Thursday, May 10, 2012

Uweza Community Center One Year Anniversary

This past weekend marked one year since the keys were handed over for the property that is now the Uweza Community Center. The space has become the center for all our activities which include  after-school tutoring for primary and high school students, life skills lessons and counseling for youth, art classes, and a journalism club.  The center also acts as a meeting point for a Kibera microfinance group, a support group for HIV-positive women, coaches and players from the Uweza Soccer Academy, and students enrolled in our sponsorship program.

To commemorate the occasion, we thought we'd take a look back at the transformation that has occured through photographs taken in May 2011 and May 2012.  We've also asked Uweza program participants and staff about how the creation of the center has impacted their life.  We are all so grateful to the Uweza supporters that have helped make the center possible and we look forward to seeing what the next year will hold for us!



Classroom/Meeting Hall:

“The center has helped me with tuition because the teacher at school has many pupils in class but at tuition, the teachers can help us one on one with our questions.  The center also offers art classes. Before I attended, I didn’t know how to draw but now I can draw.”
- Elizabeth Teresa, Class 7, Ayany Primary School

"The center helps with tuition. Teacher George has helped me in reading Kiswahili and with many other subjects.  I didn’t know how to speak well in English but now I can write and speak English well."
- Elizabeth Atieno, Class 4, St. Juliet Primary School

Saturday reading program
"Uweza has assisted me in many ways. Outside in Kibera, there is peer pressure to do drugs but we can spend our time to use the center and play soccer.  Sessions with coaches help in building discipline and reducing tribalism among teammates. With schooling, some parents in Kibera can’t afford to pay, like my dad is retired and does casual jobs.  Uweza has helped provide school fees so I can gain academic knowledge."
- Thaddeus Otieno, Form 3, Highway Secondary School
"At home, it is noisy and hard to study but I can concentrate at the center.  The center gives me a place to go to avoid getting into bad company with boys who idle around.   I have learned a lot of new skills like how to socialize with other friends."
-Charles Omondi, Form 3, Olympic High School

High school students studying at the center
"I am happy that there is good management at the center and I’ve seen role models in Jen and Moi.  The center has helped in nurturing talents in playing soccer.  The program has helped provide me with school fees and uniforms."
- Michael Kubasu, Form 3, Olympic High School
"The center provides books that we don’t have at home so we can come to read. The counseling sessions with Becky help us learn how to choose the right friends."
- Aisha Mohammed, Form 1, St, Anne's Girls High School
"The center has helped with books for learning.  It has helped identify talents. Like I am in Journalism Club and we are learning many useful skills so that if we go to college, we will learn faster. We also get a chance to associate with people."
- Everlyne Nzilani, Class 8, Ayany Primary School

Journalism club reading newspapers
 "It has created a job opportunity for me and opened my mind through interactions with kids and other staff. We need have big dreams and think outside the box.  Kids get porridge at the center and many of them don't get enough to eat at home. As staff, we are given the freedom to implement ideas and do what is right for the growth of Uweza, which is rare in other NGOs."
- Mathew Muema, Sponsorship Coordinator

"I am happy to be here because I prepare porridge for the kids who come to the center after a long day in schools. Providing them with cup of porridge to add their strength is what satisfies me by the end of the day."
- Agnes Adongo, Cook

To continue supporting the Uweza Community Center, click here.

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