Neci Education Centre is a school located in the Mathare slum, and provides a basic education to 340 children in the community and surrounding areas. Without Neci these children would not receive an education.
The centre focuses on reaching the neediest children in Mathare slum and neighbourhood: children with special needs, learning disabilities and those from drug addicted families. The orphans and vulnerable children who come to the centre receive basic education from pre-school to year 8, along with alternative care, feeding and love.
However, Neci faces a number of significant challenges. It does not have a permanent donor or source of income. It currently operates from a rented premises, and has little capacity to purchase learning materials or facilities.
Samson is a yoga teacher with the African Yoga Project who undertakes yoga outreach in ten disadvantaged schools in the Nairobi area, including the Neci Education Centre. He has also been working with Neci to improve facilities at the school.
Despite there being over 300 students, the school has only 100 desks – many of which are in disrepair. With Awesome Foundation’s help, Samson and the team at Neci will build new desks, providing workspace for many more students. What is awesome about the NECI project is that the parents who are mostly low-income earners provide the labour that goes into building the desks for the school in exchange for offsetting the tuition fees that they owe the school. This is a win-win for everyone: the school gets to make improvements in their learning facilities at low cost; the parents get some relief on the debt they owe the school and are happier to see improved learning facilities for their children. More importantly, you have the kind of “school-parent” engagement that goes beyond supervising homework or attending PTA meetings, and which is an absolute requisite for any school to succeed.
We see this as a model that can be replicated in many other schools from disadvantaged neighbourhoods and hope that the small contribution from the Awesome Foundation Nairobi is a step towards making this a reality.
Funded by Nairobi (February 2014)