Jambo – Welcome!
Milele Children is a non-profit organization incorporated in 2006 in Massachusetts. Our mission is to provide long-term educational support for poor children in Malindi, a small town on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. The organization pays for school fees, food, uniforms, medical bills and other necessities for 33 children between the ages of 4-23. The Milele Children are chosen according to financial need and grades.
We place great emphasis on enabling young girls, since women often receive less support due to cultural beliefs and social inequities. We also support HIV positive children and hope to lessen the stigma attached to HIV in Kenya.
A new Kenyan law from 2018 obligates all families to send their children to school. This is a step in the right direction, but enforcement is difficult. As long as the family has to pay for school uniforms and books, many simply ignore this law. Poor families lack the funds, and they need their children to watch the cattle or goats, to baby sit younger siblings, to fetch water, to cook and to gather firewood. Single parents, most often single mothers, need the older child at home to care for the younger siblings. The homes are often mud huts without electricity or water.
This is why many Milele Children attend boarding schools. For the first time in their lives, the children experience the joy of being in an environment where learning is the only important task. At the same time, this benefits the local economy and strengthens the good, productive local educators. A win-win!
Milele Children is proud to partner since its beginnings with Kingsway Primary School, whose students constantly are among the top, thanks to a serious, rigorous academic program as well as a nurturing environment for personal growth.
Not all children benefit from boarding school. Sometimes a stable home environment and day education is more effective in terms of both money spent and results. Since 2016 the board is focusing on helping poor, single parents with school age children. This stops the parent from trying to put the child in an orphanage, so that some sponsor will pay for the education.
There are now nine single mothers with a total of 15 girls and 4 boys being sponsored by Milele Children. Simple things like a bed, mattress and sheets, in a room with electricity,(rented for 30$/month and part of the scholarship) help ease a parent’s constant anxiety over how to care for his/her children. The security, strength and bond between a caring parent and child cannot be emphasized enough.
These children go to day schools. The last ten children brought into the Milele Children program are in the Bridge International Primary School system in Malindi (Bridge International is an innovative program supported by the Gates Foundation, among others, and we are pleased with the results.)
The Board consists of our founder Britt Ahlfert Brown, (M.A. Uppsala University, translator, University of Geneva, editor and former Chancellor of the Swedish Consulate in Boston)
-Lawrence Pearlman, (MBA, Georgetown University, commercial pilot and formerly with the UNWFP)
-Anouschka Pearlman, (MBA, Stockholm University, teacher, reporter, and musician)
-Mela Lew, Attorney (Harvard).
Britt first visited the Malindi region in 2001 with John Brown. Seduced by the friendliness of the people and the beautiful nature, they bought a house there. In 2005, Britt and John married, and Britt started the Milele Children Foundation with the donations she had asked for instead of wedding gifts.
None! Everyone offers their time, skills and expertise unpaid. All donations go where needed - to the children.
The Milele Children Foundation received official status as a non profit 501 (c)(3) in 2006 thanks to the pro bono help of Attorney Mela Lew and Attorney Alexander J. Aber, of Foley Hoag in Boston, Massachusetts.