ERC Education Centre
History of ERCEC
Edmund Rice Catholic Education Centre (ERCEC – formerly Brother Beausang) is a private, diocesan school governed and administered by the Congregation of Christian Brothers. It provides formal education at primary and secondary levels for 540 children facing injustice and adversity within Embulbul community. The project has been supported by ERFA for a number of years.
The Embulbul Slum
Embulbul is an informal settlement or slum located in Kajiado County, just outside of Nairobi, Kenya. It is located near the town of Ngong, which is about 25 kilometers southwest of Nairobi.
Like other informal settlements in Nairobi and other parts of Kenya, Embulbul is characterized by extreme poverty, inadequate housing, and lack of basic services such as sanitation, clean water, and healthcare. Many residents of Embulbul live in makeshift housing made of corrugated iron sheets, mud, and other scrap materials. The lack of basic amenities and infrastructure poses significant challenges to the health and well-being of residents, particularly children and young people.
Despite these challenges, Embulbul is a vibrant community with a strong sense of identity and resilience. Many residents of Embulbul are engaged in informal sector activities such as small-scale trading, artisanal work, and other informal employment opportunities. There are also a number of community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations working in Embulbul and other informal settlements in Kenya to provide basic services, education, and empowerment opportunities to local communities.
In recent years, there have been efforts to improve the living conditions in Embulbul through a number of initiatives such as provision of basic services, upgrading of housing, and empowerment of local communities. However, the challenges of urban poverty and inequality in Embulbul and other informal settlements in Kenya remain significant.
Currently, ERCEC relies on international donor support to run its operations. The school’s efforts to identify local development partners have proven difficult. Therefore, the school’s stakeholders saw need for a school based project that would generate income to improve sustainability, create capacity building opportunities for local community for their self-sustenance and improve employability. The current existing dairy project is therefore being upscaled.
The project will include construction of a new 20-cow commercial dairy with biogas facility for the school’s energy requirements and silo storage for cattle feed. With modern methods of urban farming the dairy will generate income and be an education point for the school’s students and wider community. The income derived from the project is intended to assist the school in meeting recurrent expenditure.
The project, a diocesan school, serves a population of students and parents coming from Embulbul informal settlement where unemployment rates remain high and where there is no local vocational institution. The trades centre (carpentry and joinery) was built and fitted out several years ago through ERFA donor funding. The program now seeks to better equip the unit and deliver vocational classes (integrating carpentry into the current school curriculum).