Songa Mbele na Masomo (‘Go Ahead with Education’) is an Informal Education Centre for disadvantaged children from the Mukuru Slum area in South B, Nairobi. They assist children who have fallen behind in their education; those who have dropped out of school, who never joined in the first place, and those who missed out due to barriers associated with physical and mental disabilities. The centre’s objective is to re-integrate its pupils into mainstream education.
Having founded many schools in Mukuru the Sisters of Mercy noticed an increasing number of pupils were dropping out and some children not joining at all (mostly due to the lack money for fees). It was for this reason that they first established this informal educational day centre.
Songa mBele began to work with children with disabilities in February 2011, following the request from APDK (Association for Physically Disabled in Kenya). The very first class had 5 participants, by 2014 there were 30. There is no other school in Mukuru like it. A parents group has also been set up, who help out at the centre and part-take in various workshops on assisting their children.
“Through the centre we have also changed the lives of many parents who felt stigmatized, despised and abandoned. We do it using simple tactics of love, care and support.”
The Centre integrated 24 children into mainstream or specialized schools in January 2015