Our Affiliated Project: The St. John’s Community Center in Nairobi, Kenya
Located in the Great Lakes region of eastern Africa, Kenya is known for its fertile highlands, grassy savannahs, wildlife and its namesake peak, Mt. Kenya. Its economy relies heavily upon agriculture and tourism. Kenya is also a cradle of civilization, rich in cultural heritage and diversity. The nation’s wealth of natural beauty, resources, and culture, however, belie the poverty in which most of its residents live. Tragically, destitution and weak government institutions permit frequent violations of human rights. Kenya is also plagued by a severe shortage of healthcare workers, which contributes to lower life expectancies, high infant mortality rates and widespread preventable disease.
These maladies are perhaps most pronounced in Nairobi’s poorest and most dangerous neighborhood, Pumwani. Plagued by extreme poverty, disease and crime, this area is home to thousands of needy children who desperately need assistance. Many of these children live in slum conditions and suffer from malnutrition, abuse and neglect. For this reason, St. John’s Community Center serves as a safe haven and a beacon of hope. The center was established in the late 1950’s following a violent period known as the Mau Mau Uprising. Its mission is to provide long-term social services to the needy — regardless of age, tribal affiliation or faith. By providing for the children’s immediate needs as well as investing in their future through education, St. John’s Community Center offers these deserving children the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances they face.