunities at one of Maji Mazuri Center’s projects, visit our volunteer page. For everything you need to know before you go, we’ve created an FAQ with some information you need to volunteer in Kenya. Feel free to contact our team if you have any additional questions.

Give a Good Card

You choose the amount … they choose the cause. Your friends, family, customers and employees all have their favorite causes. Maji Mazuri has lots of projects they can plug into. By giving them a Maji Mazuri Good Card, you show them you care and that their passion is your passion. The Maji Mazuri Good Card is the perfect way to say thank you or to celebrate holidays, birthdays, graduations and other momentous occasions and make a meaningful impact.

Become a sponsor

One mission of Maji Mazuri is to support and empower hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children to lead successful and productive lives. By helping a child get a good education we give them a shot, a chance to experience the fullness of life. Please sponsor a child today. If you need additional information contact us at info[at]majimazuri.org.

Host a speaker

One of our volunteers will gladly speak to your civic organization, community group, congregation or school. Or let us know if there are like minded community events, gatherings, street fairs, festivals, concerts etc in your area. We’d love to be part of it!

Invite friends over

Invite a few friends over to your home for an evening of uncommon conversation and contribution… then commit to do something truly outside yourself so you can enjoy your dirt nap… Or take a trip to Kenya. We will guide you every step of the way!

Get your company involved

Invite your coworkers, employees, clients or partners to invest in our community through customized employee volunteer projects. Gather a team to create and implement a project. We can help you design a day of service. Contact us.

Become an online volunteer

Want to create action? Want to be a part of something big? Join the Maji Mazuri online volunteer team and make your mark on your community! Our online volunteers help build and shape the Maji Mazuri global community using outreach, communication, video, sharing and research skills to achieve the Maji Mazuri mission of alleviating poverty by empowering people to bring about change in their own lives. If you are interested in joining the incredible group of online volunteers please contact us at info[at]majimazuri[dot]org

Become a campus ambassador

Wanna make a difference right in your own backyard? We are looking to support small, local events and parties that you may do at your school, business or any other group you are involved in. As an ambassador you will be able to connect with others who are passionate about global change and social justice, talk about meaningful issues and start fundraisers in your school or community to make a difference.

If you are in high school or college you will get great resume experience. You will learn how to organize, make decisions, and implement your own ideas. You will get to contribute to development while learning about other cultures, and most importantly, promote awareness of a major humanitarian need. We sincerely hope you decide to become an ambassador… the world needs your help. Let’s make a difference together!

Offer your expertise

If you are an expert in healthcare or education or can offer a service you think would be helpful please contact us. We also need experts in marketing, graphic design, public relations, communication, community organizing and social media. We are looking for creative individuals – people who are willing to help us think through ways we can be more efficient at grassroots development and tackling poverty, then roll up their sleeves and act.

Spread the word

Viral communication is the leveling field that allows us to get our message out with zero dollars. Help us spread the word on social media. By connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter or any social network of your choice and sharing information about what we are doing with your friends we can together help educate. Many people do not realize the magnitude of the challenges faced by the people Maji Mazuri strives to help. Your actions can create a success story. There’s alot of incredble work going on in Maji Mazuri and with our global community. If you see something impressive, say something. Spread the word.

Global Networks and Partners

Maji Mazuri USA
(EIN # 201871180) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Global Citizen - Majimazuri.org-Make a Difference -spread the wordAll donations are tax deductible in full or in part, and you may receive a gift match from your company.

Maji Mazuri Canada
Canadian Registered Charity Registered as BN: 801462540RR0001

Maji Mazuri Uk
Registered charity in the UK (#1080544). You can add Gift Aid after you’ve donated too.

Duara Foundation
Supports Maji Mazuri in the Netherlands. Learn more at Duara.org 

Crosscurrents International
is an ardent supporter of Maji Mazuri. This non-profit organization based in Ohio, USA, serves a national and international constituency, seeking to build a more peaceful, less violent, world through citizen diplomacy.

Maji Mazuri Centre International
is an organization incorporated and registered in Kenya as a social service.

For more information about Maji mazuri
and how you can help please contact:

The Director
P.O. Box 45603 – 00100 G.P.O Nairobi
Tel: 254- 20– 3003274
Mobile: 0722-466971.
E-mail: info@majimazuri.org

Maji Mazuri Programs

Mental and Physical Health

kasarani kids on a day out at uhuru parkMaji Mazuri Children’s Center, Kasarani

Maji Mazuri Childrens’ Home is a safe haven for mentally and/or physically challenged children, as well as children orphaned by parental loss from AIDS.

They receive 24-hour care, rehabilitation, medical services and specialized education. The center has an Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist, who give therapy to the handicapped children helping them gain use of their limbs and muscles. Special education teachers handle their academic needs.

As a strategy towards self sustenance, the children are also trained in communication skills, small business management, beadwork and art & craft. There is a long waiting list of children who need these services in the community. Maji Mazuri believes, teaches and advocates that disability is not inability!

