This program was designed to help children who are in the age bracket of 2-5 years. The children are from families that are not able to send them to preschool for one reason or another.
During the day in the slums, a lot of parents are out doing various jobs to earn an income. Many children are left on their own, which can be very dangerous. Because their parents cannot afford to pay for the pre-school fees, children lack active care during the day and are prone to encountering bad influences, poor hygiene, and abuse. The program gathers together the children from the slums and gives them care and protection during the day until their mothers pick them up in the afternoon. Additionally, they are introduced to early childhood education and are given at least one meal during daycare hours. Sometimes there is no food at home and this meal could be the only meal the child gets during the whole day.
The objective of the program is to develop a fully professional pre-school where the children are prepared to join the mainstream primary school institutions, which are supposed to be free for all children in Kenya. However, because of the limited funding that is provided to schools by the government, parents are charged with additional fees e.g. exam fees, school uniforms, etc.
Living Positive is in the progress of establishing a community library, where the bigger children can borrow books and get some space to read and do their homework. Some of the houses are too small and too dark for the children to study in. At the moment we only have a small collection of books, which are kept in the Living Positive office, and the children still lack a place where they can read.
The program offers one meal per day to the disadvantaged children in the day care. This activity meets a lot of challenges, especially at the moment due to the ever-inflating food prices. Because 90% of the family income in the slums is used for food, the price increase has hit these families especially hard. During the day the teacher takes up the responsibility of following up with the children who are HIV+ to make sure that they continue with their medical appointments and take their ARV drugs regularly.
To be able to run all these activities the program is running a support system, requesting well-wishers to contribute Ksh 1200 (∼9€) per month per child to assist in the administration of the child’s school uniform, food, and the teachers’ salaries.
Well-wishers can also make food donations, which in the past have mainly been maize, beans and rice.