About Us

Mission and Vision 

The mission of Maji Mazuri is to help people to escape poverty and become thriving individuals. The vision is to provide the foundation, education and support needed for children, youth and families to become self-sustaining in terms of social, economic and spiritual well-being.

Each of Maji Mazuri’s projects is designed with the principle of holistic, community-based approaches to addressing socio-economic inadequacies. A holistic approach is needed and the solution involves working within the community. System-wide changes must be effected if there is hope for ending the cycle of poverty. Maji Mazuri programs seek to address the root causes of poverty and help the community realize the most optimal solutions.

Organisational Profile

Maji Mazuri, which means “good water” in Swahili, is a Kenyan social economic development NGO. It was founded in 1984 to address the root causes of poverty and focus on poverty alleviation by empowering people to bring about change in their own lives. Today, this purpose is achieved through four programmes:

  1. Maji Mazuri Children’s Centre: a home for special needs children and orphans who are in various schools in the country. 
  2. Maji Mazuri Headstart Academy: located in Mathare Valley, an informal settlement in Nairobi, the school offers primary school education and talent development. 
  3. Maji Mazuri Youth and Teens Group: As part of the school program, the Teens Program is a project whose aim is to identify, develop and promote the children’s talent. 
  4. Maji Mazuri Youth Group: a group for young adults aged between 18 and 26 who are in the decision making phase of their lives and who are vulnerable to the challenges youth living in Informal Settlements face. The group offers ICT training, peer mentorship, life skills development, counseling, educational scholarships, environmental conservation programmes, and talent development.

Our Story 

Founded by Dr. Wanjiku Kironyo in 1984, Maji Mazuri was initially developed to help women and children in Mathare Valley, the second largest slum in East Africa. People living in Mathare, especially children,  face numerous challenges, as there are limited functional utilities. They live in semi permanent housing and have challenges accessing basic utilities. 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 Mathare Valley. 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.

Thus these women who had been through immense suffering, including abusive relationships and some even imprisonment, had social and economic support groups where they were able to not only survive but thrive by deriving strength from each other.

In 1985, a Canadian woman called Rosalind committed herself to starting a small agency known as the Awareness Program. The purpose of that program was to create a cooperative inter-country partnership with Wanjiku’s program. In 1986, the Awareness Program secured grants from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and provided the start up funds for Maji Mazuri Center.

From these humble beginnings, Maji Mazuri Center’s projects have evolved and grown significantly. Initial funding was primarily received from the Awareness Program, but funds from other sources, supporters and well-wishers have been accessed over the years. The projects range from treating and equipping Special Needs Children, abandoned or orphaned children to training the youth on HIV/AIDS awareness, empowering them to spread the word in the community and supporting constituents to become self sufficient with training, peer-to-peer support and small start-up capital.

Global Networks and Partners

Maji Mazuri in Kenya is supported by a network of global partners, whose mission is to attract funding and friends to help Maji Mazuri in Kenya grow and reach more vulnerable communities. Partners are all registered charities in their own countries, which means you can donate tax-efficiently if you are a UK or US taxpayer. The Maji Mazuri family includes: 

  1. Maji Mazuri USA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit (EIN # 201871180). All donations are tax deductible in full or in part, and you may receive a gift match from your company.
  2. Maji Mazuri UK is a registered charity in the UK (#1080544), which means that our UK donors can add Gift Aid to their donations. Maji Mazuri was registered in the UK as a charity in 1998, after an inspiring visit to Kenya by one of our earliest student volunteers. Since then, a small but passionate group of trustees has continued raising funds and awareness of Maji Mazuri’s work. We are all volunteers with no office or staff - and we are all united by our love and respect for the work of Maji Mazuri in Kenya. All of the trustees have visited the projects in Kenya. We do talks for Rotary Clubs, churches, schools, universities etc in the UK to raise awareness of, and funds for, Maji Mazuri’s work in Kenya, and we organise visits to Maji Mazuri for groups of students and others in the UK - we find that once you’ve visited the work, you can’t help but be transformed by it and want to support it!
  3. Crosscurrents International Institute is a non-profit organization based in Ohio, USA, and serving a national and international constituency. It was started in 1984 as an outgrowth of the international program of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, with an aim to create a more peaceful world.