For the last several months we have busy with the idea of helping Matunda from The Netherlands and the USA. It is an existing Kenyan project, established and run by local people in the ghetto Soweto Kayole.
We met Patricia and Fredd when we were on holiday in Kenya. We already had made new friends with several other people, including the driver/guide and the owner of the small travel agency, and later their families. One thing came to another, which led to our discovering Matunda Orphans’ Community Center.
Once back in The Netherlands, the conversations kept coming back to Matunda, and the possibility of helping them. We talked to other interested and involved people, as well as the Chamber of Commerce (as a non-profit organization one must be registered), the tax department (a non-profit can be exempted from sales and income tax, as well as registered as tax deductible), and dived into the internet.
We also attended a seminar as introduction into the world of starting and maintaining non-profits, funding, and networking. The next step was starting an internet site. We quickly discovered that all of this is extremely time-consuming!
Slowly but surely everything to take shape, but the communication (This is Africa!) is not what it should be (internet costs money and that they often just don’t have).
We also wanted to be sure that our project was justified, did truly exist, and justified supporting. One hears regularly about the wazungu (whites) that get hoodwinked by people who “rent a few kids” for an afternoon so that on inspection they have a center and can get a tidy sum to pay for it. Or the school that gets built, just to see it housing goats the next year, as there wasn’t any continuity to the project.
For these and other problems, we tried to get several other people in Kenya to check into the center, and it’s registration with authorities, and to advise us on how to continue.
We finally came to the conclusion that the project was worth helping, and that they indeed really do need help. In spite of the possible problems and doubts, we are getting more optimistic and enthusiastic all the time.