On my first trip to Kenya for the Enemies Project, I went to the Mathare slum of Kenya to meet people who had been affected by the tragic post-election riots that swept through Kenya in 2009. One of the people I met in Mathare was Benard Ochieng who had started a crafts cooperative and a school for the children in that part of the slum. I’ve written about Ben in the past, and over the years I’ve helped Ben by raising money for some of the projects that he has worked on.

Nelson Guda with Ben and Janet in their home in Mathare
ENEMIES: Mathare slums, Ben
(My first post about meeting Ben)
Enemies Project - Ben, Janet and their children
(My 2nd post about Ben and Mathare)

Last winter in December of 2017, the school that Ben and his friends started was seriously damaged by a fire that tore through the slums. Ben asked for my help, and so I created a couple short fundraisers. In the end, with the help of a good friend who more than matched the donations, we raised enough to help Ben build a new building for MYTO.

Until last year, the MYTO classrooms were scattered throughout the slum in whatever shack they could afford to rent. This is the first real building they have had for the school, so for the first time the children won’t have to sit in classrooms that leak or flood when it rains. It is a major change for them.

When Ben and I started planning the new school, we decided that he should attempt a permanent building so that the school might eventually be recognized by the Kenyan government and certified as a government school. We’ll get there eventually, but we have to raise money to buy the surrounding shacks, because a government school in Kenya has to have space around it to reduce the risk of fire. Achieving this would be another milestone, because it would mean that they could get teachers and resources for the children. Right now, many of the teachers are volunteers.

I’m writing this post mainly to say thank you to all of the wonderful, open hearted, caring people who have helped support this project. These children have a place to study because of your generosity.

Thank you so much.

Here are a lot of photographs from the construction and the mostly finished school.