Nairobi, Kenya - Macheo Program at Strathmore University

Macheo means sunrise in Swahili. This Strathmore University program targets boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 17 who live in the Nairobi slum district. It complements the work of secondary schools to help young people finish their studies and continue their education after high school, while strengthening their human virtues. Most of the activities take place on the university campus on Saturday afternoons. The program started in 2012 with about 20 students from Kibera, an impoverished area not far from the university campus. Thanks to the support of several benefactors, about 150 students from eight schools now take part each year.

Students form Strathmore University plan and carry out most of the activities; they teach the classes, organize sports and field trips, and conduct character-building sessions. Each high school student has a university tutor to offer advice on their specific needs.

In the 2018 exams at the end of secondary school, 43% of the Macheo students passed the university entrance exam (the national average was 13%). Many of the students from Macheo want to study at Strathmore University, which continues to assist them to the best of its ability to continue their education with scholarships and student loans. To date, about 100 young men and women have been successful in gaining admission to a university to pursue a degree or diploma. In almost all cases, they are the first in their family to undertake university studies.

Romana, n. 69, July-December 2019, p. 278-279.

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