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Schooling for Children in Matopeni, Kenya

Region: Africa
Author: Boston Children's Centre of Matopeni Slum, Kenya
Consortium Member: Virtual Foundation Director (ECOLOGIA)
Status: Needs Funding Budget: $4000 Collected: $3315 Needs: $685
Goal: 1) to provide continuing support for sponsored children attending the school
2) to contribute to the Secondary School expansion project, to enable the children to continue their education
Comment: This project provides continuing support for an elementary and secondary school organized and run by the residents of Matopeni, a low-income area on the outskirts of Nairobi. The goal is to provide educational opportunities for orphans and children of destitute families. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: The school receives support from various neighborhood organizations. Their goal with this project is to raise money to cover school supplies (books, pens, paper, uniforms), daily lunch, etc. Roughly $212 USD covers the expenses for one child, for an entire year. NOTE: This district has a mixed ethnic/tribal composition, and its people did not become involved in the violence after the 2008 Kenyan Presidential election.

September 2011: Donors in response to emergency appeal: from Massachusetts: Patricia Mailler, Kurt Adams, Lynn Schachne; from Colorado: Meghan Hughes and Todd Merendino, Jane Saul, Judy Arffman, William Cullen Hughes; from Prince Edward Island: Susan Mailler

December 2011: Donors in support of sponsored children, 2012 school fees: Meghan Hughes, Colorado

Letter from Stephen Okwaro, Director December 3, 2011

Dear Donors, Friends and Friends of Boston Children Centre,
Through your immeasurable good will, the centre has made immense growth with resounding academic results. Thanks be to God, B.C.C kids are surviving and thriving today even with our difficult economic times. On behalf of the school management board,staff, children and the community at large, I feel greatly obliged to express our deepest appreciation for the overwhelming support you have continued to give us over the years. We have witnessed your unrelenting commitment to support needy children from one literacy level to another. You have given us an opportunity to illustrate our mission of helping the neediest children to attain quality education through sponsorship. We really appreciate your partnership.

Feeding Program During Holidays
Your generosity and quick response on emergencies of diseases and hunger has enabled us take the sick children to Hospital for treatment, and keep up the feeding program that benefited over 425 children learning here at B.C.C in the last 4 months. From the support we received from you and other sponsors we now have food reserve for our children until February 25th. Then after we will need more support to continue feeding the whole school children.

School Fees Payment Now $212 USD / child / year
Following high and tough economic times being felt by people of Kenya, we have been affected by the same as a centre and made some adjustment on our 2012 school fees. For those of you who sponsor individual children, their fees for the first half of 2012 (106 USD/child for six months) are due in December.

School Fees Breakdown (in Kenyan Shillings)

Each child per year (in Kenyan Shillings); one Kenyan Shilling = .0112 US dollars (down from .02 in May 2008); 18,970 Kenyan Shillings = $212 US Dollars. (conversion as of December 5, 2011).
Item Quantity @cost Total
School Uniform 1 pair @ 1020/= 1020/=
Shoes 1pair @ 1500/= 1000/=
School Socks Three pairs @ 200/= 600/=
Exercise Books 30 pieces @ 25/= 750/=
Pens 20 pieces @ 25/= 500/=
Library cost 400/= per month, 12 months 4800/=
School maintenance fees 143.30/= per month1720/=
Security 100/= per month1200/=
Administration cost 70/= per month 840/=
Total Feeding program 5 days a week for 9 months 6,540
Total (Kenyan Shillings)13340
TOTAL COSTS per child 18,970 Kenyan Shillings = approx. $212 US Dollars
Virtual Foundation administrative fee (5%)$10.60

Our old school budget (all in Kenyan shillings) has been overtaken by high inflation being witnessed in Kenya today. The year 2011 proved to be a very tough economic year in the life span of B.C.C. [NOTE: Compared to prices from May 2008, many of the individual costs in Kenyan Shillings have doubled or tripled. However, the cost in US dollar terms has not changed, as the Kenyan shilling has lost a great deal of value against the dollar.- CS]

Boston Secondary School
On the ground we have 6 rooms already finished, ready to be used by students come 2012 January 2nd.

