The more time I spend at my current project, Jamii Children’s Centre in Kibera, the more I’m impressed by the whole thing. First of all, the school in Kibera is part of a much larger project, Jamii International Outreach Ministries. JIOM is headed up by Maurice Kinyanjui and two others who all grew up in Kibera. Maurice, who currently lives in Maryland, has several projects in Kibera, Nakuru and Nyahururu, all dedicated to improving the lives of the needy people of Kenya.
The school in Kibera currently has about 67 children (though there were twice as many before the tribal clashes and election violence of 2007/2008) and who attend one of three classes (baby class, nursery and pre-unit). The kids are provided a free lunch with sukuma wiki from their shamba out back and sometimes morning ugi (porridge) as well. After spending so much time at Mary’s where far too many children are squeezed into two small classrooms, it’s nice to be in a school that has so much room for the kids. Jamii’s teachers are energetic, positive and entirely devoted to the well-being of the children at the school. And, best of all, neither the teachers or Monica, the project’s director, have asked me for ANYTHING. In Kibera, that’s unheard of!