You can download and store the Project Outline here.
What is your idea of Kenya? Beaches framed with palmtrees on the Indian Ocean, wildlife in the Serengeti, vast vistas… That‘s what they promise you as a tourist.
BBut the country has a lot more to offer: welcoming people who, even under the most adverse of living conditions, are full of confidence for the future and extend their generous hospitality to you, even if their resources are limited. Children who live together on a severely restrained space and are still full of optimism and joy, who freely and spontaneously approach you, even if you are strangers.
All that is not self-evident: a high unemployment rate, wrecked infrastructures, corruption, a critical lack of supplies, a disastrous healthcare system, AIDS and a high crime rate are unfortunately also characteristic of this country. Most children barely have a chance of receiving education and of later having any kind of job prospect.
It is therefore all the more important that we have people like Jane and George Kilonzo from Nairobi who on their own initiative are offering a new home to children and adolescents in the house of their project, called wajibu wetu (which means „Our Responsibility“ in Kishuaheli)
We the above mentioned individuals are a couple who are now founders of Wajibu Wetu Children’s Project. The project is located at Rironi area that is along Nakuru/Nairobi Highway at present.
Below is a brief resume of our past experiences in the field of community work/disadvantaged children.
- Worked with St. Joseph the worker training centre for a period of six years being one of the initiators/in charge of the institution:
The work involved training of young girls from poor families and women.
- Worked with catholic archdiocese of Nairobi based at the then Rescue Dada Rehabilitation centre for street girls. Work involved street work that is to rescue the girls. To counsel them and teach them dressmaking, tailoring and dye activities for a period of five years.
George K. Kilonzo
- Worked with St. Theresa Catholic Church and religious institutions based in Mathare valley slum area. Work involved:
Organizing parking boys and initiating football team tournaments in view of tapping their talents and getting them back to school. Teams involved thirty teams of young boys through the sponsorship of the religions institutions a cup was brought for the tournaments and named Kilonzo cup.
Up to date some of the players then at present are Mathare United Football club players e.g. Irungu the coach and others. This was for a period of five years.
- Worked at Kangemi Jesuit fathers, work involved informal sector program for youths from poor families. The youths undertook informal training in liaison with Undugu society of Kenya for theory classes/sponsorship for a period of five years. The late Rev. Father Grol from Holland founded Undugu Society of Kenya.
- Worked with Mukuru Project based in Mukuru slums Industrial area mainly involved in street children rescuing them from the streets of Nairobi and Mukuru environs as the person in charge of the residential children program. Mukuru Promotion Centre.
- Worked, for a period of 8 years, with Nest Children’s Home as a couple Jane and George in charge of institution. Number of staff: 16. Population no. of children: 80. Age brackets: from zero to twenty years, boys and girls.
Why did we think of founding the project?
It is an insight based on experience and desire on praxis for many years.
Main reason: it is not enough to feed, clothe and educate the children who have been rehabilitated. Based on our experience, much more is needed which sometimes is not attended to: eg. in many projects the core healing of the inner person of the child (past Trauma) which can only be realized if not 100% but 80% to 90% through the basic human touch.
How would this be realized?
By keeping a small group of children in cottage form with an image of foster parents or aunties but bearing family atmosphere approach. Wajibu Wetu has a fundamental approach and intends to be a pilot unique set-up from many. Accepting every child he/she the way they are as well as the staff and tapping the talents to enhance betterment of the family atmosphere.
Wajibu wetu children project is the visible burning candle which has come to reality.
Some members of our team.
(From left to right:) Grace, Hannah, George, JaneJane, George, Grace, Hannah, Fidelis, Samuel and Njeri take care of the wellbeing of the children 24 hours a day. A fantastic team, of whom we are very proud.
You find our project “wajibu wetu” on the northern outskirts of the city of Nairobi. The main building, small and like a cottage, contains two bedrooms, a minute kitchen and a lounge, the size of a living-room.
Next to it there is a small house with one room, where the boys sleep. Under the guidance of the married couple Jane and George Kilonzo, experienced and well-trained staff take care of street urchins, orphans whose parents died of AIDS and children of delinquent mothers.
Jane and George place a particular emphasis on creating a family atmosphere in order to allow the often severely traumatized children to experience, in a very concrete way, a situation where they are protected and cared for.
In June 2007, the wooden shed on the grounds was replaced by another house built of bricks, in which a large dormitory with WC and bathroom accommodates the girls. Besides, several smaller rooms were created as office, conference room, guestroom etc.
In early 2009, a more spacious kitchen was built (in the front garden next to the new climbing frame/tree-house), which provides sufficient space for all to eat together under one roof even in the rainy season and in the cool of the evening.
On account of disquieting conflicts over the inheritance, there have been serious problems with the landlord, which also affected our children: their playground outside the gates of our home was closed off with six parallel lines of barbed wire.
This is one of the reasons why, in May 2012, a 5.4 acre terrain was bought at the price of € 120,000. All that remains to be done now is the construction of adequate accommodation so that at long last the children can enjoy a safe and untroubled home. It is also our goal to create jobs there for young people. Our plans include a bakery, a butcher’s and a carpenter’s shop as well as a guesthouse, sustainable agriculture and – in the not too distant future – a kindergarden and a careers office/job training centre. For the time being, however, we are looking for sponsors for the most urgently needed buildings: a central house, with kitchen, lounge/living-room and offices, as well as two dormitory complexes/units(?), one for the boys and the other for the girls. We estimate the construction costs at around €250,000.