AFG Summer 2018 Update



Unrelenting rains are disrupting countless lives across Kenya. Tens of thousands are displaced; roads major and minor are impassable. Outbreaks of cholera and typhoid have been reported in the slums. The death toll is heartbreaking.
Gatoto has not been spared. Flooding of the campus has been extreme. Although the improved campus drainage system funded by American Friends of Gatoto does efficiently drain the campus, it cannot function when the river it drains into is overflowing its banks. Clearing the flood water off of the school grounds can take time, though less than would be the case without the new drainage capacity.
The following shows one day of flooding of the Gatoto campus. It concludes with footage showing the distribution of mattresses, bedding, and food to Gatoto families made possible by the generosity of the AFG donors who quickly responded to our emergency call for support. We were able to send Gatoto $25,000 when the need was greatest. Your donations had immediate impact.

Unfortunately, the heavy rainfall continues. Orla Cawley, a member of the Board Gatoto Integrated Development program, says “absolutely never in my 25 years in Kenya has there been rain like this.” American Friends is tracking developments and may consider another emergency donation.

Needy families (gratefully) receive food, supplies, mattresses and blankets.




This year, four recently graduated eight graders have been admitted to the highly selective Education for All Children program in Kenya. With the EFAC’s carefully crafted support, they began secondary school in January of this year.
The Education for All Children Program provides crucial additional developmental support to select students enrolled in secondary and post-secondary schools in Kenya, including partial scholarships. (Admitted students are required to have sponsors who pay half of their school expenses.)
In addition to the scholarship support, the EFAC program offers their students mentoring, peer group retreats, workshops, and training, with the goal of launching them into the Kenyan work force.
American Friends is seeking sponsors for each of the four students through secondary school and university. The annual cost is $1,000, which provides the other half of school fees as well as ancillary expenses such as books, travel, etc. A sponsorship commitment is $4,000, paid in annual $1,000 donations over four years. If the sponsored students progress to university, their sponsors will have the option to continue their support. Education for All Children provides sponsors with regular reporting of the progress of each student, including periodic personal notes.
Last year, the first year Gatoto students applied to EFAC, two Gatoto students were accepted and are being sponsored by an AFG board member. The girls continue to do well at Vanessa Grant School for Girls, with one performing near the top of her class.
This year’s Gatoto students joining the Education for All Children are presented below. Each student has provided very lightly edited autobiographical information.
If you are interested in learning more about sponsoring a student, please contact Peter Edwards at

Kayaja Ivy Kagai

My name is Ivy Kagai. I am fifteen years old. I am a form one student at St. Clare’s Girls Elburgon in Nakuru County. I live in Mukuru Kwa Reuben slums in Embakasi District Nairobi County.

I am the last born in a family of six. I live with my mother and my five siblings since our parents separated. My mother is the only bread winner in the family. She has struggled to bring us up by working as a house help for different people. The salary she earns is not enough to provide all our basic needs including paying school fees for us. We live in two single rooms, one is for males and the other one for females. Each room costs a monthly rent of sh. 1700. (Note: approximately $16.)
My hobby is socializing with different kinds of people from different places. I aspire to become a doctor after my studies and also a motivational speaker to both secondary school students and primary school pupils. I also aspire to improve the living standards of street families by building rehabilitation centres for the street children as a way of serving humanity and giving back to the community.

Some of the biggest challenges that we face at home is flooding when it rains. Flood water sweeps away our belongings. Recently it carried all my primary school books away after the heavy rains being experienced in the country. Access to clean water is a problem in the slum, water is bought and at times it is scarce. Lack of clean water causes a risk of being affected by water borne diseases like cholera and typhoid. Drug abuse is also a problem. There is also insecurity in the village where one is not guaranteed of his/her security.

Many thanks to the EFAC scholarship for paying my school fees and taking me to a performing school. I would like to be a doctor or a prominent business lady when I complete school.

Job Namunyu Ekasiba

I am Job Namunyu from Mukuru Kwa Rueben slums located in Embakasi District in Nairobi County. I am a former pupil of Gatato Community Primary School. I just turned 16 years on 14th of April this year and currently a form one student at Nakuru High School.

