Our Story

    Problem Statement

    Kenya is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, with the economic growth rate at 4.9% in just the first quarter of 2015. With such a high economic growth rate, it attracts a lot of investors in all the sectors of business be it, agriculture, healthcare, finance, technology and so many more. Opportunities for growing Kenya are so many and varied.

    However, even with such promise in Kenya, there is still the part of society that lies forgotten and desolate. In any neighborhood in Kenya you will find a divide between the elite and the poverty stricken estates. Walk into Nairobi town early in the morning, the streets are filled with homeless men, women and children, sleeping on card board boxes and covering themselves with potato sacks. This is still the same Kenya that has one of the first growing real estate markets in Kenya even higher than Miami, USA in 2011-2012. Poverty in Kenya’s cities still astounds most given the fast growth of our economy.

    An image of Nairobi City and informal settlements

    Negative factors such as HIV/AIDS, environmental hygiene, lack of education and lack of consistent and substantial income are contributing factors to the increasing population of underprivileged people. This section of the society requires all the positive aid it can be given if they are to rise from the position they are at right now.

    Smile Community Centre was registered in the year 2009 to fill one of the opportunity niches provided by this situation. Margret Nekesa Khaemba, a mother of three, saw the need in the society for a safe haven where women and children in informal settlements could gain support, training and counseling to help them make a better life for themselves. She worked in the community by counseling women ,teaching them home based care,helping needy children with food and linking them to educational support and hospital facilities in the informal settlements of Kayole and soweto slums.As time went by,she learnt that most of the women did not have basic skills to help them earn a living.She mobilized them and registered Smile self help group,which involved training the women and youth to make bead-works,detergents and food items to sell.

    Continuing with the vision of the founder,the centre has made good progress to what it is now.

    There was a need to formalize the group to a community based organization to broaden programs and increase the reach of community support; hence the group was registered with the ministry of labour , social security and services of the republic of Kenya as a Community Based Organization (CBO) in the year 2016.

    Working for children...how the children's centre was started

    Led by Margret,the children work has been aimed at helping vulnerable children from domestic violence,family conflict among other factors.Most of the children were being referred to Margret by the local police officers.As it turned out some of the children were vulnerable and orphaned with no option of returning back to their previous life.They were being referred to other children homes since there was no permanent home for them.However the children kept on coming in and there was a need to open the children centre.

    The home started in the house

    Motivated by the need to help vulnerable children with no better place to go,the centre started at Margret's house.The number of children increased in the house and centre had to start from somewhere despite of lack of resources.A structure made of iron sheet was rented next to PCEA Kayole church near sabasaba , in the east lands of Nairobi Kenya.Sometimes it rained inside during heavy rainfall so the children had to go back and sleep at Margret's house until the rain season stopped.There was no water or electricity in the iron sheet structure.They studied at night using kerosene lamps.

    There was a tremendous need to move the children out of the  iron sheet structure to a better place.With the support of well-wishers,the centre moved to a better place and it is now located in the eastlands of Nairobi at soweto, opposite shillo community primary and secondary school. You can connect from donholm using savanna road and stop at jacaranda stage where you can be picked to the centre.

    The centre has allowed us to open our doors to orphaned children housing them in our new establishment Smile Community Children Home. It has also allowed us to offer special programs such as a feeding program and income generating programs to help youth and women so that they can help themselves.