Jitegemee uses a holistic, integrated program model to provide children and youth living in poverty in Machakos, Kenya with access to school sponsorship and support, vocational training, food and nutrition, healthcare, psychosocial support, and economic empowerment and livelihood training. We employ a three pronged approach to supporting our students, which emphasizes school support, economic empowerment, and health.
Based on need, we select students on an annual basis to receive sponsorship for elementary school fees. We also provide books, stationary, uniforms, shoes, food, and fees related to tuition or examinations. As students progress through the school system, Jitegemee also provides boarding, school fees and tutoring support for students who are admitted to regional first/second-tier secondary schools. Further, Jitegemee provides similar support to those students who are admitted to university. No matter what their circumstances are, we are committed to helping young people realize their full potential and attain the highest levels of education possible.
Central to Jitegemee is our Rehabilitation and Vocational Training program that provides rehabilitation and lifeskills training to those children who have been excluded from formal schooling. After training at Jitegemee’s campus, students select a trade and either participate in on-the-job training with a mentor in the Machakos community, or attend a trade school in the area. Those who are ready, sit for the national trade examinations (NITA) so that they have formal trade certification. More than 80% of our vocational program graduates earn from the trade they trained in at Jitegemee. And more than two thirds of our graduates are the primary breadwinners in their families. We also provide Economic Empowerment training to youth, caregivers and the broader community to contribute to household economic stability. In partnership with local and international partners, including Street Business School in Uganda, we provide entrepreneurship and micro-business training that can lead to a sustainable livelihood and income for our youth and adults.
We want to be sure our children and their families are physically and psychologically healthy. Through our Health program, we provide daily nutritious meals, fresh from our campus kitchen and often with vegetables grown in our shamba (farm). Collaborating with local healthcare professionals, we invite all our children and their caregivers to receive a physical check-up during our Annual Health Days, where they are also provided with needed medication or referrals. Over the years, some of our students have trained as peer mentors and, together with our staff, provide guidance and education on sexual and reproductive health. Our students enjoy the sports and fun days, and field trips we conduct every year, an important contribution to their emotional and psychological development. At the heart of Jitegemee, we work to foster a sense of belonging, genuine caring among our community members, a sense of pride and self-accomplishment, and mutual respect and acceptance for all our children.