Since 2012, Maji Mazuri has run a Teens Group for Headstart School students which aims to supplement the government’s educational curriculum with creative activities during and outside of school hours.
The Teens Group sets out to help students identify what it is that they most enjoy doing and to foster talents in areas such as poetry, drama, music, and art. The benefits of the programme are wide-ranging: on a practical level, it provides the children of Mathare with activities on the weekend and helps them avoid involvement in the area’s illegal activities. The development of creative talents also improves an individual’s self-esteem which has a knock-on effect on their academic performance. There’s nothing quite like a standing ovation from a large audience to boost your confidence!
Students who have been involved in the Teens Group have achieved some frankly extremely impressive outcomes! The group’s poetry team 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 on different platforms including a children’s television show.
In addition to the talent programmes, the Teens Group operates trips to attractions outside Mathare. In the past, this has included national parks and museums.