I am in Nairobi, Kenya visiting the FTH partner ministry, Soweto Academy. SA is situated in Kibera, one of the world’s largest slums. In the midst of extreme poverty Pastor Chris and Joann Osumu are raising up a generation of children who will be tomorrow’s national leaders.
On our first day there we were able to see the facilities on the compound. School is out of session for Christmas break but there is still a lot of activity going on. There are 3 cows and several pigs in one corner, being well looked after and providing a source of food and income for the school. There is construction going on in the school building itself, as washrooms are being built for boys and girls. Plumbing in the slum area is unheard of, thus cholera, TB, typhoid, AIDS, and other diseases are rampant. (If you walk outside the compound you’ll notice the streets littered with platic bags where people have deposited their waste and thrown it wherever it lands. There is a saying in Kibera to “watch out for flying toilets” as sometimes these plastic bags could land on you!) However, Soweto is raising a new standard for the next generation, and this includes education and implementation of proper hygiene.
On the other side of the school building are 2 other buildings. One is a medical clinic which provides medical care for the community with a licensed doctor, several nurses, and a lab technician. The clinic also has a fully functioning maternity unit which is saving many, many lives as women no longer have to give birth on the side of the road or in a bacteria-infested shack. The other building is a water treatment plant where mineral water is being bottled for sale. Last year a well was drilled, hitting 2 rivers of pure, clean water. In addition to bottling water as an income source to educate and care for children, a spout is made available for anyone in the community to get clean water for free. This again is saving many lives!
There are approximately 1 million people crowded into the Kibera slum, an area of approximately 7 square miles. It is in this place, an embarrassment and eyesore to the people of Nairobi, that God is doing amazing things in the lives of children – showing that He has come to bring hope and a future to EVERYONE. Through the ministry of Soweto Academy and Feed the Hungry, this message is bringing many out of a cycle of poverty with dignity and strength.