My dream to offer education opportunities to the vulnerable

“Growing up in poverty, education seemed like an unattainable dream. Things became even harder when I lost my mother yet I was barely 15years. However, fate smiled upon me when I approached a Catholic Missionary Scholarship that took me in as one of them and not only paid my fees but also catered for my needs. That scholarship ignited a fire within me to uplift others facing similar struggles.”

Reagan Waithaka, the founder, Lea Mathare Foundation

Established in 2013, Lea Mathare Foundation seeks to suppport vulnerable families and mainly giving their children a chance to education in Mathare informal settlements in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Reagan explains: “My vision was clear: to empower vulnerable families by granting their children access to quality education.” Collaborating closely with esteemed community elders and the chief, Reagan identifies deserving children who yearn for an education.

The foundation has been a beacon of hope for over 300 students. These bright minds ranges from high schools to pre-schools. The foundation has a school with a pupil population of 100 from pre-school to grade 4. Due to limited resources at the school, when one completes grade 4, they are taken to a public school to continue with their education. He is delighted to express his joy as his cohort one students will be finishing high school this year. “When our students reach grade 4, we transition them to public schools. We seek out sponsors who generously cover their educational expenses.” Through scholarships that extend all the way to university, Reagan ensures that his impact is not limited to the present but extends to future generations, empowering them to become agents of change themselves.

Ensuring a coherent society

Beyond education, the Foundation extends its benevolent reach to various initiatives. “We conduct pad drives to girls and teach them sex education, supporting street children by reuniting them with their families or taking them to children homes, supporting young mothers in their pursuit of education, empowering them and mentorship programs.” He added: “We also extend a helping hand to the elderly, ensuring their needs are met, we help people with disabilities, actively engage in charity works around the 47 counties and community clean-up drives, fostering a sense of pride and unity.”

Among the many success stories Reagan has witnessed, one particularly stood out for him. He talked about a12-year-old boy, who had spent five years on the unforgiving streets, was brought under Reagan’s care. Despite enrolling him in school, the boy struggled to grasp even the basic concepts due to his years of neglect. Recognizing the importance of a holistic approach, Reagan made the difficult decision to place the boy in a juvenile rehabilitation center where he would receive the necessary counseling and support to overcome his traumatic past which will ultimately pave the way for his brighter future.

He also addresses the underlying issues that drive children to the streets. Many of them coming from broken homes afflicted by substance abuse and domestic violence. By providing rehabilitation services and counseling for drug addicts and offering support to families facing domestic violence, Reagan aims to break the cycle of despair and create a nurturing environment for these children to thrive.

Reagan’s journey began with a simple desire to make a difference. Armed with nothing but a compassionate heart, he set out to tackle the challenges faced by the children of Mathare. Lack of resources and widespread poverty posed significant obstacles. One of the greatest setbacks Reagan encountered was the limited capacity to support a large number of children.

However, he quickly realized that focusing on a smaller group allowed for more personalized attention and a greater impact. By identifying those in dire need. Despite the challenges he faces, Reagan’s determination knows no bounds. Over the course of five years, he managed to acquire a space and build a school, eliminating the burden of rent and providing a stable learning environment for his students. 

The power of Social Media

In order to secure funding for the organization, he utilize the power of social media by advertising online. Through various social media platforms, he has been able to reach a wide audience and receive a substantial amount of support from generous individuals who believe in their mission. Additionally, he has established a pig farming business that serves as a source of income for the organization. By rearing and selling pigs annually, he generate funds that are used to pay his dedicated team of four teachers and one cook.

I believe that education is the key that unlocks the door to a better future. I firmly believe that by empowering children through education a greater future awaits them.


“To further support our efforts, I have formed a partnership with the Helping Heart for Community Organization in Kitengela. They provide us with essential resources such as foodstuffs and stationary, which greatly contribute to the well-being and education of the children we serve. In return, I ensure that any excess resources we have are shared with them, as we believe in collaboration and mutual support within the community. Moreover, we have received invaluable assistance from Portugal Hakuna Matata, an organization that specializes in helping communities develop sustainable income-generating activities. With their guidance and expertise, we have been able to establish additional income streams that reduce our reliance on external donors.” He added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *