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Past Projects

Saints of Hope CHILDREN’S CENTRE

Saints of Hope (SOH) Children’s Centre, under the leadership of Emily Agisa, offers quality caring for 60 young children on the edge of Kawangware slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Most of the children attend 5 days a week and range in ages from 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 years.

The History

The Aussie connection to SOH was established in 2003 when Susan and John Adam were living and working in Nairobi. They met a local Kenyan woman, Emily, who worked at a day-care centre called CREDO that had been established to care for orphaned and needy children. Two years later, with some mentoring support from Susan, Emily took over the running of the Centre and enthusiastically re-named it ‘SAINTS OF HOPE’.

African LEAF covered the rent and other basic costs since 2005, and for two years they funded a food program. This ongoing financial support enabled the move in 2006 to a larger and more suitable building – the initial tin shed in the smelly and muddy area of Kawangware was replaced by four rooms of solid brick construction on the outskirts of the slums. With good security and running water it has been a sanctuary for the little children who attend each day, with the space and freedom to play, hear stories, and sing and dance. One of the best features of the new venue has been the adjacent playground, which now has the addition of a vegetable garden, a covered sandpit, swings, see-saw and a slide (a generous donation from a Byron family).

Emily completed her 10 module East African Steiner Teaching Certificate in 2010 and is bringing much of the richness of her training to the children in her care. Ongoing mentoring (from 2003 to 2011) has been provided by international visitors combined with some of the Waldorf Kindergarten teachers in Nairobi.

Growth & Change

African Leaf decided to cease its funding input for SOH from 1st January 2012. Emily had reached a stage of growth where she was receiving enough fees from the parents and carers of the 60 children who attended each day, and had proved herself to be self-sufficient in covering her basic needs for the centre.

SOH was now getting generous help from other donors, and African Leaf decided, after 6 years of support, to put its funds into some new projects. We wish Emily and the staff all the best in their good work with the children of Kawangware slums.

‘SAINTS OF HOPE’ is officially registered with the Kenyan Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services as a Social Development Group.

May those who live in the shadows be seen by those who live in the sun – John Marsden