, NAIROBI, Kenya, March 27 – Five years before President Mwai Kibaki declared primary education in public schools free, Hannah Njoroge was already providing learning at no cost to children in Mathare slum at the Mogra Star Academy.
And the Airtel Africa marketing team bolstered her efforts on Wednesday when they donated clothes, blankets, toys and Sh150,000 to the Academy which now provides free primary and secondary education, learning materials, breakfast and lunch to about 1,000 children in the slum.
“Airtel’s marketing team has been inspired by the story of Mogra Star and its indomitable spirit of the founder who has been selfless in nurturing the dreams of these children.
“Our team’s hope is to see the institution developed in order to secure as many lives out there in the streets as possible, and transform them into tomorrow’s leaders,” Airtel Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer Andre Beyers explained.
Njoroge welcomed the donations and thanked Beyers and his team for taking the time to interact with the children thereby showing them what they can achieve if they study hard enough.
“Having worked with these children for the last sixteen years and having come from the slums myself, I know what the time, material and money you’ve given means.
“It means options. It means these children have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves. It means they don’t have to turn to theft or prostitution to survive,” she said.
Airtel Africa’s donation to Mogra Star Academy compliments its ‘Our School’ programme efforts through which it refurbishes and furnishes, provides uniforms, books, teaching aids and broadband connectivity to 38 rural schools in 17 countries across the continent.
Mogra Star Academy on the other hand is part of the wider Mogra Project that includes a rescue centre and farm which provides sustenance.
“As the name suggests, the orphanage cares for orphans, abandoned children, children directly affected by HIV/AIDS, street children and children awaiting court orders,” Njoroge elaborated.
“Through one of our supporters, ‘Change Lives Now’, we can sponsor a child to go to college to achieve certificates and qualifications that will help them become financially independent and help their families and communities in later life.”