History of Cardinal Maurice Otunga (CMO)
Original Vision and Mission:
To rehabilitate and empower girls from the streets and slums of Nairobi, Kenya.
The girls are empowered with skills which would help them to be economically reliable, so that they do not recede back to the streets and slums. They are able, in some small way, to earn their living in a decent manner by using the skills acquired. The girls are also taught English, Reading and Writing and Entrepreneur skills.
Girls are taught skills according to their interest and standard of education. Some of these are knitting, sewing, dressmaking, catering, cooking, nutrition and housekeeping.
Girls are between 14 and 20 years of age so that after 2 years of training they can get a job. The level of education is from illiterate to class 8. This means some have never gone to school, and others had done class 8.
The class 8' are the girls who came from a very poor background and had no chance to go to Secondary School or have any training. Most of these are from the slums and orphans due to HIV/Aids. All of the girls receive holistic empowerment; i.e. Socially, Spiritually, Morally etc. apart from economic skills.
It takes two years of this training. We follow them for a period of another two years to ascertain a proper environment. Girls are residential, thus we have to move them away from an environment that is conducive to drugs etc.
How did we get the Girls?
Social Workers go to slums and streets of Nairobi to convince the girls to abandon street life and come to be empowered. There is a Rescue Dada Centre (Save the Girl Child) where girls are rescued from the streets. After rehabilitation they will come to CMO for skill training. Otherwise they could recede back to the streets. A majority of these girls have graduated from various skills offered here at CMO.
Currently some have married and are happily living and bringing up their families. Others are employed in some business according to their skills. Some have even gone into their own small businesses and are living a happy life. To date, the beneficiaries of the CMO Centre are over 420 in number.
We currently have four (4) girls sent to us from other centers of girl/child rehabilitation. We are giving them skills which will help them settle in life. We have four (4) from good families, but they are not able to provide them with training skills. These families pay 60 US Dollars per year which is equivalent to Kes 6,000/-per year. This is to buy any training materials such as food products for catering, wool for knitting and clothes for sewing.
We now have 28 students from the slum areas of Nairobi. Nine (9) girls from very poor backgrounds, 11 from extreme poverty level, and another 11 rescued from abusive situations from their homes. We have 68 girls who are totally dependent upon us. These are the girls that KHOPE helps. The support you send us is extremely important to maintaining the level of education we can give these very bright young women.
We have 6 girls who have been very successful and have continued with their education. These girls are fortunate enough to have sponsors paying to further their education at colleges.
In January 2015 Board Meeting, a $3000 grant was awarded to CMO so that more girls from Nairobi can have an education. The money was from several donors!
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