Airtel secures future for Mathare slum youth

Hannah Njoroge has been providing learning at no cost to hundreds of children in Mathare slum area before the Kenyan government declared primary education in public schools free more than ten years ago.      

Hannah founded Mogra Star Academy in 1998 in Mathare, a slum situated three miles east of the city’s central business district, and considered one of the worst in Africa. The school provides education at both primary and secondary levels to more than 900 children with an aim of giving a better foundation for a brighter future to pupils and students from Mathare slum area.

Having been brought up in the slum, Hannah was aware of the many children unable to go to school because of abject poverty with their parents also unable to pay school fees.  She also realized that the children not attending school engaged in petty crime, scavenging for food and being forced into child labour.

17 years later, Hannah remains committed to this project that not only seeks to provide free primary and secondary school education but also empower them with knowledge and skills that will transform their lives and those of their families and communities in later life.

In September last year, Airtel Africa boosted her efforts with the announcement of a feeding programme for more than 900 children in the school.  The program continues to provide food for breakfast and lunch for every student at the school, 7 days a week starting immediately, enabling them to concentrate fully in class, achieve better grades and transform them into tomorrow’s leaders.           

Besides, the company as well started paying teachers’ salaries for the period of two years that the partnership will last with an option of an extension.  For the last 7 months, the teachers have been receiving their monthly salaries, motivating them to continue preparing the children for the future.

“Life was difficult for us before Airtel came into the scene. Since Airtel introduced this programme, absenteeism among students has drastically reduced, with a notable increase in enrolment rates and improvement in the school’s performance. Teachers are also excited and motivated to continue molding the students as they prepare them for life. As an institution, we have resolved that we shall go an extra mile to ensure that education standards and performance is uplifted,” said Mr. Njoroge.

Commenting on the project, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said, “At Airtel, we remain committed to empowering communities by promoting educational opportunities that make a positive difference in life. It brings us great joy to see how this programme continues to enrich students’ lives. This program does more than just providing food; it provides an opportunity  for the young ones to concentrate on the education, excel in school and essentially become successful people in the community.”

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