Mary Rice Centre, Kenya
What is the Mary Rice Centre?
Mary Rice Centre was established to care for children who have mental and physical disabilities. Based in the Kenyan slums, the Centre supports the families of these disadvantaged kids and practically promotes better integration, acceptance and support for these kids within their community.
They ensure that some of the most vulnerable children have access to education, nutrition and medical care; providing basic learning skills, pre-vocational and vocational skills, therapy services and an outreach program. The team also support the parents of the children through skills training and income generating, cultural and community activities.
Due to Covid-19 Mary Rice has had to temporarily close their doors. However, they continue to support these vulnerable families, providing food packs and access to healthcare throughout the shutdown.
Why are we partnering?
We believe in the value of an education.
The centre cares for some of the poorest families in Nairobi living in the largest slum in Africa – Kibera. We are partnering with the Mary Rice Centre to ensure the siblings of the children they support can also access an education and nutrition throughout the year.
Covid-19 has intensified the situation for our friends in Nairobi.
Schools are closed, with curfew and isolation people are unable to work or obtain food and supplies, despite living in slums gangs expect ongoing rent and the President acknowledges starvation is just as much a threat as Covid-19.
What are we currently working on?
1. Covid-19 Food distribution program:
Our friends in Nairobi already combat hunger and under-resourced healthcare systems that are made even worse by the Coronavirus lockdown.
In Africa, schools provide lunches for students. When the schools are closed, poor children do not eat, returning to school after the break several kgs lighter. Due to Covid-19 lockdown schools are closed, including boarding students who have been sent home. We have already heard firsthand reports of increased hardship and, unfortunately, incidents of crime, with no financial safety net for families or the community.
We have partnered with the Mary Rice Centre to distribute eight weeks of food to 80 of the most needy families in the first phase of relief; enabling families to maintain nutrition, isolate at home and remain safe.
With no end in sight to the lockdown in Kenya, food and hygiene packs remain a crucial support for these families.
$20 provides a family of 4-5 food for one week, ensuring these children do not starve and can resume their education once schools reopen. How many families can you support?
2. Sibling Scholarship Fund and Holiday Program
The Sibling Education fund enables the brothers and sisters of the more vulnerable Mary Rice students to also access an education and food; equipping them to build a bright future. With the children in School, you are also enabling parents to go to work, benefitting the whole family.
$500 sponsors a child’s education and food for a year.
3. Holiday Program
In Africa Schools provide lunches for students. When the schools are closed, poor children do not eat, returning to school after the break several kgs lighter.
We are partnering with Mary Rice to continue to connect with students and their siblings during school holidays; ensuring children continue to access food and medical supports and enabling parents to continue work.