We support a charitable organisation called Tushinde who support families in the Mathare and Kiambu slums. We picked them as our charity of choice for a number of reasons, including the proximity and the concept behind the program. We feel a responsibility to help those in our community that are less fortunate than ourselves but at the same time we believe that the support needs to be sustainable, that it must be an additional support to the network that is already in place and it mustn´t replace or outshine community and business networks that already exist in that area.
The team at Tushinde provides around 150 families with financial, medical and emotional support over the period of 5 years by which time the family must be able to provide for itself and function without the support of the Tushinde team. It carries out some amazing work and has had great success in the small pockets where it is active.
Last week I spent a morning with them visiting a school where we met 18 pupils who are in the Tushinde program and are able to receive a valuable education because of the program´s care and generosity. We popped in to see 30 or so toddlers in a day care group which is run by Mamas in the slum, but Tushinde provides the food to make sure that these kids get a nourishing diet at a time in their development where it is so important. Lastly, we visited a family that had just entered the program, where the mother was eternally grateful that her kids could go to school, and they had a mattress to sleep on but whose emotional wounds would take longer to heal.
Walking around Mathare was a stark reminder of how lucky we are but also it showed me how amazing and resilient these children and families are. The kids at school were thrilled to be there despite the lack of pens and books and teachers. They greeted us with excitement and the headmaster showed us around proudly. The little kids at day care were also very content in their small room with a couple of broken toys. For the most part they´re healthy, happy little people looked after brilliantly by their carers and the wonderful team at Tushinde.
It was a humbling morning and I left with a mixture of emotions and proud that we at J W Seagon are doing our small part to support a neighbouring community and hopefully making a difference to people´s lives.
The team at Tushinde are incredible. They have built up effective systems and processes that allow them to manage members of the program. They play an active role in counselling those in the program and ensuring they are getting the right medical and psychological treatment. At the same time, they are strict and fair with every family knowing that the end goal is for that family to exit the program and survive without additional financial and emotional support. It can´t be an easy job although I imagine it is hugely rewarding and I have huge admiration for them all.
We will continue to support Tushinde and if you would like to as well then please reach out to them directly on [email protected].