Kenya, Africa

KEN01b - Mathare Community Outreach Education Support: Partnership Reports

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REPORT DATED: MAY 13, 2016 >
REPORT DATED: MAY 31, 2023 >

Report Date: February 2, 2017

Report from BHW Field Director Following Visit 


Recent Events


sad timesIn general, the children in the schools and hostels are doing really well. The schools have a high pass rate compared to other schools in Kenya, let alone in Mathare.

Support for the Kariobangi hostel has been recommended as a number of donors have finished their support. Some donors changed their support structure to just follow a selected group of students through education. Those children have now completed primary school or have gone off to boarding secondary schools around Kenya. However, more children keep coming into the hostel and there is a need for regular, undesignated funding. BHW has agreed to fund 33% of the actual requirements although there is a need to increase the amount.

In November 2016 one of the senior boys in the hostel, Evans Odongo, passed away. He was a fourth form finalist at Onjiko Secondary School and greatly loved by everyone. (Photo shows Vitalis and Sarah with his family)

New Profiles

Vitalis Matinde
Vitalis is the pastor of the church at Kariobangi and the social worker for the children being supported in education. He is an enthusiastic man, full of faith and love for the children. 

enthusiastic manIt is now more than eight years since Margaret, Vitalis' first wife, died and three years ago he married Sarah. (Photo shows Vitalis and Sarah with Vitalis' son, Wilberforce)

Before becoming involved in ministry he worked as a fingerprint expert with the Kenya Police Force. He then left the Police and started a tour company. The company was very successful and they opened an office in Russia and were planning to open in Europe but the business crashed badly.

He then joined MCO-OCC and went to South Africa for Bible study at Covenant Bible College. When he returned to Kenya he became involved with Compassion International. He began a programme to oversee the Compassion International involvement in Mathare with 350 children. Following that he worked with Bright Hope International as a social worker. When they ceased their financial support of Mathare he became involved in the Bright Hope World programme. He did a lot of training during that time.

He is now involved with 100 children. He talks to parents and schools about the children. He also runs a gathering once a term for the children. There are around 25 children in the Kariobangi hostel.

The greatest issue the children face is when they become teenagers: hormones! Following this their biggest problems are related to the issues they face at home. There are a number of people who help with counselling the children. Most do it pro bono. This is a great help to everyone. 

During the day Vitalis works with the children at school and in the hostel, all the kids are younger. Evenings and weekends are for church work which keeps him very busy. He loves his work. He is very happy with his dual role. Many of the children and parents are part of the church. There are still hundreds of children that need help and he would love to help more. 

The last time I was in Nairobi talking to Vitalis his daughter Naomi was in hospital with major heart problems. She had to have major surgery and came through it well. It's been a great relief to everyone and a time of great concern. 

One boy (unnamed) is 13 years old and in class 8. He never met or knew his mother as she died very early in his life. His aunty then took over as his guardian. He is a bright child and one of the leaders at Kariobangi hostel. He started his first year at secondary school in January. A couple of years ago Vitalis started a savings group with some of the parents and his mother (Aunt) joined up. She now has enough money to send the boy for at least his first year at secondary school.   


Personal Stories

Irene Mwende  

part of worship teamIrene is 18 years old and in Form 3. She likes history, chemistry, business and maths, and wants to be a nurse. Her parents died two years ago and she then went to Kariobangi.

After class 8 she couldn’t go to school because there was no money for fees. In 2014 she started attending OCC church at Kariobangi and then started school.

She sees Vitalis at Kariobangi and thinks he is a very good pastor.  She is part of the Kariobangi worship team. She became a Christian three years ago and is thankful she has God to trust in and help her. 

David Omondi

would like to be a doctorDavid's parents died when he was little and he stayed with his grandmother until he was 8 years old. He was then sent to a hostel in Maseno. After sometime the hostel was given to MCO-OCC and over a period of three years the hostel was closed. David was one of the last remaining ones and was transferred to Kariobangi in 2014. 

He has other brothers older than him and when he was sent to the hostel, they refused to go. Neither of them has gone to school and their lives are a mess. 

Kariobangi is a very positive experience for him. At school he enjoys geography, biology, chemistry and business studies. He wants to be a doctor. If he doesn’t get enough marks for that he will study accounting. He is currently in Form 3 at Kariobangi and MCO Secondary. He became a Christian in 2012 at Kariobangi and is part of the praise and worship team. 

We first met David at Maseno. It is so good to see him growing in maturity and in faith. 

Solomon Ochien

future accountantSolomon is in Form 3 at Kariobangi and has been there since 2014. Like David, he came from the hostel in Maseno. When his parents died he went to live with his sister but she could not keep him and he went to the hostel. His time at Maseno was very positive.

His favourite subjects at school are geography, maths and business. His dream is to start a bank and become an accountant.

He likes Kariobangi hostel and has some great friends (brothers) there. He became a Christian in class 8 and loves church and plays the keyboard.


Ideas for the Future

There are many children still facing challenges of poverty that the team would like to assist by bringing into the hostel. The government now requires that those who run hostels are proactive in trying to find family in Kenya. This requires some special skills and resources. 

They would like to fund some vacation Bible schools for the children during school holidays. Many children get into trouble when not at school. A budget has been presented and is waiting for a donor. 


Current Issues and Challenges 

hard at workThe challenges revolve around the terrible circumstances many children face in this area. There is a great amount of poverty and all the associated issues. 

The need for more funds to help more children. MCO-OCC is a long way from raising the funds required to operate to full capacity and are under great pressure.


Prayer and Praise Points

1) The commitment of the leaders of the children's work as hostel parents, cooks, counsellors, teachers, social workers, pastors and leaders. 

2) The very positive environment that exists at the Kariobangi hostel.

3) The great children that are learning well and growing up as balanced adults from very difficult backgrounds. 

4) The number of children passing exams.



This is a wonderful partnership assisting so many children. It is very hard to understand the depths of poverty the kids face so I recommend we look very hard at trying to develop more support both as donations and to generate income. We are exploring options for income generation.