Elisha Ooga – Director Welicar Educational Centre narrates what it really means to be a slum-child
My name is Elisha Ooga. I was born and brought up in Kibera slum – the biggest slum in Sub-Saharan Africa.
I couldn’t continue with my education in High school after my father died of severe backache as a result of doing menial jobs including carrying heavy loads/ offloading trucks at the Nairobi’s industrial area.
With no certificate to help me look for a job, life forced me to join the path of my late father, looking for menial jobs for survival. Some of my age mates and friends were killed by mob , and others gunned down by police when they got into the habit of stealing and robbery . Others also perished in drug abuse , sniffing glue and drinking hard liquor called changaa. This could help one to pause feeling the pain of hard life just for a short time.
In 2008 I registered an organization , BIRECE – “Brothers In Real Care for the Entangled” Group with the aim of combating cycle of recurrent poverty within Kibera slum, where I was born and brought up. By empowering slum children through education and by tending to their physical, psychological and spiritual needs .
WELICAR EDUCATIONAL CENTRE is the brainchild of BIRECE Group. WELICAR is an abbreviation for “With Education Lives Can be Rejuvenated”. The school operates on a rental premise in Dandora slum, currently accommodating about 300 students from poor backgrounds in the slum community . Most of them are orphaned and vulnerable.
The school depends on donations from well wishers and like-minded individuals.
Since I voluntarily began this community work ( with my amazing team ) we are able to see 2 students in colleges, 17 others currently in High schools and 32 in pre and primary school in WELICAR under Child sponsorship program.
It melts my heart and gives me a sense of purpose to see those needy children who could otherwise never joined High schools are now having the joy of being called students.
My dream is to see them get a quality education , get jobs then they would come and give back to the community in which they were brought up.
Therefore, in as much as I seek for partnership with like-minded individuals , organizations and business fraternity to join us , I would also love to acknowledge you all my friends for the immense support towards my vision for the poor slum children. This couldn’t be a success were it not for your tireless efforts, MUCH thanks to all of you who continuously support this initiative through prayers, ideas or financially.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.