For a Brighter Future: Esharelife & AVSI

Last year Esharelife hosted a Christmas party with the aim of changing the lives of children living in dire conditions in a Kenyan slum. That party raised money that has been dedicated to supporting the chances and choices for 50 of those children – funding access to education and improved life skills.

Boys and girls living in one of the region’s hardest environments – a slum named Kibera – come from families for whom every day is a fight for survival.  Going to school means children receive at least one meal a day. School fees are beyond even the most optimistic hopes of their parents. That’s where AVSI comes in, and why Esharelife is proud to partner this incredible charity.

Money raised from the Esharelife Christmas party last year set in motion support for  51 children. They are 31 children attending AVSI’s school Little Prince Primary in Kibera and 20 teenagers attending St Kizito VTI courses to learn skills including mechanics, electrical engineering and carpentry.

LITTLE PRINCE PRIMARY SCHOOL

The children supported by Esharelife at the Little Prince School are underprivileged children referred by parish priests, institutes, humanitarian organisations and local congregations working.
These are people in contact with the poorest in the slums

AVSI Kenya

Little Prince School has 350 students.  It has a Primary School, a kindergarten, a library, a laboratory, computer sciences facilities, a canteen, a kitchen and administrative offices.

Guardians or parents commit to contribute a small amount towards the school fees*. The feeding programme is the second most important service that Esharelife helps facilitate with funding, the most important service AVSI to offers to pupils, after education.

Economic hardships mean that many cannot afford the recommended number of meals in a day. The school offers breakfast and lunch every school day. Esharelife also supports teacher training for the school.

The money raised from Esharelife went towards providing:

Psychosocial support, including periodic home visits; recreational activities including sporting activities with prizes; school meetings; part payment of school fees and contributions toward school uniforms, books and stationery; medical assistance including free medical consultations, medicines and specific medical treatments

*AVSI advocates that the full amount is not paid in order to encourage family members to be active in their child’s education.

KIZITO VOCATIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTE

Esharelife supports St. Kizito.  It was built to help the poor youngsters within the community and young people coming from the outskirts of the city.

Training is their route to a dignified life.  For many, their schooling finished at primary level, with no funding to continue into secondary education.  

Thanks to the support of Esharelife the training equips students with the skills to access a better livelihood – and they are in turn able to help the community.

WORKING WITH AVSI

One of the joys of supporting the work of the AVSI, the charity working in Kenya with its most disadvantaged children, is receiving letters from those the charity helps.

These are handwritten and from the heart.

Invariably these letters are energetic, full of life and bursting with enthusiasm. We read every one and are always incredibly humbled by the correctness of the grammar in ones so young – and the burgeoning artistic talents on display (almost all of these lovely letters are illustrated by their authors!)

AVSI Kenya - Letter from a child

The common theme is always ‘I love school’.

The photographs accompanying their letters show lively kids dressed for school, their eyes shining and offering a big grin for the camera.  These images are reward enough for the support the Esharelife community brings to these children’s lives.

Education has to be a fundamental right, and AVSI is working hard alongside the Kenyan national school system, to provide schooling for every child.

The charity works to promote harmony and integration between the new national system and the AVSI method.

AVSI aims to educate children as individuals and recognise and nurture their particular talents.  Listening is important, making the best use of available materials, story-telling and offering strong and inspiring role models are fundamental elements.

AVSI Kenya School - Antonino Masuri

Parents, teachers and educators are invited to observe.  AVSI’s approach to education is more holistic, embracing life skills and the value of interaction, as well as academic learning.   

Learning to look after themselves properly, to combat avoidable diseases, is learned through play and social interaction.  The value of simple hygiene is clear – it saves lives.

Proper hygiene combined with a good diet contributes strongly to healthy and balanced growth. That’s why AVSI also promotes courses for adults on organic farming, how to create and use organic fertilizer and the biological control of weeds.  The children benefit from free vitamins and vaccinations too. Esharelife is proud to assist.

Our lively correspondents write to say thank you for the books, the help with schooling and the opportunity to learn; even, simply, to have a childhood.  Their letters are filled with cheerful optimism. Their futures are brightening, but their home circumstances are a constant challenge. We’d like you to meet some of the bright, lively children making the most of the opportunities you’ve helped create.

One of the little girl lives with her parents and three siblings in a rented single-roomed house made of metal sheets in the Kibera slum.

They have no access to safe water or private pit latrines: they buy water from a neighbourhood vendor and use communal latrines. Her mother sells second-hand shoes at a nearby market while the father does casual jobs and sometimes works as a mechanic. The income they earn is very little and is spent on basic needs for the family and paying rent.  It doesn’t cover health related expenses.

SCHOOL REPORT:  She is in class 2 in Little Prince Primary School, which is 1 km from her home. Her performance is excellent. She is polite, cheerful, and loves going to school and playing with her peers.

 

One boy lives with his father, his step-mother and his six siblings in a timber and tin house with no facilities in the Kibera slum.  His family lives in an environment that is not clean: and it has had a negative impact on his health. His father gets occasional work as a driver and his step-mother sells clothes.

SCHOOL REPORT: He is in class four in Little Prince Primary School, which is 800 m from his home. His performance in school is very good and he is improving.

 

One girl lives with both her parents and the siblings in a rented house in the Kibera slum, with no sanitation.  Both her parents are living with AIDS.

Both parents rely on casual jobs. They have difficulties finding enough money for food and school fees and sometimes the children do not receive a meal per day.

SCHOOL REPORT: She is in class 6 in Little Prince Primary School, which is 1 km from her house. Her performance is excellent and she has great potential in school.