Kawangware is one of the fastest growing and poorest slums in Nairobi, Kenya with a population of over 300,000. The majority of its residents are trying to survive on less than $1 per day, caught in what the United Nations calls “extreme poverty.” Residents are plagued by an almost complete lack of clean water and sanitation, rampant crime, and high unemployment. The spread of HIV/AIDS in Kawangware is believed to be between 30-45 percent. Many children are abandoned due to the atrocities this disease possesses. As a result, some children are forced to live in the streets of the slum, never receiving proper hygiene and care.
The appetite for soccer in this slum is tremendous. The Vapor center has 11 soccer fields on 5 acres of land, covered in lush grass for children in the slum to play soccer on. Vapor currently has around 900 young people ranging from 6-year-olds to 30-year-olds involved in the life-on-life discipleship leagues. Hundreds of people in the community are finding the hope of Christ as Vapor’s indigenous staff multiplies disciples.
In 2008, a well was established (the Ruth Well Project) which now aids Kawangware’s inhabitants with clean drinking water. It was named in honor and in memory of Vapor president Micah McElveen's grandmother, Ruth Lyle. Her heart’s desire was for people to have clean drinking water, as well as, learn of the abundance found in the Living Water of Jesus Christ. In just one year, Vapor’s Ruth Well distributed over 2 million liters of clean drinking water to the people living in the slum of Kawangware.
By connecting sponsors from the U.S. with desperately impoverished children within the area, 70 children in Kawangware now have access to an education. These sponsorships pay for the child’s full tuition, school uniforms, supplies, books, and daily meal stipends—even when school is not in session.
Daily outreach at Vapor's
center in Kawangware is led by John Amboko, along with Vapor’s
indigenous staff comprised of 29 local employees and 18 local
volunteers. Through Vapor’s emergency assistance fund, we’ve been able to assist a multitude of special needs cases, ranging from deworming procedures to funding critical surgical operations. Last year, 900 young people received basic disease-awareness education and disease-prevention training. When the above efforts are combined with the ongoing, organic, staff-led initiatives, thousands of poverty stricken people are impacted weekly.
To allow the center to become financially independent, Vapor has several operating micro-businesses, including a car wash, a rug/carpet wash, field-letting services, and a household water sales business. Great strides have been made, and the Kawangware center is progressively moving towards complete sustainability.
The center in Kawangware also works in tandem with a number of partners, primarily with World Hope and Hope Church. Our partnership structure allows us to expand the Kingdom in a mutually beneficial way, as we serve the greater community together.
Since its establishment in 2006, the success of Vapor's center in Kawangware slum continues to amaze us. We praise God for the work He is accomplishing!