Who are we and where do we come from?

Most ROCK students are aged between 15 to 18 and are currently attending high school. Only a small number of students are younger and are still in primary school.

They all live in the Kibera slum and come from very low income families. While each student has a unique family background and story to tell, they have all grown up in extreme poverty and in an environment that is not conducive to successful education.

Most students live in small shacks made of mud walls and covered with a roof made of corrugated tin. They often share their houses, which are typically only about 12ft x 12ft large (cca. 15 m2), with on average four other family members. Some students have been orphaned and started living by themselves as early as by the age of 12.

Our students are most often supported by single parents or older siblings. Because jobs are scarce and irregular in Kibera most parents or guardians do not have a steady income. Whatever income is available typically averages at around 40 USD per month (source). In these circumstances, providing for basic needs is very hard and saving any money for school fees is often simply impossible.

ROCK not only provides these students with scholarships that enable them to attend high school, but also provides a safe and accepting place where everybody understands each other’s background and struggles. In some cases, ROCK also helps the students meet their basic needs for food and shelter.

Our talents

Apart from being good academically, ROCK members are talented in different other fields. We have young dancers who recently came up with a dance group, which performed on many occasions in Kibera and sometimes even elsewhere. Several other students are enthusiastic skaters. They train on weekend to perfect their skills. We also have artists who ROCK supports by providing drawing materials to better their skills which can help them in their future lives. We should also not forget models and singers who are very persistent in nurturing their talents. Every term our students prepare updates about their plans and events that take place at ROCK through video and newsletter updates.

Our achievements

ROCK family is made up of bright students who treasure the chance that they have been given to study. At the end of each term, a large majority of students achieve very good grades, which are due to their determination and hard work. On rare occasions when a student gets unsatisfying grades this is often due to some other struggles they are facing at the time. In these cases, ROCK offers the student counselling, support and encouragement and, invariably, grades tend to quickly improve.

Importantly, the leadership skills that the students obtain through ROCK’s activities enable them to occupy leadership positions in school and society (for example, some students have acted as class “governors” and others have even been student representatives (“school presidents”) for their entire schools).

Students are also successful outside of school. ROCK dancers have for example received many awards in different competitions.

Our plans

After the students graduate from high school, ROCK continues to support them by organizing different trainings and career counselling for them. Some students are seeking employment, while others are looking for possibilities for further studies, including at university. Our partners are often involved at this stage. TUNAPANDA organization equips our students with IT skills that are very important in their future lives and careers.

The students who have completed high school continue to regularly visit the center to tutor those students who are still in school. This enhances the spirit of ROCK family and responsibility for each other’s success. Older students also mentor the younger ones and advise them on different issues, such as peer pressure. They also act as good role models to them.

Students’ opinions about ROCK

ROCK is a loving organisation. It is always ready to help those who have no way out. Since I joined ROCK I have achieved great success, that is, I successfully completed my secondary education.” – Fiona, 18

ROCK has changed my attitude towards life. I used to believe that nothing good could come out of the slums of Kibera, but ever since I joined ROCK, I have come across different opportunities. For instance, I got a job in one of the media houses as a boom swinger which also gives me the opportunity to study video editing/filming.” – Robert, 20

ROCK is the best place to be. It is more than a home to most of us. It offers a supporting environment where one can access books and study without disruptions. In addition to that, the level of security at ROCK is high and one feels safe being here.” – Diana, 17

ROCK has helped me a great deal since it took me in. I never had hopes of joining high school, but ROCK came to my rescue and helped me enroll. I never want to let this organization down because it has never let me down. It has always been there for me through thick and thin. May ROCK last forever to help many more students.” – Marion, 18