AFG 2017 Year-End Update


Betty Nyagoha, Director of Gatoto, reports that the school made important strides in 2017.
Gains include having a total of 160 alums enrolled in secondary schools, compared to 130 last year. Of those, 35 are currently “sitting” for their last, national high school tests, their final hurdle before graduation. Gatoto’s nutrition program expanded with the addition of a hot breakfast for every student—funded by American Friends of Gatoto—complementing the hot lunches already provided by the World Food Program and a Nairobi-based trust.
Most importantly, operations at the school and the surrounding community were not fundamentally disrupted by the Kenyan presidential election controversies, in contrast with other “informal settlements,” which experienced significant outbursts of violence. The Mukuru kwa Reuben neighborhood surrounding Gatoto is multi-tribal, like the school itself. This may have naturally helped dampen tensions. Activities at the school continue as before.
However, Gatoto did have a fence badly damaged when voters created a shortcut into the campus, which served as a polling center. Damage was limited to the fence, as the school had hired additional security guards who protected school buildings.


Three brief video interviews are being added to the website of American Friends of Gatoto. Here’s a preview:


Flora Wambui
Flora is just finishing the equivalent of fifth grade. At 10 years old, she is young for the grade.
Her father is member of the Luhya tribe, her mother is Kikuyu. She has grown up in a home where those two languages as well as Swahili are spoken. English is therefore the fourth language in which she is functional.
Godfrey Kweya
Godfrey, 26 years old, is a Gatoto alum who currently teaches at the school.
The first born child of his mother, he was abandoned when she re-married and sent to live with an uncle, who already had five children. After Gatoto, he attended secondary school and then Machakos Techer’s College, graduating in 2016. His teaching duties include English, science and social studies.
Douglas Lifede 
Douglas is 29 years old. The first of three children, who all attended Gatoto, he was raised by his mother after his parents separated. She washes clothes to earn a meager living.
He graduated from Gatoto in 2003, went on to secondary school in western Kenya, and earned a Bachelor of Education (Arts) at the University of Nairobi.
Douglas is currently a Project Coordinator for a Sanergy, a non-profit social enterprise that has installed more than 800 “Fresh Life” toilets in Mukuru and another nearby neighborhood. An innovative design, Fresh Life toilets use sawdust to turn waste into a transportable, sellable fertilizer, which it collects regularly from its sanitation stations.


As previously announced, an anonymous donor is offering to match all US donations to American Friends of Gatoto of up to $100,000.
This generous gift, which was announced at October events in Washington and New York, could result in as much as $200,000 in donations to Gatoto. If American Friends of Gatoto is able to raise the full $100,000, the donor will match that amount with another $100,000 contribution. In the event that total donations are less than $100,000, the match will still be honored. To qualify for the match, donations must be received by December 31.
If you are planning to make a gift to Gatoto, please do so by the end of 2017. The impact of your gift will be doubled.

Peter Edwards
Member, Board of Directors
American Friends of Gatoto