Lack of decent homes drives German philanthropist into action
SEE ALSO :Wetang’ula should tame detractorsThe first batch of students enrolled at the schools will sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) at the end of this year. Most families in Kilifi live in mud-walled houses thatched with palm fronds or makuti. Large families share single-roomed houses, which they also cannot afford to repair exposing them to elements. Kasichana Karisa from Rojorojo village in Kibarani ward, a beneficiary of the free housing project says the organization constructed for her a three-bedroom house. “My husband does not have a stable job that can generate money to sustain our eleven children with the basic needs and at the same time construct a good house for us. Our first house was a single room small house,” said Karisa, 40 who adds that she had immense challenges in her old home whenever it rained. “It was difficult during the rainy days because I could not cook in time. My children could go to school without breakfast as I waited for the rains to stop. At times I was forced to remove uncooked food from fire and wait until it stops raining,” she said. According to Mwanyiro Gabriella’s conscience was pricked by the Kibra incident and poverty in Kilifi. “The incident of that boy from Kibira who could not go to school because of Shs200 touched Gabriella very much and she felt that money which is always seen as little can bring a positive impact in someone’s life.” “When she came back to Kilifi, she spent most of her time in the village and was keen on the type of life children went through, she was touched with the rate of poverty which had hit Kilifi,”says Mwanyiro who adds that through its school programme the organisation has retained hundreds of poor children in school. “The feeding program attracted many children and especially girls who had been neglected due to the preference for the boy child. We realized that pupils could not concentrate when they are hungry.” “We did a home visit and what we saw was not pleasing. Their houses were damaged and parents could not afford to feed these children,” according to Mwanyiro who discloses that widows encounter particular pressure from in-laws demanding to remarry them by force. Many widows, succumb to pressure due to poverty. This organization seeks to empower such women with decent housing and support for their children’s education. “Some widows have been forced to flee from their in-laws. But we are engaging the local administration to help us solve the wrangles and have the widow settle with her children in peace,” he said. The houses constructed by the organisation under its Social Living programme cost between Sh500, 000 and a million shillings. Many urban families who could not afford a Sh1, 000 houses are now proud owners of homes in Rojo, Masindeni and Mafumbini villages. However, it has not been smooth sailing because many parents involved in this programme have since absconded from their other responsibilities. “We believe in participatory development but parents want us to do everything. We give them food and education but some do not want to take their children to school. Parents are not taking care of their girls and many of them are becoming pregnant which makes them to stay away from school before they come back,” he said.
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