Moving Mountains Kenya
Moving Mountains Kenya was founded initially to support street kids in Nairobi with extra-curricular programmes that helped them back into school. It was registered as an NGO in Kenya on 24th February 2005 but the work we did actually began back in the late 1980s when the founder Gavin Bate was living and working in Kenya with a number of aid agencies and started this programme alongside an effort by the Kenya Scouts to encourage street children into the movement.
The initial aim of this programme was to re-unite street children with their families and re-introduce them into the educational system. We did this by getting the children involved in a number of extra-curricular activities that kept them occupied the specific period after school when typically children would come home to an empty house with nothing to do. A lot of them ran loose in the slums and eventually got lost, and then were forced to live rough on the streets which became a way of life. For many it was an exciting way of life, and some turned to petty crime. Most went hungry and sniffed glue to counter the feeling of hunger, and of course they begged from tourists.
Children were an easy target for the police and many ended up in jail; part of our job was to get them out of jail with a small payment or 'kitu kidogo' that helped supplement wages.
Other children were forced into the streets to beg and steal and prostitute themselves as a direct result of acute poverty. While others were actually beneficiaries of western charities who had been put back onto the streets when the charity ran out of money, or they became too old to support. Many charities finish their support at primary school level, after which the children were effectively ostracised by their family and community and were forced onto the streets.
The reasons for the street child problem were complex and diverse, but the effort to re-introduce them to families and into school was very successful. It started with one school called Muthurwa Primary which was in a busy working district called Shauri Moyo and this is where Gavin began to encourage children back home and into school.
Amazingly that cohort of children are all still involved with Moving Mountains Kenya now, they are qualified experienced and working in either the charity or in lots of other industries such as nursing, accountancy, law, management, tourism and so on. The principle of providing long term continual support - not just financial, but emotional and mental support throughout the whole of childhood - has led to a group of people who became the architects of the their own success. Furthermore they are all now young adults with children of their own, none of whom suffer the same privations that they did.
Thus, the idea of Moving Mountains Kenya began, a long life journey of providing almost a surrogate family to needy children from early age right the way through to adulthood and the next generation. In that respect the task is a little like moving a mountain, but no less daunting than the daily struggles of the children who live life rough on the streets. Given the opportunity and the support, they can all survive and thrive.
Today, Moving Mountains Kenya works on a variety of projects and programmes across the country, and it implements the funding provided by the UK charity. All of our projects are conducted with the permission and support of local committees and communities.
Our current programmes in Kenya cover health, education and personal development, and social welfare. The volunteer opportunities offered with Moving Mountains Kenya offer an opportunity to work with our staff on international development programmes while experiencing some of the adventure travel in the region.
Above all else, the programmes at Moving Mountains Kenya are created by the community and for the community and most of the people working for the NGO are ex-beneficiaries. Many are former street children.
Moving Mountains Kenya Board of Directors 2018/19
The board of directors are all Kenyans who have been involved with the charity for many years. They have a lot of experience working on the programmes and projects and have all proved themselves as experts in the field of development.
Gilbert Njeru Chairman & Social welfare manager
Joseph Mungai Secretary & Community Health manager
Francis Kioni Treasurer & Construction manager
Serah Wanjiku Member, Education and counselling
Moving Mountains Kenya receives its funding from Moving Mountains UK, the main office of our Moving Mountains programme. The funding is discussed and agreed on a monthly basis.
Educational Initiatives and Capacity Building in Kenya
Moving Mountains runs a wide variety of educational programs and capacity building initiatives across Kenya, from the slums of Nairobi to rural areas in need of development. Currently, Moving Mountains Kenya supports twelve primary schools, 2 secondary schools, the Embu School for Special Needs, a football coaching program for the “Black Cats” team, and various educational support programmes.
At the primary schools in Kenya, many of which were constructed with funds from Moving Mountains, we provide uniforms, books, stationery, counselling, and mentoring for select students.
