6000 Children From Slums Receive Free Education Funded By Donors
The Live and Learn education center, which a donor supports, has given free education and job training to more than 6,000 school-aged children and young people from Nakuru’s informal settlements.
The founder of the Kenya Live and Learn Education Institution, Ms. Brique Zeinner, said that the center was set up to change the lives of poor children from slums by helping them see and use their hidden talents.
She noted that the institution began modestly but has since grown with the help of funds from well-wishers abroad who have supported the center, which has been a safe haven for poor children for over a decade.
Ms. Zeinner, the children’s mentor, said that the center is home to 690 vulnerable children from slum areas and helps them reach their full potential.
The 54-year-old German says he feels emotionally connected to Kenya because he has been there 25 times in the past 15 years.
After engaging with residents in low-income settlements, she concluded that education would be the most effective approach to help them escape poverty.
She noted that it took years of fundraising from her friends in Germany, China, the Netherlands, Brazil, and the United States to construct the Live and Learn Education Institution Kenya, a center that has been altering the lives of disadvantaged families in Nakuru County since its inception.
The Center, which has existed for sixteen years, funds children throughout their elementary education, relieving needy parents or guardians of the burden of school costs.
During the December holidays, the school provides parents with Christmas care baskets containing cooking oil, meat products, flour, and other basic food items.
According to the center’s mentor, the organization also administers a scholarship fund that enables talented youngsters from low-income families to pursue further education in secondary schools, tertiary institutions, and universities.
Also, the facility has food relief programs for many families and counseling sessions for the parents.
According to Zeinner, these provide holistic health coaching to help people and families who have been through trauma or other bad things recover emotionally.
The vetting teams at the Live and Learn Education Center work with the local administration to find students who deserve to be enrolled.
They investigate the parental or guardian’s financial background to guarantee that only disadvantaged youngsters are accepted into the school.
The Live and Learn Education Center mentor has been pushing for community-led change.
He or she has said that trying to help people in slums is pointless if the people who need help don’t participate.
“We must recognize the talents that exist in marginalized communities and unlock this potential to drive durable social change,” said Zeinner.
Before expanding to Kaptembwa, Kivumbini, Bondeni, and Flamingo slums, the institution initially served children from the low-income communities of Baruti, Mwariki, and Ronda.
The organization began with only two instructors and now has sixteen instructors assisting kids.
Ms. Zeinner said their biggest problem is still the large number of potential students who show up for interviews but are turned away because there isn’t enough room.
The Center is also a slum school where kids from poor families learn how to use computers and the internet, as well as skills like sewing, cutting hair, and making shoes.
In addition to computing and information technology skills and practical training, youths also benefit from short courses in entrepreneurship and communication skills.
The center has drilled a borehole and constructed a state-of-the-art water treatment facility that can pump up to 30,000 liters of the commodity thanks to money from donors.
The center manager, Kennedy Branda, stated that it has been difficult to operate the institution but that the transformed youngsters’ success stories keep them going.
He adds that Mr. Branda’s greatest incentive was watching poor youngsters living in slums graduate from school since they inspire others to do the same.
“In low income settings you do not use force when trying to instill discipline in children, they will become rebellious. You inspire them through what they don’t have and make them know they can get it,” notes the Manager
Branda envisions a future in which Life and Learn operates a full-fledged technical vocational education training institute for disadvantaged students and a children’s rescue center and home.
Among those with a cheerful script is Esther Wambui, a member of the Center’s Parents Teachers Association (PTA) in charge of fifth grade.
She stated that the facility helped her four children succeed in school. This year, her youngest child is in fifth grade, and another is doing the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education tests.
She adds: “It has been a journey of hope and determination. The sacrifice by the management is what motivates our pupils to work hard and I am glad most have qualified to join national, provincial and sub-county secondary schools.”