What is Rehema?
The Rehema Daycare, School and Orphan Center is a registered Community Based Organization (CBO) operating in Korogocho slums, Nairobi, Kenya.
The organization is committed to supporting destitute children in the society, including orphans, street children, and those from extremely poor families. Rehema provides them with daily meals, basic primary education, vocational training and counselling.
The organization currently feeds and educates more than 300 children, using funds from local and international donors, from its income-generating projects, and from Rehema Christian Fellowship Church, a religious ministry that was founded in the slum.
Background of Korogocho slum:
Korogocho slum is just outside on the north-east side of Nairobi. The estimated population is around 600,000. There are only 2 public schools, and approximately 15 private schools. It is very impoverished, with a lot of alcohol and drug problems. A large percentage of the people are single mothers, who lost their husbands, who do miscellaneous jobs such as laundry, to try to make ends meet. But as there are not enough job opportunities, they often cannot pay the education fees of their children.
History of Rehema:
Erastus started the orphanage in 1990 when a woman left her 2 children during a church service. As the mother was not able to be found, Father Erastus and his wife, Ruth, decided to take the 2 children into their home. From then on, it grew slowly as more abandoned children were identified.
Rehema itself was established in 1993, as a social responsibility of the church. By then, it was simply a feeding program, catering for 20 children from disadvantaged families in the neighborhoods.
By mid 1993, the number of children was growing rapidly, thereby forcing the church to introduce an education program. The very first program was that of the baby class, which was sustained for four years because of lack of funds to expand it to class one. Since then, it has expanded to class 8.
The Rehema School program:
Currently, Rehema operates from kindergarten to class eight, and offers vocational training to some students who are otherwise unable to pursue further education. At its peak, the number of students was 650. The past year, due to the demolition of the old buildings to build the new center, the number of students had decreased to 300 students, but is expected to increase rapidly again when the school opens again at the next school year.
Some videoclips of the Rehema school (September 18, 2007)
The children receive lunch at school. For most of the children, this is the only meal they receive in a day. The cost to run this feeding program for 300 children for a month is approximately $7,000 (approximately $23 per child per month).
The Rehema Orphan program:
The program currently takes care of 38 orphans. The 12 girls stay at the new center. The boys dormitory is at a walking distance away.
The Library project:
In 2012, a group of volunteers from the USA, led by Nancy, converted a room that was used to raise chickens into a library. With support of several Rotary Clubs and individual donors, they bought many books, toys, mini-tablets, 2 computers, and many more items. The library has been serving about 700 children, as also many children and youth who live in Korogocho slums but are not students at Rehema come and make use of the library to study and get information. Since then, the grades of the local students on the public exam have increased dramatically; the local students used to be around position 8, but since 2012 have always been in the top 3 rank (often number 1).
Tailoring training unit:
This unit provides vocational training to a number of students. In addition, items in the unit made are sold as income-generating activity to support Rehema.
Construction of a new Rehema Center (2019-2020):
The initial buildings of Rehema were mostly built of cheap materials and were starting to collapse. Fortunately, a sponsor of the USA came forward to sponsor the reconstruction of Rehema. As a first step, the old buildings were demolished. Next, drilling occurred to determine the best location for a deep borewell to assure proper access to water. On Feb 15, 2019, the groundbreaking ceremony took place. The building was inaugurated on March 12, 2020. See below for a short documentary (made by reporter Dickens Ngicho of NTV Kenya)
The official inauguration took place on March 12, 2020, in the presence of many local dignitaries and supporters from the USA.
How you can help:
- You can sponsor an orphan: for a high school student, the cost per year is $500 (approx. $45 per month). To sponsor a small child costs $30 per month. You will receive a picture and letter of the child, and can also write back to the student.
- You can sponsor a teacher for $150 per month.
- You can make general contributions that we can use to support several needs:
- the school lunch program
- purchase books and other supplies.
- Start-up funds for a bakery as income-generating activity:
Contributions to the Rehema program via Sahaya International are tax-deductible in the USA. If you like to make a contribution, you can do so in different ways:
- To pay by credit card or paypal, go to our donation page. When you make the donation, enter in the “in honor of” or notes section “Rehema” so we know your donation is earmarked for this project.
- You can mail a check, made payable to “Sahaya International” to us. Add in the notes field “Rehema”.
1504 Portola Street
Davis, CA 95616
Many thanks for your support!
The gallery below shows pictures of the past 20 years. Click on each picture to see an enlarged version.