Ushirika Children’s Centre is a dynamic community-based organisation situated in Kibera, Kenya. With a strong emphasis on empowering the youth, particularly those affected by factors like school dropout, substance abuse, and the impact of HIV/AIDS, Ushirika stands as a symbol of resilience within the community.
History and mission
Founded in the heart of the Kibera slum in Kenya in 1998, the Ushirika Children’s Centre has been a shining beacon of hope for underprivileged children and young single mothers in dire need. This extraordinary institution emerged as a response to the pressing need for a safe haven for children vulnerable to child labour and abuse.
This remarkable institution not only saves these vulnerable children from the clutches of child labour and abuse but has also extended a hand of psychosocial support through engaging activities like African dances. With unwavering commitment, the school has opened its doors to approximately 600 needy children, providing them with a safe haven and a pathway to education. Through its dedication to nurturing lifelong learners, the Ushirika Children’s Centre plays a pivotal role in helping its students overcome the burdens of poverty, empowering them to become educated, self-sustaining, and contributing members of society. Their goal is to provide accessible, community-based, culturally relevant, and supportive projects, programs, and services to the children and youth of Kibera, paving the way for a brighter future in the face of adversity.
The core activities of the Center span education, nutrition, sports, economic empowerment, and various youth programs, fostering personal growth and community development. Today, the centre serves 442 students across Nursery, Primary, and Girls’ Secondary School, with an Early Childhood Development program targeting the youngest members of impoverished families and young single mothers.
Collaborations with partners like AVSI and the Youth Development Forum (YDF) since 2014 have further amplified the Center’s impact.
With a vision of a society where young people enjoy their rights to survive, develop, participate in decision-making, and receive special protection against discrimination and exploitation, Ushirika Children’s Centre has relentlessly pursued its mission to alleviate the hardships faced by children and youth in dire poverty, offering them program benefits and services that fulfill their basic needs, enhance self-esteem, and elevate their physical and educational well-being in a lasting manner.
The Ushirika Children’s Centre has, over the years, been instrumental in effecting positive change within the Kibera community. By providing refuge to children who would have otherwise fallen victim to child labour and abuse, the center has altered the trajectories of hundreds of lives. Through its comprehensive approach to education and support, it has cultivated a generation of lifelong learners who defy the odds stacked against them. These children have grown to become not just educated individuals but empowered citizens who are actively shaping the future of their community. The impact of Ushirika Children’s Centre goes far beyond its walls, radiating hope, and instilling a sense of possibility among the youth of Kibera, offering them a brighter future, and fostering a culture of resilience and empowerment.