Meet 27-Year-Old Lady Transforming Lives of Nairobi Street Kids

Mercy Waweru
  • Mercy Waweru is the founder of @voices4theStrt. Her organization feeds street children and shelters homeless women in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD). 

    The 27-year old philanthropist began the feeding project as its only participant in May 2017. As time went by, she partnered up with sponsors.

    They have so far been resourceful with the drive. As a result, the lives of numerous street kids and homeless women have been positively impacted. 

    Talking to,  Waweru narrated how each day, as she went to work in Westlands, she saw homeless children at Ngara.

    Founder of @voices4theStrt, Mercy Waweru, at a past event in Nairobi.

    At the time, she could not do much to salvage their situation but she paid a cook to feed the disenfranchised children.

    Her maiden food drive was in May 2019 – this time with the help of well-wishers and partner organizations. 

    “In one of the partner organization’s anniversaries, we were able to feed 40 children, and that is how it has been since,†Waweru continued. 

    After establishing the feeding initiative, she met a 17-year-old lady who was four months pregnant. She had lost a baby less than a year earlier and was homeless.

    That triggered her to embark on a second initiative to house the homeless women. 

    She was able to get partners including the homeless of Nairobi, Odijo Foundation, Rafiki wa Mtaa, and Safaricom Ndoto Zetu.  

    This helped train young women with economically viable skills such as tailoring. Additionally, over 200 packets of sanitary pads have been handed to young women living in the streets. 

    “This was not sustainable because we needed to get them from the point of dependency and enable them to fend for themselves,†she continued. 

    Early this year, Mercy and her team got registered under the Ban Ki-Moon 2021 scholarship program. This is when they started the project #Ichoosetochallengepoverty. So far, this latest drive has housed three women and four babies. 

    “This is just the start. We are going to grow and help many homeless people,†she stated, adding that they were doing gumbaru and tailoring classes for these women.

    “I also decided to start therapy because of the mental toll it has taken from me from knowing a certain kid you talked to died to know you’d want to help someone but you can’t.”

    Apart from mental health, the therapist talks to them about health, sex, and family planning.

    “I have had my own emotional intelligence grow because of how I communicate with the kids and women living in the streets and I have had to understand that my logic is not their logic,” she concluded.

    Street children living in Nairobi.
    street children living in Nairobi.