For secondary schools, Moving Mountains is able to cover school fees, transport, books, uniforms, stationery, mentoring, and counselling for select students.
Additionally, Moving Mountains supports the building or refurbishing of classrooms; construction of toilets, water tanks, and wells; funding of teaching resources such as musical instruments, sports supplies, books, and arts & crafts supplies; and the salaries of teachers to cover extra-curricular classes.
Students supported by Moving Mountains must meet the criteria of our Educational Support Policy. This dictates that our students must come from disadvantaged or low-income households and that they need to maintain high levels of attendance, good academic performance, and show excellent conduct and commitment to their studies.
Moving Mountains Kenya exists to support the growth and development of the students of Kenya, without falling into the trap of being an NGO that simply gives out handouts.
Personal Development Programmes
Social Welfare Programmes
Moving Mountains Kenya understands that development isn’t a band-aid you can just place over the problems of a country. Instead, development should be a holistic approach to solving these problems. This means working with the community as a whole on long-term sustainable projects. Our social welfare programmes have all been designed with this belief in mind.
These social welfare programmes target a variety of issues in our communities, from early childhood development to infrastructural support. Each program has been developed with the guidance and support of local authorities and committees. Whenever possible, we strive to provide employment to local craftsmen and labourers in the construction and running of these initiatives.
These social welfare programs have included:
Our Ulamba Children’s Home and Early Childhood Development School in western Kenya for young children to play and grow as they prepare to enter primary school.
The Embu Rescue Center offers a feeding program and various social enterprise projects, supporting street kids in their journey to become contributing members of their society.
At Solio Village, in central Kenya, Moving Mountains has supported the construction of schools, housing, and health facilities in seven villages in the area. Solio is one of Moving Mountain’s proudest success stories. It was once a refugee region populated only by tents. With our support, Solio is transforming into a thriving community. Read more about our success in Solio here.
Moving Mountains Kenya is proud to support the development of health clinics and public health initiatives across Kenya. We constantly work with local communities and authorities to meet their health needs and increase awareness and understanding of public health issues and best practices.
Across Kenya, Moving Mountains works in a variety of health areas, improving infrastructure and building the capacity of healthcare professionals. In Kibera, one of the largest slums in Nairobi, we have built the Ushirika Clinic, offering front-line healthcare to a disadvantaged community.
We also support the Dophil Clinic and Maternity Ward, a lifesaving clinic in the rural and remote Siaya region of Kenya. Building and renovating clinics is one of our main health initiatives across the country.
Volunteer in Kenya with Moving Mountains
If you are interested in the work that Moving Mountains is doing in Kenya and want to get involved, we encourage you to join one of our many volunteer and adventure travel trips to Kenya. Whether you want to come as part of a school group, a medical student, or professional skilled volunteer, we have a place that can fit your unique situation.
Our Kenya School Adventure trips are designed for groups of secondary students to get their feet wet in international development while also experiencing perhaps their first international adventure.
For university students, Moving Mountains hosts the University Trip to Kenya to experience the realities of international development first hand in Kenya. These trips unite University students with their peers to facilitate intercultural conversation and forge relationships that cross the boundaries of language and social background.
Our Kenya Medical Camp is designed for medical students looking to gain international experience before they graduate. During this excursion, medical students help Moving Mountains to run a free medical camp under the supervision of a fully qualified medical professional.
For those individuals or groups looking for a more specialized experience, Moving Mountains has individual volunteering programs in Kenya, as well as special expeditions and fundraising opportunities. We constantly need volunteers on the ground to help us collect data, build capacity, and run our NGO more efficiently and transparently.
To learn more about our programs in Kenya and the various trips and volunteer opportunities available, please explore the windows below.
All our valuable work in Kenya is only possible with the continued support of the Moving Mountains Family around the world. Join us on our mission to promote sustainable development throughout Kenya. Make a donation to Moving Mountains today!