Our Community is deeply involved in different social activities; its counts a considerable number of initiatives related to the defense of the Human Rights of the most vulnerable groups of the society
Starting from Children’s Homes, the Community has been able to expand its social commitment towards youths and women living in problematic areas characterized by harsh living conditions.
We have children’s in different Schools, Vocational Trainings, Youth Groups and social cooperatives that represent an extra ordinary opportunity for all the individuals who take part into these initiatives.
Here below you can find the complete list of our Services, initiatives and projects.
EDUCATION SUPPORT PROGRAMME FOR MATHARE SLUM DWELLERS (ESPMSD)
The organization has initiated various projects since its inception. Its initial project which is running up-to-date is education support program. KTSSC has supported over 420 children and youth, some of whom are still in the program. The children and the youth receiving support include orphans, many from single parent family, and the rest from very needy families. The environment where these families live is horrible and lacks basic social amenities and utilities. The intervention by KTSSC in promotion of education of integral person therefore becomes of paramount significance.
MATHARE YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME (MYEP)
MYEP is another MAJOR sub project of KTSSC PROJECTS.
The population of Kenya is considered young. The latest census found that 43 per cent of all Kenyans are below the age of 15 years, often referred to as a ‘youth bulge’. The young segment represents the future of the country. This demographic fact is compounded by increasing urbanization which leads to a concentration of youth and children in cities. Many of them are compelled to settle and eke out a living in congested slums. The situation of urban youth and children poses a host of challenges, particularly in terms of providing shelter, education and employment opportunities. At present, the visions and aspirations of young people appear beyond their reach, thus causing frustration and anger.
Mathare Slum is one of the oldest and the worst slums in Africa. Situated three miles east of Nairobi city’s central business district, Mathare slum is home to over 700,000 people occupying an area of two miles long by one mile wide. Because of congestion, survival is a daily battle for the residents against the backdrop of diseases, crime, prostitution and lawlessness.
Majority of the slum dwellers are the youths who are faced with a lot of challenges like unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, early pregnancies, HIV/AIDs, crimes among others. With regard to the above mentioned challenges facing youth in slums, special attention to promoting youth participation in capacity development initiatives is wanting as this will help youth build their capacities, create job opportunities for them and increase their livelihood. Kenya government has made effort towards youth development programmes and policies like youth fund, uwezo fund and current youth empowerment program in slums. However, youth problems in slums have been worsening despite the remarkable initiatives offered by the government and other development actors. The uptake of these initiatives by the youth has remained low.
In slum areas, such as, Mathare almost 90% of the population, including youth, reportedly do not have piped water. Consequently, the dwellers pay 4–8 times more for water than do the-well-to-do residents. Moreover, the majority of slum dwellers, including youth, use pit latrines, which are often poorly maintained and over-used by an average of 500 people to each toilet. The poor sanitation environment exposes the children and youth to health hazards such as infections (tuberculosis, diarrhoea, among others).
Crime and violence are reported to be ‘normal’ occurrences in slum communities in Kenya and children and youth are exposed and vulnerable to these acts. According to some studies, youths are both victims and perpetrators of crime. Access to proper housing and education also poses a challenge to children and youth living in slum communities.
The youth in slum dwellings in Nairobi face numerous challenges as they transit from adolescence into adulthood. They find themselves in a rather hostile slum environment characterized by unemployment, poor housing, large family sizes, violence, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, poor education facilities and lack of recreational activities. These situations subject adolescents in the slums in Nairobi to early sexual activities three years earlier and twice more likely to have multiple partners than adolescents who live in non-slum parts of Nairobi.
MATHARE WOMEN EMPOWEREMENT PROGRAMME (MWEP)
Our newly launched programme is the Mathare Women Empowerment Programme (MWEP). the project is geared to empowering the single and most vulnerable mothers in the slums of Mathare.
Women face a myriad of challenges. They not only suffer from income poverty but also human poverty. Human poverty means that opportunities and choices most basic to human development are denied. Human poverty is more than income poverty. It involves the denial of choices and opportunities most basic to human development to lead a long, healthy, creative life, acquire knowledge, and enjoy a decent standard of living, freedom, dignity, self-esteem and the respect of others.
Most women in Mathare survive on casual labour. More often than not they spend days sitting on the pavements or stones along Eastleigh streets waiting for someone who can hire them for laundry or domestic chores. Some are lucky to find something to do while the rest remain idle and go home empty handed. Some tell of sexual harassment from the would-be employers who ask them for sexual favours to guarantee them a chance to earn an equivalent of USD 2.00 for a big heap of laundry.
These and many other stories of indignity against women informs KTSSC to empower the slum women on their human rights and potential as persons, women and contributors to the Kenyan economy
URBAN – RURAL INTEGRATION (RELOCATION) PROJECT
Our last visit to the home of Mama Wambui remains the last trigger of the next adventure that KenToledo Social Service Club (KTSSC) embarked on. Mama Wambui lost her daughter to HIV/AIDS. She is left to cater for her two granddaughters. She is herself very old and sick. She is not able to work to feed her grand children. The children are not schooling and at their tender age have decided to drop out of school to beg from the streets, which is the source of income that sustains them. Our visit to her home left us wondering what we could do to help her. She affirms in our presence her desire to return to her ancestral land and to die there, rather than dying in Mathare slum.
Like Mama Wambui, there are many others living in the Mathare slum with dreams that may not be fulfilled without an external intervention. Even though on a very small scale, KTSSC launched her initial relocation plan and five families have been relocated from Mathare slums to various counties in Kenya. The most recent one is the Wambua’s family in Kitui county.