Mathare compound is located in an old quarry 2km long and 300m wide. This shanty village is 5 km (3.2 miles) from Nairobi city center, the capital of Kenya. 600,000 people live in this area in very poor conditions, many of them children. Disease is rampant. It is estimated that up to half of the residents have HIV. The stream that flows through the center of the quarry is an open sewer.
Various areas are lived in by different tribal groups. This is the cause of huge tension and it becomes political as people often vote along tribal lines as well. There are some 2,000 children in the schools being run by the team including the Kariobangi kids. Every day the children are fed a meal which brings a lot of stability to the attendance.
The team attempts to find sponsors for the children to help with the feeding and the school. They also are involved in the planting of churches in the squatter compounds and the area around Kisumu. Part of the ministry is the training of leaders so they can grow the ministry.
Kariobangi is a neighboring slum with only slightly better conditions.
A number of churches have been set up in the compounds. Social workers visit the parents/guardians of the school children at Mathare to understand the needs of the area and provide support.
The main components of Mathare Community Outreach are:
- Leadership and Mentoring Program (LAMP)
- African Girl Empowerment Program (AGEP)
- Education sponsorship
- Feeding program
- Orphan Support