Ghetto Classics has been operating in Korogocho for 10 years. Despite being a music program we are always aware that the challenges the students face are deep and painful. Our social worker Peter Kuria is at the forefront of work beyond the music. Here are a few words from here:
“After some time of giving hope to our students, we realised most of them kept on missing classes, the reason being their parents not in a position to provide their basic needs. A big number of their parents they are not employed and they depend on casual jobs. As a social worker I have been there to respond to their needs,
PAYING SCHOOL FEES: being in slum with the population of 300,000 residents there are only two public schools, but with the help of missionaries and other organisation there are several schools where students are required to pay some fees. But even the little they are required to pay, the majority of our members cannot afford it. Ghetto Classics has stepped in to help a good number pay for these fees. Thanks to many of our generous donors we have managed to pay and get scholarships for over 40 students.
HEALTH: Being surrounded by the biggest dump site in Nairobi, Dandora dump site – the toxic smoke makes our members sick from time to time and this requires them to seek medical assistance, but again in Korogocho there is no any public hospital this forces residents to seek medical attention elsewhere where they are required to pay and classic always responds to it members by taking them to different hospitals. Most recently one of our members fell into the dumpsite, breaking his leg. We were able to get him urgent care through Dr. Modi at Avenue Hospital who gave surgery for free and thanks to the Rotary Club we were able to fund his stay in hospital.
MENTORSHIP: This normally takes place to all our members during school holiday where we invite experts to share with them on different topic which in one or another affects their daily life, some of the topics are, self awareness, personal responsibility, personal growth including many others. We currently have 20 girls attending mentorship sessions in partnership with the Seasoned Women Centre. In the July of 2019 we welcomed the Polish doctors from Treating with a Mission who came and provided eye checks and mentoring to the girls on their transition to becoming women.
COUNSELLING: Some of members requires special attention and we always invite expert to council them and help them deal with the issues affecting them.
HOME VISITS: This is to get a clear picture of a living condition and possible ways of helping members who times go through difficulties of getting food and paying rent, the organisations helps those in really bad condition. We aim to visit the vulnerable students at least once a term to assess how they are doing. At present we are supporting 5 students with housing and 16 with monthly foodstuffs.
I am always positive to help them.
The low moment I have ever experienced is one of our member whose living condition was pathetic. Living with the father and two of his siblings in a 10×10 house full of empty spaces, they didn’t have mattress or blanket to cover themselves at night, in front of their house there was dirty stagnant water. Food to eat was a nightmare since as they were depending on food that is normally given at school. Currently the member is in back school and doing very well and he is also part of the Safaricom Youth Orchestra. We were able to buy mattresses and blankets and support the family with food and home supplies.
The high moment is when Ghetto Classics offers members an opportunities, how they utilise them; at school, in music and also in their life, members are full of hope and they are determined to brighten their future despite all the challenges.”
We believe that music has made a difference in many of the lives of our students, not only has it given them an opportunity to learn a new skill, but has also given them a chance to have an education, access to healthcare and a better livelihood and also given them a chance to hope for a better future.
Below are photo’s from the non musical activities that Ghetto Classics provides: mentorship and sports day activities.