Young people in slums have limited access to quality and affordable education, skills training and employment opportunities. As a result, many end up unemployed or underemployed. In Mathare, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya, youth and children comprise 65% of the population. The combination of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment leaves this large group with few opportunities in life.
Douglas Mwangi was born and raised in Mathare. For him, quality schools were unaffordable, and affordable schools weren’t teaching skills that could get him anywhere. He founded Oasis Mathare to transform the lives of young people in similar positions to his.
“By helping children and youth in Mathare access quality education and skills to earn a livelihood, Oasis Mathare ensures that they have a fair shot in life.’’Douglas Mwangi
Oasis Mathare is a grassroots youth-led organisation that leverages technology to reduce illiteracy and poverty in Mathare slums in Nairobi, Kenya.
Young people who attend Oasis Mathare’s classes learn software engineering and graphics design, and acquire coding and robotics software skills. Oasis Mathare also provides free access to learning material via basic phones without requiring internet access.
Oasis Mathare also provides a safe space for children below 5 years to learn through play and through providing childcare creche facilities enables parents to learn or work.
Oasis Mathare is among nineteen other organisations that are currently enrolled on the Youth Ventures Programme (YVP). Through the YVP, QCT provides youth-led organisations with flexible funding, practical tools and technical support, and access to a global network of young leaders for 2+ years.
With QCT’s support since March 2022 Oasis Mathare has been able to:
Provide over 2,000 pupils with free online access to educational content.
Train 51 young people in software engineering, with 17 of them graduating as junior developers.
Facilitate science, technology, engineering, arts, maths and design (STEAMD) training for 331 pupils.
Establish strategic partnerships with stakeholders in tech industries who are providing added support for OM’s programmes.
Increase revenue through consulting and program sales. OM was recently contracted by Deutsche Welle to support one of their mobile applications.
“The combination of flexible funding which helps us direct resources where they are needed most and friendly youthful staff who understand the struggles faced by young organisations has helped us accomplish more as an organisation and this is what makes QCT stand out from other funders.’’Douglas Mwangi
Future work supported by QCT in 2023: Oasis Mathare plans to train over 400 pupils in STEAMD and more youth in software engineering.
Click below to watch Oasis Mathare’s video.