About Kids to Kids
Kids to Kids is a Christian outreach program of Christ Church Westlands, Nairobi that caters for the neediest children from the slums in the Westlands area of the city. Our goal is to provide 60 children each year with nutrition and education, then integrate them into the national education curriculum.
How do we do this?
Kids to Kids recruits 30 children at the end of every year. These children then begin the program in the next academic year. Currently, we recruit by identifying and interviewing needy families in the slums of Kibagare, Kangemi, and Kawangware. In the interview, we seek to find out their economic status and family size and composition, and the schooling history of the child. We then conduct home visits to gather more data on their socio-economic status. These children come to the program for one academic year then transition to a public primary school in the next year, during which we continue to provide food and school requirements, as we take in 30 new students to replace them in the program. We, therefore, take care of 60 children each year.
To achieve its objectives, Kids to Kids uses an informal school curriculum. We teach life skills, numeracy, and literacy. Kids to Kids also provides pastoral care to the children. The curriculum includes an introduction and awareness of subjects they will tackle once they get to formal public school. These include science, geography, Kiswahili, history, mathematics, and English. The children also engage in various games, sports, and crafts. The children are all at different ages so we use multi-age teaching methods. The school day begins at 7.30 am and ends at 3.30 pm, from Monday to Friday.
We provide two meals a day to the children — breakfast, and lunch. This ensures that the children are healthy and keeps them coming as they often do not get much to eat at home.
We plan at least one field trip per term for the children. Places visited include the elephant orphanage, the giraffe park, the national museum, the animal orphanage, and the Bomas of Kenya. The children also attend Christian camps during the holidays when possible.
Medical volunteers conduct medical checks on the children in the first and third terms of school. Kids to Kids then provide treatment where possible, especially for minor medical conditions. The families are advised of any medical conditions detected.
Kids to Kids works with the parents, encouraging them to be involved in the education of their children. We have three parents’ meetings in a school year where parents get an opportunity to interact with the teachers and learn of the progress of their child. During these forums, we give them tips on how to encourage their children in their studies at home. These forums are also opportunities to have invited guests to speak to the parents on social factors that affect the homes and hence the children.
The Kids to Kids staff also carry out home visits to better equip us to work with the child, knowing what the home situation is like, and also to strengthen the bond between the program and the parents and guardians, making the children’s education a joint effort between the parents and the program. These home visits are done at least twice a year.
When their one year in the programme is over, the children join public schools. We continue to monitor all the children who have passed through the programme for their entire primary education. We encourage them to keep working hard at school. If any are in desperate financial need that will cause them to drop out of school, we provide for them as we are able.
When a Kids to Kids child completes his primary education successfully, he most often will require sponsorship to pursue secondary school studies. The programme seeks individual donors who can commit to sponsor such a child through the four years of secondary education.
How do we operate?
Kids to Kids is run by a hands-on committee, currently comprising 10 volunteers. The programme employs two teachers and a cook/caretaker. One of the teachers coordinates the programme and serves as administrator.
Kids to Kids is solely funded through the church, donations from individuals and organizations. Donations are made in cash or kind to support any of our many activities.