Keeping Children away from dumpsites – Anne Auma


Normally, schools have different class rooms to accommodate different age groups. A class room will be well painted with painted with numbers, alphabet and cartoons to create the right ambience. There would be a playground from whence children are encouraged and guided along their inherent talent and skills.

The children have a tutor, who is with a particular group full time. At break times, whether 10am or lunch, a meal is provided; At least a balanced diet. And in the afternoon, the younger ones; in baby class and pre-school are encouraged to take a nap, in a separate room with the necessary amenities fitted.

Not so with Kings Rescue Centre. Here, it’s about basics; learn how to read and write. Simple! They are not worried about schools ranking. There are no paintings of numbers, cartoons or the alphabet. Old sacks act as partitions for classes. Two classes share a ‘room’, one facing the front and the other class facing the back. A single room accommodates 70 children from baby class (2 ½ years) to standard five. The young ones in baby class and pre-school are encouraged to nap in the afternoon; on their desks. And they do so without a whimper!

When Anne Auma’s husband died, the reality of her children becoming homeless and without an education hit her like thunder. For two years, her children did not attend school due to lack of fees. She did menial jobs to provide for their basic needs. Her older children began visiting a dumpsite, rummaging through; looking for plastic and other materials that can be sold to recycling firms. The nearby dumpsite is home for such children and adults.


Anne, however, sprang into action and began rescuing children from the dumpsite in the year 2009. She would go round with the children seeking permission from their parents and caregivers to engage them. She put them in a room and started   teaching them nursery rhymes as well as how to read and write. She started with 10 children, including her own. Most of these children come from destitute families and some go for days without a meal. Their parents or caregivers cannot afford to pay fees for the services that Anne offers.

The school fees per month is Ksh.600/= (approx7USD) per child. Out of a population of 70 children from baby class (2 ½ years) to Standard five, only 30 parents can pay and it depends on what they can afford to pay. Some 200/= (approx.2USD). Majority; not even a cent!  Kings Rescue Centre had a feeding program of Ksh.500/= (approx. 6USD) per day on porridge, but due to running costs, this program was put on hold. Her monthly rent is Ksh.7000/= (approx.74USD) and charges for toilet facilities are Ksh.1500/- (approx.16USD) per month.

All four teachers including Anne are volunteers. They love what they do; keeping children busy. and away from the dumpsite; giving them an opportunity to learn the basics of education. Anne and her team are not extravagant. They are seeking help to keep these children in class. Help to provide them with a cup of porridge per day.

This is no ordinary EPTF success story; this is a call to action. Join the EPTF team in making these children’s journey better.

About Anne Auma Ochiel

Anne was born in Siaya 44 years ago and has lived in Nairobi since 1995. She is a beneficiary of the EPTF entrepreneurship training under SEAL program, class of March 2014. She is a mother of four children and has adopted two children from around the slum area. Her youngest daughter is in standard five at Kings Rescue Centre. She has a passion for the destitute, stemming from a grateful heart that God gave her own children an opportunity to receive basic education. One of her children scored B- in the 2014 KCSE examination.


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