Plans for the Year 2012
2012 is the year that we intend to achieve our Goal of having a fully equipped and operational Boston Secondary school. We are therefore planning for, and fundraising for:

We really welcome any kind of support from you that may enable us equip our new school.


The school receives support from various neighborhood organizations. Their goal with this project is to raise money to cover school supplies (books, pens, paper, uniforms), daily lunch, etc. For information about the Boston Children Centre in Matopeni, go to

May 2009: Children in class

The organizers write, "We get some irregular support from friends and our local church. It covers feeding program (Lunch Only )for a particular child, buys textbooks and buys full school uniform. We can say that in Kenya the cost of Education is low compared to other developed countries."

About Matopeni: "Matopeni is located 30 Kilometres from the City Centre of Nairobi and about 20 Kilometers from the Jomo Kenyatta international Airport.... Matopeni is a cosmopolitan slum. We are all tribes living here. Kikuyus, Luos, Luhya, Kambas - name them all. I think that of all areas that were affected by the recent political violence, Matopeni was very lucky we did not witness any violence like other parts of Nairobi."

May 2009: Children in front of the Boston Children Centre school, holding donated books

Past Donors: 2008: Middlebury Model United Nations Conference, Melissa Elliott, Colorado, Lisa Darling, Colorado, September 2008 - for tuition for Adrian and Pollet Adhiambo; Cullen Hughes, Colorado, September 2008 - for tuition; Meghan Hughes, Colorado, September 2008 - for books; December 2008: Judy Arffman, Colorado - for schooling and extra food for Jeremiah Silar; Todd Merendino, Colorado - for David Asamka and Jane Kanini; Meghan Hughes, Colorado - Sponsorship fees for Elizabeth Njeri and Evelyne Nyanchera;
January 2009: Susan Mailler, Massachusetts, for Hadija Ali, James Magengo, and Eunice Bahati; Jane Saul, Colorado;
June 2009: Meghan Hughes, Jane Saul and Judy Arffman, Colorado; Susan Mailler, Massachusetts, for Hadija Ali, Efen and Naomi; Todd Merendino, Colorado, for David Asamka and Jane Kanini; Cullen Hughes for Faith Wagikuyu; Melissa Essex Elliott, Colorado; Meghan Hughes, Colorado; For Eunice Bahati (from Lynne) and James Majengo (from Kurt)

2010: Maria Hughes, Jane Saul, Meghan Hughes, Todd Merendino, Cullen Hughes; June: Lynne Schachne, Meghan Hughes, Susan Mailler; July: Meghan Hughes, Jane Saul; October: Peter Nice for Ronald Mwadine November 2010: Stephen and Jane Saul, Cullen Hughes; December: Susan Mailler for Jackline Nigeri, Naomi Wandia, Hadija Alik and Efen Kayauaza; Kurt Adams for James Majengo, Cullen Hughes for Faith, Lynne Schachne for Eunice, Judith Arffman for Jeremiah Silar, Meghan Hughes for Jane Kanini, David Asamka and Elizabeth Njeri (2010 total: $ 11,358)

2011: total of $2,630 donated by Meghan Hughes and Todd Merendino, Maria Hughes, Lynne Schachne, William Cullen Hughes, Jane Saul, Kurt Adams (wire transferred to Kenya July 2011)


June 2011 note: For those donating through the "google non-profit check out" secure credit card system: "google" now charges 2.9% for this service. This is in addition to the Virtual Foundation 5% fee. You can add this amount back into your donation, or else we will subtract it from your donation before transferring to the Matopeni School project. Either way, the amount of your donation is fully tax deductible.

To learn about individual children who are eligible to attend the school, please visit the Boston Children Centre's sponsor gallery.

The Boston Children Centre and the Matopeni area participate in "the NABUUR project". NABUUR is an internet platform (based in the Netherlands) where villages in developing countries can be linked with volunteers from around the world, to receive direct assistance. Online volunteers help locate support. One of those volunteers contacted the Virtual Foundation and has worked with the school leaders to answer our questions.