We are excited to share the success of our first project at Mary Immaculate Rehabilitation Centre, also known as Mukuru Rehabilitation Center.
The home was established in 1995 for the many children who were wandering and living on the streets of the adjacent industrial area. It caters for up to 57 boys of ages between 9 and 15 years, who participate in a one year long program. The center conducts non-formal primary teaching for those whom it is appropriate, and carpentry and art for the older boys. After lunch they engage in extra curricula activities such as art, music, football, gardening, scouting and some craft work. Tackling the habit of substance abuse is a challenge for most of the boys in the program. Group and individual counselling is an integral part of the program and is carried out on a very regular basis. The program aims to re-integrate the boys to their family where possible, or to a meaningful life off the streets, in boarding school or in employment.
Our objective was to build the children’s identity, increase their self-confidence and inspire them to be better individuals in life. The general goal was to teach the children about being aware of their own personality including their feelings, strengths, weaknesses, thoughts and beliefs; and to help them have a better understanding of themselves and those around them. This was to enable them build their self-esteem and have a better personal identity.
Lessons on self-awareness and self-regulation were drawn from our Education for Sustainable Development Curriculum, facilitated by our volunteers.
With regards to the objectives, 57 children were trained from the curriculum which enhanced experiencial learning as students were engaged on critical thinking and mind engaging games. Also, the students were inspired to become better and active citizens and to aid in the development of the society. The training session successfully applied Global Citizenship Education which is about preparing students to tackle societal challenges through critical thinking, without fear, and to be aware of themselves and others.
There was a positive feedback both from the students and the OAC volunteers. Most of the students enjoyed the sessions and wanted the volunteers to make another visit to their school.
Stephen Mulwa , a 15 year old boy had this to say:
“The project was good and I learnt the importance of teamwork, I also learnt how to work together with other students to help each other and lastly, I learnt that we should always cooperate to make our work easier.”
“I learnt the value of self-awareness and its importance in my future life.”
said John Kihara, a 12 year old student of the school.
Feedback from other students:
“I enjoyed most of the lessons and activities that we were taught and I felt very excited and creative while doing the project”.
“My friends and I are very happy that our visitors came to our school today. I was able to build a house using a newspaper and my team won the competition and we were given a packet of sweets”.
“I built a house using newspaper although it was difficult at the beginning, we managed to make it stand. I was able to practice teamwork.
The building of the house using newspaper was fun but I did not like the fact that our team lost in the competition and so we were not given sweets”.
Feedback from our facilitators:
“I got a better understanding of the children’s psychology and I will use the lessons learnt in my place of work.” ~ John Shivisi
“I have discovered that the kids are ready to do what they are instructed to do as long as the instructions are given and understood.” ~ Jeffrey Kosgei
“I have learnt a lot from fellow volunteers and the kids as well. I enjoyed myself, working with the children and it gave me a satisfactory feeling of giving back to the community.” ~ Brian Juma
“I discovered that the children have great talents and skills such as rapping, drawing and even playing football.” ~ Korine Nereah
“I have learnt how special the children are and how fortunate I am to be able to create an impact in their lives.” ~ Agatha Wanzala
Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the adminstration of the school who have granted us this unique opportunity to reach out to the students. Also, to our volunteers for a job well done!