Growing Pains: Onward and Upward!

In 2016, the Mugumo Project has been growing out our bangs. Yes, that’s right—non-profits have hair. We had a great look in 2015 and now we’ve spent the last 10 months clipping our bangs to the side, pinning them back, incessantly flicking them out of our face, persevering to our new, more fabulous ’do. . . Bizzare hair metaphors aside, transitions are awkward and growth—the real, quality kind—shouldn’t be comfortable. While I’ve been going through my own transition (and been extraordinarily uncomfortable. Thank you, Army), so many wonderful people pitched ...

Read More


Term I Recap: An Update from Teacher Judi

INTRODUCTION We started the term on January 4th 2016 with about 60 pupils. By the end of the term, we had only 40 children who were of new faces. This is because the institution receives new children weekly and does not also allow children to stay long in the center.  Due to the different kind of children we handle--sexually abused, the abandoned, infected with HIV/AIDS, Malnourished children, physically challenged--outdoor/physical activities are mostly recommended. ACADEMICS In the 1st week of the term, we did revision of the previous work. So far in number work, ...

Read More


Operation Baridi Blizzard hits the Nairobi Children’s Home…and it’s a beautiful sight!

An onslaught of carefully crafted snowflakes has arrived from four different countries at the Nairobi Children's Home and the walls are "chillin" with the blizzard.  Teacher, Judith Randiek, says "My children loved the snowflakes and enjoyed sticking them on the walls.  They did it with a lot of patience and were very eager to see the outcome of their class."  They were also dancing around when they learned who had sent the snowflakes.  She goes on to say, "Thank you so much to everyone who sacrificed his or her time to make snowflakes for us...we have really ...

Read More


Operation Baridi Blizzard: It’s Snowing in Nairobi Children’s Home!

Holidays at Nairobi Children's Home are always duly celebrated. Every season, local organizations come together to donate special food and small gifts for the Christmas feast. Holidays like Christmas and Easter are one of the few times a year that NCH residents get treats like hard-boiled eggs and chapati.  It is a good day for children and staff alike. As a non-profit, there is a particular pressure to "perform" during the holidays. This is the season to give and receive! The temptation to pour our (very) finite resources into a spectacular gift for the home is ...

Read More


Hard to believe it has been just over one year since the Mugumo Project officially kicked off last August (the words "wild ride" and "learning experience" come to mind). We have easily accomplished more in the past 12 months as a unified group than our four years of informal sponsoring combined--and the progress continues! To commemorate our one year mark, we have put together a little newsletter with updates from Charity, Judi, and even Madame Christine from Nairobi Children's Home. There are also a few teasers of exciting events to come . . . We hope you enjoy! T...

Well, This is Uncomfortable: Pen Pals and Perceptions of Poverty

The idea of “pen pals” whiffs of summer camp friends and the distinct spice of Coppertone smeared over DEET. Or that beloved cousin who moved away in 4th grade with a sacred oath to keep in touch no matter how cool the kids were in his new town. Eventually, the tweens from Camp Wamapoke get smartphones and that cousin opens a Facebook account a few years later. Writing letters is harmless fun for the innocent and young. When the idea of pen pals between the girls of Machakos Rescue Centre and Fayetteville’s Find-A-Friend (FAF) mentoring program first occurred, I ...

Read More


Charity’s Term I Report: “A Hundred Miles Begins with a Step”

To all of our donors and sponsors, we salute you for the long journey that you have been traveling with us the whole of first semester. This first semester my work included: Purchasing new uniforms. After a long holiday in the rescue centres most of the school stuff got lost and misplaced. Buying their personal items and toiletries in time. Hiring vans and ferrying the kids to school and back to rescue centres on opening of school and closing for holiday and mid-breaks. Various visits and check ups on kids progress in schools. All the above have ...

Read More


A Day in the Life of Teacher Judi (A.K.A. Extreme Exercises in Patience)

In August, many of you decided to invest in our mission to hire a primary school teacher for Nairobi Children's Home (NCH). As a result of your efforts, a talented teacher has been working hard Monday to Friday, week after week, to create a vibrant classroom experience for the nearly fifty children who call NCH "home."  Six months in, what is it like to be Teacher Judi? How does she manage a one-room school full of peppy personalities jockeying for her attention? What for some less gifted teachers feels like a battle for Middle Earth (*cough* Jessie *cough*), Judi ...

Read More


The Pen is Mightier: Myth-Busting through Pen Pals

Happy New Year to our Mugumo family! . . . Okay, I’m a little late, but the sentiment is still there. In the spirit of new years and fresh starts, I am excited to announce our latest creative initiative that embodies the Mugumo philosophy in every sense —an international pen pal program! Not quite the shocking innovation you were expecting from an African-based non-profit? Me neither, but the results are invaluable.  The seeds of this letter exchange were planted back in August with the help of Constance Muasa of Machakos Girls’ Rescue Centre and Shauna ...

Read More


A Message from Charity

“Welcome, welcome!” This is a song sung in jubilance by kids when they come back after a long holiday in their rescue centres. They are deeply joyful to be back to school; that a new term (semester) has come. They want to meet up with their friends in school, and their teachers, to join new classes when it’s a new year, and to progress with their school routine, which is more busy and fun than in rescue centres. To me, it’s a hustle of time: arranging their transport, getting their fees in the school accounts, buying them the personal stuff for use at school, ...

Read More