A few weeks ago, we left for Kenya. We went to Made in the Streets, or MITS, as everyone calls it, with our youth group from Malibu. MITS is an organization that takes in street kids from slums like Eastleigh and Mathare Valley. MITS is just outside of Nairobi in a town called Kamulu. It consists of a Tea House, Hair Salon, Boys Dormitory, Girls Dormitory, Learning Center, Children’s Center, Computer Lab, and Skills Center. All of these are spread out in different parts of Kamulu, all are still within walking distance of each other.
The process of learning from the streets to graduating is rather simple. First, the child has to be between the ages of 12 and 15. They have to go to the Made in the Streets compound in Eastleigh. There are weekly bible and academic classes for the kids. They also get fed and play soccer (they call it football). If they come each week for six months, then they start the process of going to “The Farm” (The MITS place in Kamulu). They have to get a parent or guardian signature letting them leave to Kamulu.
Once in Kamulu, they start classes. They do English, Bible, Math, Science, and even computers. After a few years (the time varies), they have to pass a high school equivalency test. Once they do, they begin more specialized training.
The skills center is where most of them go. It consists of a tailoring class, catering class, and woodshop class. They can also pick computers, hair dressing, and auto mechanics, all of which are in Kamulu, but not at the skills center. After about two years of specialized training, they graduate. They are given an allowance for a while, while they find a job, then they’re on their own. Many come back to work at MITS a few years later.
There are over thirty girls and over fifty boys. The girl’s dormitory has a special place for mothers with children, as a few have children when they come to MITS. The babies and children go to the children’s center during the day, along with the staff members’ children, and get to be with their mother at night. The children’s center is basically a preschool for young children. It is run by two mothers (not students), and there are about ten children there. They learn basic English and numbers, and they are very happy. The oldest is six, and the youngest is about nine months old. I spent most of my time there. (for me, the love of God was almost tangible)
We did a four-day VBS program for a few hours for the first week, went on safari for a few days, then did a week long soccer camp ending in a tournament and feast. During the days, we would help out making lunch for the students, teaching them, visiting the skills center, and helping out at the Children’s Center. (my favorite)
Leaving was hard, but I plan to go on future mission trips there.