The Children Of Mathare
1. How it all began
During Christmas 2018, I became aware of the children of Mathare through an internet blog. When I read about this project, I could not get away from it. I felt as if I was zooming in on a section of the world that was previously unknown to me, step by step, very close to me, which touched me in my inner being. So I made contact and embarked on an exciting and moving journey of discovery.
In a slum of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, a team of teachers lovingly works with 165 children and young people. The school is called "Ngotas' Upendo Primary School and Orphanage" and also houses 30 orphans whose home is the school. The principal, Josephat, and his son, Stephen, stay at the school with the children. Josephat is a pastor and he wrote to me that his team and he are sustained by the hope that one day all will be well. This faith gives them strength and love in their work with the children and young people.
The living conditions in this slum are catastrophic from our point of view, but the people radiate joy and gratitude. To experience this is very moving. Once you have had contact with the children and teachers of Mathare, you cannot go on living at home without giving the school and the families at least a little of the abundance that many enjoy here in Germany. At least that is how it felt to me and others who were able to gain this experience.
The school offers children and young people a great opportunity. In addition to education, there are - if the support is sufficient - three meals a day. To support the school, Miriam Gellert and Tony Lindenau founded the association "Children of Mathare e.V." in 2012 and have led it with full commitment until today. But as students, they could no longer handle the many tasks alone and looked for a new chairperson. Since the beginning of 2019, I am now chairperson of "Children of Mathare e.V." I am happy about this responsible task, which I gladly take.
To support the school, Miriam Gellert and Tony Lindenau founded the association "Children of Mathare e.V." in 2012 and have led it with full commitment until today. But as students, they could no longer handle the many tasks alone and were looking for a new chair.
Since the beginning of 2019, I am now chairperson of "Children of Mathare e.V." Before, I did not know the association and its work. This will also be the case for many who are reading these lines now.
The special feature of this project is the direct contact with the children, young people, teachers and families, so that the sponsors can see exactly how their commitment is received. Trips to Nairobi and school visits are also possible at any time.
You can find out more about the school's sponsorship opportunities on the association's website. I would be very pleased if you would go there and get inspired to become part of the big family. As chairman of the association, I have made it my task to realize the support on different levels. We are thinking of sponsorships, fundraising campaigns, school contacts and much more. The special thing about this project is the direct contact with the children, young people, teachers and families, so that the sponsors can see exactly how their commitment is being received.
2. School development project: Education for One World
In October 2019, I will visit my partner school; this will give me a good picture of the school reality there. Through the current very stimulating exchange with the principal, individual teachers and students, I have a very positive impression of the work on site. The children are respected as individuals, endowed with gifts and talents, and they are given a broad education. In the midst of the very difficult living conditions of the slum, this is all the more impressive. My visit to the site will yield starting points for school development projects. First of all, as the chairwoman of the association, I am concerned with safeguarding the basic necessities of life. In a special project, my Gratitude Tour 2019, this is to be ensured in the medium term until the fall. Other projects will follow.
3. Research project: Theological conversations with children, youth and teachers in a slum in Nairobi.
This research project will start in the summer semester 2019 as part of my "Research Workshop Theological Conversations with Children and Youth". Children aged 10-12 will be brought into an exchange about their conceptions of God, as well as students of our university with the teachers in Mathare. Similarities and differences, influencing factors for the development of the images of God and the possibilities as well as effects of theological conversations between German and Kenyan Christians, who grow up under difficult living conditions, will be worked out.
This might also interest you
- Gratitude on tour