As a college student, Mary Kamau served an internship in Mathare Valley, a slum of 850,000 people in the capital city of Nairobi, Kenya, in East Africa. Mathare is an area of less than one square mile, rampant with crime, HIV/AIDS, and indescribable living conditions. Rivers of sewage run through the community, carrying garbage and human waste. Entire families crowd into one-room huts made of scrap wood, corrugated tin, or mud without electricity, running water or toilets. Thousands of children have no homes but the streets, and turn to begging, stealing, prostitution, and drug-dealing to survive.
Although not from the slum herself, Mary’s heart found a home in assisting the street children of Mathare. In September of 2000, Mary started a small school in a rented “house” for 50 four and five year old children. In 2010, there were over 3,400 children enrolled in the 10 schools in the Valley and the one boarding school outside of the city for the 5th, 6th, and 7th graders.
God has worked through many hands to ensure the success of this ministry. The people of the slum community have been a vital component in the growth, as they have seen their children loved and cared for they have placed their trust in Christ. The crime rate has fallen as lives are changed. Micro-loans and business training are made available to help members of the community lift themselves from poverty. HIV/AIDS Care has given dignity to those in their final days; hygiene and wellness training has helped to slow the spread of the deadly epidemic.
The involvement of several churches from the US has provided much needed construction funding, medical teams and teacher training. The generosity of child sponsorship, started in 2005 by Hope Missions International in Oregon has fueled incredible growth. In 2009, we will enter a new phase of ministry. Hope Missions will focus on establishing a foundation to ensure funding will exist for ongoing needs beyond what child sponsorship can provide. Grant Writing, corporate sponsors and private donors are desperately needed to ensure the longevity of the work in Mathare. Child Sponsorship will become the work of HOPE PARTNERSHIP, a collaborative ministry of Christian Missionary Fellowship (CMF) and Hope Missions. The child sponsorship initiative will be facilitated solely by CMF. We have the utmost faith in their integrity as CMF brings a long history of serving Christ all over the world to the slums of Nairobi.
see also: http://mohiafrica.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=53