In the months leading up to our 2019 Gala, we’ll feature stories showcasing how MATTER and our partners are finding solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing our world today. For the next several weeks, we’ll focus on the challenge that half the world’s population is unable to access essential health services.

This week’s blog was written by Jeremy Newhouse, MATTER’s Senior VP of Operations, and features the amazing work being done to provide access to health in Kenya for people living in one of Nairobi’s largest slums. This inspiring story highlights the important truth that you don’t have to be a charity to change the world. 

It started with three kids….

When Mary Mambo met the three kids at her door begging for food, she didn’t hesitate to open her pantry and share what she had. And not surprisingly, the next day they came back for more. Curious, Mary followed them back to their home. What she found changed the trajectory of her life and set her on a path to change the world for thousands of people in Kenya.

The children lived in Mukuru kwa Njenga, one of the largest slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Upon entering the corrugated tin shanty the kids called home, Mary learned that the food they were begging strangers for was to feed their bedridden mother who was dying from AIDS.

Haunted by what she experienced, Mary made many trips back to the Mukuru slum, hearing similar stories and finding several abandoned children living in homes where the parents had already died.

Jeremy Newhouse (second from left) with Pastor Joseph and Mary Mambo.

Determined to do something to help the slum’s nearly 500,000 inhabitants, Mary left her corporate job to open a one-room clinic in the slum, giving free HIV testing and medication to its residents. Fast-forward 20 years and Mary is now delivering 100 babies a month in the small hospital she helped establish, which boasts an incredible 95% success rate at preventing HIV transferal from the mother to the child. The five community health workers she now employs visit 300 people in Mukuru every day.

Mary also opened a K-8 primary school that educates 250 slum children, and has built a rescue home that shelters 50 abused girls from kindergarten through high school. Currently, Mary and her husband, Pastor Joseph, are nearing completion on a new 27-bed hospital to relieve the current cramped and overcrowded space. A new operating theater for C-sections will save even more lives.

Mary Mambo and her husband are unsung heroes in this world. Their stories need to be told and their work needs to be supported.

MATTER stands ready to help equip the new hospital the Mambos are building to provide access to health in Kenya and hope to people in the Mukuru slum. The only thing needed is funding. 

Please join us in supporting Mary and Pastor Joseph in their life-changing work by making a donation to MATTER today. Together, we can change the world because people matter.