Innovation in Healthcare

Maji Mazuri founded a clinic in Kiserian, 45 minutes outside of the capital city. Built in collaboration with the Rotary, Maji Mazuri set out to create better health services and educational opportunities by working with the Maasai in the community. This center has also become a home to many from Mathare and beyond, who are marginalized by poverty. Community members, as well as patients from outlying communities, receive services at the clinic. Maji Mazuri works in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, the local development association and other partners on preventative health education. Maji Mazuri is currently spearheading the world’s first model of micro-health insurance for the underserved in emerging markets. Learn more.

Economic Empowerment

13Mavuno Micro-Enterprise Project

The goal of this project is provide basic tools and critical assistance to help families improve their lives in a meaningful way and end the cycle of poverty.

It is a cooperative of entrepreneurs who, through a self-replenishing fund, are able to take small loans and start a business. The group holds meetings to share business experiences. Each member of the group is able to provide others with support and act as a sounding board for ideas on how to improve their businesses.

As the individuals find success, they pay back their loans and are able to take loans from the fund in higher amounts. In this way, the fund is continuously replenished by its own successes.

Education and Talent

youth2Head Start School

The Headstart Project serves dual purposes of providing children with beginning education and a safe environment in which to stay while their parents are working. It primarily serves those individuals involved with the Micro-Enterprise project, who would otherwise be forced to leave their children at home unattended.

Teens Group and Youth Group
The teens group was started to explore the talents of the children in Mathare Valley and redirect their talent in a positive way through creative arts, card-making, songs, drama and presentations to local churches and the community. The Teenz group is an entry point to the Youth group with they can join when they complete their primary school education.

The youth program provides life skills training and an opportunity to develop leadership. They gain valuable skills such as technology as well as self-respect, co-operation, initiative, vision for the future, career development and deeper insight into themselves and the world in which they are growing.

Kiserian School
The school was created in Kiserian to enable the children of the local Maasai community, plagued by HIV / AIDS, to gain an education in order to lead healthier lives. The school has also initiated a boarding facility for marginalized children and a high school for girls.

Community Development

M3321T-0015

These young people are transforming their own lives and turning to help others in their community. The community outreach programs they conduct include HIV/AIDS awareness, counselling and conflict resolution, educational drama, group discussions, exchange programs, micro loans and community service projects.

Kiserian 
The Kiserian Center is a combination school, day care center, a green farm and health center. The clinic was established to cater for the medical needs of the community.

The main focus of the community outreach is to prompt recognition of co-existing conditions,  prevent common problems and promote family practices that protect health. A majority of the health issues are due to a lack of education,  poor water quality, scarce resources and risky cultural practices. For example men marry multiple wives and often spread HIV/ AIDS. Through the program at Kiserian, many girls have been saved from child marriage which can even equate with certain death.

Clinicians visit Kiserian to do routine checkups and treat the sick. Complete anthropometric measurements are documented to track health status. Children or family members that need a hospital visit are reimbursed on a case by case basis. In addition to the Health Tracking System, the children receive healthy nutritious meals produced on the farm.

The farm project was initiated in an effort to establish an income generating strategy that could aid in the realization of Maji Mazuri as a self-sustaining charitable organization.  The farm seeks to reach out to local community with agricultural skill training and will expand to include a resource center and commercial farming.

Currently the kiserian project runs its activities on wind, solar and biogas energy.

Volunteer FAQ

This section will address frequently asked questions by volunteers like:

What are the volunteer requirements?
What’s needed – visa, immunizations?
What’s the language in Kenya?
What do I need to carry?
What’s the procedure?
Can I get school credit?
How long can I volunteer for?
How much is it going to cost?
What type of accomodations are available?
How do I find out what specific volunteer opportunities are available?
How will I communicate with my friends and family? Can I carry my cell phone and laptop?
What is the local currency and how do I access money while I am in Kenya?
What are some cultural aspects I need to know about (insight from other volunteers)?
How can I contact you?

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Volunteer Application Procedure

As a Maji Mazuri volunteer, you become a vital part of this dynamic and growing movement for systemic change. Our ideal volunteer is someone who has a pioneering spirit – someone who craves a challenge but also has a passion for helping others, and a commitment to making a difference. Through your participation, we can successfully accomplish the audacious Maji Mazuri mission of alleviating poverty by empowering people to bring about change in their own lives.

If you have been starting and leading endeavors your whole life or really want to play a transformational role in the world we live, then Maji Mazuri is the place for you! The willingness to take risks is a prerequisite for taking part in this exciting venture. An unwillingness to settle for less than excellence is a key asset but most important is a BIG heart and the desire to drive change. We want to work with people who are passionate about positive social change. We encourage you to think big and be bold.

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Tips for Your Trip to Kenya

We are truly humbled by your investment in this trip. Thank you for so generously sharing your time, treasure and talent!

As you prepare for your visit, there a few facts that might be helpful to know. We may not be able to be there as your official culture translator while you are visiting and volunteering, so here is your quick safari lesson to study on the plane.

We encourage you to contact us with questions and keep adding to this list as you think of things we should add to the list. We hope that on your trip you’ll learn a lot, make a difference and have fun!

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