Mental and Physical Health
Maji 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!
Mavuno 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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.