How my mother inspired me to be a changemaker

Jeremiah Mumo is the founder of Friends of Love Kibera, a community based organization in Kibera that was started in 2015 with the aim of providing meals to children especially the vulnerable children. He shares how his mother inspired him to be a changemaker.

“I got the push from my mother, my mother who used to be a humanitarian. She loved giving back to people and serving the community. She used to gather children in our small room in Kibera where she could cook for them and teach them to read and write. So when she passed away in 2008, I felt it was time I picked up her vision. I decided to take it from where my mother left and in 2015, I started Friends of Love, Kibera.

With some juice, biscuits and popcorns packed in small gift pack, I asked for a room in a school in Kibera. I then gathered some children who were playing outside and we had a meal together. Between January and December 2016, I gathered these children and occassionally had snacks as I taught them song and dance. We became like a family.

I want to bring up a young generation who know the essence of giving back to their community.

In 2017 January, we started a scholarship programme for some of the students in the team. A four-year-old boy couldn’t join school because of lack of finances. We came together with my friends and raised Sh3,000 that his parents needed to have him start his education.

Later in the same year, more people got interested in sponsoring our students and that is the time I got a pot for cooking and variety of foods to cook. We had about 300 children by this time but today our feeding Programme provides food for 250 children daily. The meals include porridge and solid food for lunch.

At the time we started, we did not have a cooking space so I would cook from my home and so were the other volunteers who would then pool our food to feed the children. By the end of 2017 we got a donor, got a space and bought more cooking pots.

Today, our education sponsorship programme supports 30 children with the oldest in Form Three. We are determined to enroll more students in the scholarship programme. At the feeding centre, the pupils also have access to clean bathrooms and a mentorship programme that was launched in 2020. The programme directly serves 150 students and 500 learners based in different schools in Kibera.

While our girls receive a regular supply of sanitary towels, we host football tournaments for boys while offering them mentorship.

We also have the Clean Environment programme where we identify a dumpsite then clean and assign a boy living in the area to remind the people in the community the importance of proper waste disposal.

With the Friends of Love Kibera project, I have seen great impact. I remember a certain boy who was so frail when he came here. But today, he is a healthy child, strong and can speak coherently. We have also seen a reduction of cholera cases in this area due to the availability of good toilets that we have provided for the community. Setting a football team for the boys has reduced crime rate in the area as the boys focus their energy in sport.

“If you have a dream stop thinking about money, money will follow once you start to push the dream. If I had decided to look for money I would have not be where I am today. You should leave your comfort zone to create an impact out here. Money is not important as the passion, all the activities will run in place by the help of your motive and good agenda brings finances.”

One thought on “How my mother inspired me to be a changemaker

  1. Nelly Gakii Mwenda

    May God bless the work of your hands

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