MAJI MAZURI CENTER INTERNATIONAL AND CHANGING LIVES. |
The Development Project With A Small Start but Big Impact.| |
Maji Mazuri is a social economic development program that was created in 1984 by Wanjiku Kironyo and based in Nairobi, Kenya. The program was initially developed in order to help women and children in Mathare Valley, the second largest slum in East Africa. Wanjiku Kironyo who was a family marital therapist set up office in the Mathare Valley and began counselling women. The women she reached out to suffered from severe depression and other psychological syndromes caused by single parenthood and the struggles in this impoverished setting. In addition to counselling, she realized the women needed economic empowerment and began to help them organize into small economic groups, i.e. cooperatives which were a prelude to the Micro Enterprise networks that was later established by Maji Mazuri. Thus women who had been through suffering including abusive relationships and imprisonment had social and economic support groups where they were able to not only survive but prosper by getting strength from each other. In 1985, a Canadian woman called Rosalind committed herself to starting a small agency known as the Awareness Program. The purpose of that program was to create a cooperative inter-country partnership with Wanjiku’s office. In 1986, the Awareness Program secured grants from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and provided the start-up funds for Maji Mazuri Center. From these humble beginnings, Maji Mazuri Center’s projects have grown significantly. Initial funding was mainly received from the Awareness Program, but funds from other sources, supporters and well-wishers have been received over the years. The program is currently composed of six interrelated projects. The projects range from treating and equipping handicapped, abandoned or orphaned children and providing training for residents of the community to become self-sufficient, to training the youth on HIV/AIDS awareness and having them spread the word in the community. The projects have also been undertaken in various places in Kenya including Kiserian and also even outside the country in the United Kingdom.
As the programs activities in the slum areas expanded, it was found necessary to relocate the program activities to one central place where all activities could be coordinated from, and which would provide training facilities for members on life skills. The program therefore acquired 25 acres of land in Kiserian, south west of Nairobi City where it established the following; a primary school, a health clinic, a Girls High School, a biogas plant and a flourishing farm. These five activities have led to a great deal of development and are the key focus of this paper. THE GOAL, MISSION AND VISION OF THE CENTER
Its mission is to support and empower hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children to lead successful and productive lives through providing education facilities and to help people to escape from the bondage of poverty, ignorance and myth and become fully developed individuals. Its vision is to provide the foundation, education and support needed for the children, youth and families in Nairobi’s slums to become self-sustaining in terms of social, economic and spiritual well-being. Its goal is to provide basic tools and critical assistance to help thousands of families improve their lives in a meaningful and end the cycle of poverty. HYPOTHESIS
The hypothesis given is that the area has led to significant development in the Kiserian area since the relocation of the center. METHOD OF PRODUCTION
The area has developed greatly through the different projects mentioned earlier. Here, a brief analysis of each project undertaken will be taken into account. The primary school was the first project to be undertaken at the Kiserian center. It was built in order to...