Kibera and another Children’s home

If you have seen the movie The Constant Gardner then you have seen Kibera. It is the slum on the outskirts of  Nairobi. Approximately 750,000 people live there, crammed together in makeshift dwellings. They use anything that they can find to make their homes; corrugated tin, plastic bags, discarded lumber and metal. There is a stream of raw sewage that flows through it and the smell is unbelievable. It is hard to believe that people can live like this. The area is controlled by gangs and is very dangerous. I was warned about taking pictures so I only took a few when all adults were out of sight. These pictures cannot even demonstrate what we saw and there is no way for me to describe it to you. You will just have to come and see for yourself.


View from the North Side of Kiebra


Pastor Moses Muguro took us to visit a school there. The school was just on the outskirts of Kibera so it was easy for us to approach it with out having to walk through the heart of the slum. The school is made up of tree branches nailed together then slathered with cow dung. I have seen many buildings like this here but is this is the first one that I have seen that has two stories. We climbed these rickety stairs to the second story (I was actually very nervous that at any moment the building would collapse.) Seeing this school brought new meaning to over crowded classrooms. These people have hardly anything and they are making do and still holding classes for their children. I single classroom would be maybe 15 X 15 ft and 30 + children would be crammed into it. The only supplies they had was a single piece for slate hung on the wall, chalk, and benches. The Children had note paper and pencils so they could write down their lessons. Moses said that most of the teachers were volunteers who have gone to University for teaching degrees but who have been unable to find paying jobs. Moses said that sometimes if he had extra money he would make a donation to the school (this from someone who barley gets paid for his work.)


View from inside the school yard. (Myles talking with assistant director)


Over crowed classroom. We gave out candy and listened to the children sing and recite memory versus in English. Their level of education is phenomenal

After visiting this school Moses took us to visit another Children’s home. St. Francis Children’s home was created by a “wealthy” Kenyan woman (I put wealthy in quotations because she is in no way wealthy by American standards). This woman donated her home and property to become a children’s home 7 years ago. She now has 250 orphans living there with her. They have a dirt yard where they play, and 3 small buildings that serve as school rooms and at night dormitories (They drag out mattresses and sleep on the classroom floors). They are only living on her pension (which is pitiful) and the donations of food and clothing form others. They say they are “living by faith” because they don’t know if they will have food from one moth to the next and they just trust in God to provide for them. This woman’s generosity blows me away – I cannot imagine living like this – she has given up everything and is changing the lives of these children.


Some Girls that live at St. Francis Children’s home. The older children were apparently responsible for doing some chores – the girl on the right is holding a laundry bucket that she was washing clothes in.


A little boy showing me his ball.

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