I come from a single parent family headed by my father. This was caused by the separation of my parents. We are six children in our family. Our first born Linet dropped out of school while in secondary due to lack of school fees and now she is married in a local village in Busia County. I have two brothers; Bildad Ekilejo who is in polytechnic and Beutah Oroding who is a form three student at St. Paul’s Amukura High School. The other two are my sister Euphresia who is in class 5 and Hope who is in pre-school.
My father is now in his fifties, he is a caring and loving old man but lacks a stable job that can pay both our school fees and provide us with basic needs. He is a trained mechanic and driver but because of lack of employment, he ended up becoming a porter. His income is low and thus enables us to have only one room to live in. This room is not comfortable to live in, it does not have electricity and whenever it rains the room floods with water. This poor condition caused my siblings to be taken upcountry where they stay with my father’s younger brother.

I remained behind because I had registered for my K.C.P.E exams in Nairobi. Due to the conditions we are currently facing, I usually prefer being in school than home. The reason is that in school we are always provided with all the meals while at home we only manage to only have supper or at times miss. This challenges me to always keep striving and working hard at school so that I can attain my goals and career, which will enable me to help our family and anybody in need who will come my way.

Geoffrey Okemwa

My name is Geoffrey Okemwa. I am thirteen years old, I study at St. Mary’s Boys High School in Nyeri. I have got two siblings. My brother studies at Gatoto Community Primary School while my sister did her KCSE exams last year and is now staying at home. Our family is headed by my single mother who we rely on. Our family has four members who are, my mother, my sister, my brother and I.

Currently my mother works in a hotel in Thika. Most of the houses in our village, Mukuru Kwa Rueben are rented houses. With the large number of people in this area, we have many problems, especially during rainy seasons. The houses flood and it is during this season when you can even get dangerous diseases like
typhoid and cholera. This rain also affects transport systems and is due to this that some pupils cannot go to school. In the village most of us get water from the rain or from vendors who sell it at a price of five or ten shillings per twenty litre. There are various sources of fuel in the village like using cooking gas, kerosene or using charcoal, but the most appropriate for us is kerosene.

I aspire to be a doctor in the future. This has been my dream since I was a child. My goal is scoring a B+ or above in my K.C.S.E exams. My hope is getting my family out of Mukuru Kwa Reuben Slums and helping the underprivileged in the community.

Antony Mwanzia

My name is Antony Mwanzia, a fourteen years student at Makueni Boys High School located in Makueni County. I live with my parents and my sibling. My sibling studies at Gatoto Community Primary School in standard six. She is also very hardworking as I am.

My father works at a bread manufacturing company in Nairobi which earns him a little income which is not enough for him to sustain all our needs in the family while my mother is a house wife. We live in Mukuru Kwa Rueben slums. We are faced with many challenges because during rain seasons we do not live comfortably. Our homestead is usually flooded and the roads are impassable during the wet seasons.
Another challenge is that we don’t have access to clean water. The major source is from the tap which is not clean. We often suffer from diseases such as typhoid which hinders proper study because a lot of time and money is wasted on treatment. Here at home we use kerosene stove as a source of fuel which is not very much cheap.

I have set my own goals. At the end of my secondary level of education I want to score a mean grade of A- and above so that I could become a Civil Engineer and help my family and even my community.

Besides all that, the greatest challenge in our village is the issue of insecurity. The efforts of the government in controlling this has bore no fruits. This issue makes us not to live comfortably but to live with a lot of fear.


Consideration of Gatoto’s building needs has focused on the middle school toilet structure as the first priority of the bigger project. The structure functions irregularly or not at all, requiring repair. Rehabilitating or replacing the toilets can be funded and completed relatively quickly.

American Friends is in discussions with Gatoto’s management, board, and architect concerning options. Progress has been hampered by the recent flooding in Kenya. More details will be announced when they are available.


AFG’s new Media Kit is posted on its web site. This information package is useful to anyone seeking more in-depth information about Gatoto, including journalists, educators, fundraisers, donors, and more.

Or send checks to:

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AFG is a 100% volunteer, not for profit 501(c)3 corporation. AFG’s limited direct costs are paid by restricted board member donations. 100% of all other donations to American Friends of Gatoto are forwarded to Gatoto. Receipts are sent to all donors for their tax filing purposes.

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