What is Rehema?
The Rehema Daycare, School and Orphan Center is a registered Community Based Organization (CBO) operating in Korogocho slums, Nairobi, Kenya.
Our vision is to help fulfill the fundamental rights of orphans and other vulnerable children by providing care, support and investment into their education.
Our mission is to develop an ongoing program to provide a nutritious, secure food program and livelihood improvement for these impoverished children by collective efforts and to sustainably reduce hunger and poverty in the Korogocho slums.
We have five primary goals
- Provide education to children that otherwise cannot afford to attend school thereby offering them a chance for their future as well as developmental stimuli.
- Mitigate the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS trough psychosocial support training
- Build life skills through vocational training
- Provide a home for orphans that is filled with love
- Develop and participate in income generating programs to increase funding to facilitate the needs of the children
We are committed to supporting destitute children in the society, including orphans, street children, and those from extremely poor families. Rehema provides daily meals, basic primary education, vocational training and counselling.
Our organization currently feeds and educates more than 300 children, utilizing funds from local and international donors, from sale of its vocational training projects (clothing) and through the support of Rehema Christian Fellowship Church, a religious ministry founded in the slum.
Background of Korogocho slum:
Korogocho slum is just outside on the north-east side of Nairobi. Despite an estimated population is around 800,000 (estimated 51% of those are children), there are only 17 schools (15 private and 2 public). The region is incredibly impoverished, with significant alcohol and drug problems in the population. A large percentage of the people are single mothers who are raising their children in single room shanties made of paper. They have lost their husbands and now rely on miscellaneous jobs such as laundry, to try to support their children. As there are not enough job opportunities, they often cannot pay afford the necessities, rarely is there enough money to pay educational tuition.
History of Rehema:
Father Erastus started the orphanage in 1990 when a woman abandoned her two children during a church service. As the mother could not be found, Erastus and his wife, Ruth, brought the children into their home. This was the beginning and 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. At that point 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 and the church recognized a need 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.
Rehema currently has four primary programs – a school, orphanage, library, feeding program and vocational training program.
- The Rehema School program:
The Rehema Education Center was established in 2002. Currently, Rehema offers a formal education program (kindergarten to grade 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.
Through this program, we facilitate transformation of rescued children by supporting them through both formal and informal education until they acquire the highest level of education we can offer.
Some videoclips of the Rehema school (September 18, 2007)
- The Rehema Feeding Program:
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 Support program:
The program currently provides full care for 50 children ages 2-19. The 28 girls stay at the new center. The boy’s dormitory is at a walking distance away.
- The Library project:
In 2012, a group of volunteers from the USA, led by Nancy Lehmann, converted a room that was used to raise chickens into a library. With support of several Rotary Clubs and individual donors, the library continues to be modernized and now has many books, toys, and a few computers and tablets. The library serves not only the children of the Rehema program but now has over 850 community members. Since the library opened, 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). This in turn has led to a character change in our community. Children are embracing new norms and adopting a more positive attitude as they can now envision life outside of the slums.
- 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. This program provides training and self-sustainable skill development in tailoring, knitting and dressmaking. This program has led to independence in our older children and therefore allowing us to care for more children.
Construction of a new Rehema Center (2019-2020):
The initial buildings of Rehema were mostly built of cheap materials and were beginning 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 official inauguration took place on March 12, 2020, in the presence of many local dignitaries and supporters from the USA. 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
- Purchase of additional computers for the library (at ~ $300-400 per computer)
- Provision of internet
- Sets of uniforms & shoes for the students
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.