Wednesday, October 4, 2006

A Must Have!

A very comprehensive book covering all that Muslim Parents & Educators need to know about raising a Muslim Child.

You may purchase book here or at a Muslim Bookstore near you. It is also available in different languages. For those in Singapore, if you cannot find it at the bookstore, email me at

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Raising a muslim child did not start when the baby is born!

Read this excerpt from page 116 :-
One day a man came to Umar Ibn AlKhattab to complain of disobedient son. So Umar had brought the boy to him and he blamed him for his disobedience. Then the boy addressed Umar by saying "O Commander of the faithful : Are there no rights for boy against his father?". Umar said "yes". Then the boy said "What are these rights O Commander of the Faithful?" Umar said, "To choose a good mother for him, to select good name to him and to teach him the Quran" Then the boy said :"O Commander of the faithful; my father has not accomplished any of these rights. As for my mother, she was a black slave for a Magian; As for my name, he has named me jual - A beetle; and he has not taught me even one letter from the Quran". Then Umar turned round to the man and said "you came to me complaining disobedience on the part of your son, whereas you have not given him his rights. So you have made mistakes against him before he has made mistakes against you". Read More...

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


My apologies to all readers of the blog for my absence and thus, have not updated anything here for a long time. I've recently become a mother of 2, and time is something that I'm trying to fight for :) For those who have emailed, and previously messaged, I thank you for your kind reminders and pray for your continual support.

To help this blog running and interactive, I would like to encourage readers to participate by emailing me good references, links, stories on Islamic Parenting, and I will put it up here for you to share with others who will inshaallah, benefit from it.

Email them to

May Allah help us bring up good children!

Oumu Salma

Monday, July 17, 2006


In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful




Over the past 35 years the Young Muslim Association with its minimum resources has achieved success in many of its projects and programmes under the following:-

a. Orphan And Child Care
b. Education
i. Religious
ii. Secular
c. Youth And Students Development Programmes
d. Da’awah Activities And Programmes
e. Relief & Water Programme
f. Social Welfare And Assistance
g. Networking

Perhaps it is this success that has enabled many people to identify themselves with the Association, hence channeling their needs and alms through it. The biggest challenge the Association has had has been effective response to those needs to the best of its capability. Each of the above mentioned Programmes are a series of projects and activities with direct impact both to the society and the Association.


The Associations offices situated at the Jamia Plaza Nairobi houses its secretariat with a staff of eight (8) personnel under the guidance of the Executive Committee. The secretariat is the nerve center for planning, fund raising and implementation of its Programmes and activities throughout the Republic. The Management Committee which comprises of all the office bearers meets every Wednesday from 1.30 p.m. to 2.30 p.m, whereas the Executive Committee meets regularly to deliberate and discuss various issues pertaining to the Associations Programmes and projects.


2.1 Garissa Muslim Childrens Home

The biggest infra structure in the name of the organization is the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home managed by a GMCH sub committee through the Director, Sheikh Moti ur Rasool, which manages the following.

2.1.1 The Masjid

Al – Hamdulillah the mosque is quite spacious and can accommodate up to 1000 persons. Besides the regular five prayers, it is full to its capacity on Fridays with Muslims from neighbourhood also benefiting from the facility. Due to hot climatic conditions the ablution area gets very uncomfortable thus a shed over the area and a sheltered passage from the entrance to the main hall is under construction, a beautiful veranda on the entrance is also under construction. Recently the main congregational Hall was carpeted. All the above three activities have been facilitated by our generous and philanthropic brothers from Nairobi and Mombasa. Before and after the Fajr prayers and prayers the mosque houses the Tahfeez ul Quran classes, for the children from Home.

2.1.2 THE HOME

The home under the direct supervision of its Director Sheikh Moti ur Rasool and Manager Sheikh Abdisalam has 300 orphans and destitute children undergoing various educational programmes. The home consist of a Kitchen, Dinning Hall, four dormitories, administrative block, library, ablution block and the stores, it is managed by a staff of 54 at a monthly budget of Kshs.660, 000/=


In order to secure the front and eastern side of the Centers land a project to construct a perimeter wall was undertaken during the year which has been completed at a total cost of KShs.935,000/=, some materials were of the materials were donated by the Friends of the Young Muslim Association.


The nursery/Madrassa-integrated school within the compound of the Primary school is a pilot project under the Ministry of Educations Islamic Integrated Education Programme (IIEP). The curriculum of this programme was developed jointly by the YMA, Kenya Institute of Education and the UNICEF. Special Madrassa Teachers have been trained by the YMA for the programmes. Currently there are (17 inmates) Students under the supervision of 2 qualified teachers and three subordinate staff. The school is very much in on demand with the local community, but due to shortage of space we are unable to cope with the ever increasing requests.


The new intake of children every year goes through the orientation as programme when the new children report during May/June and can not be absorbed in the ongoing formal education system, they join the two NON – FORMAL system of Education, the Duksi and the Tahfeez and Qur’an classes has 76 students where as Tahfeez Class consist of 38 Students.


The primary school, which consist of one Administration block, one workshop, one home science lab, eighteen class rooms and seventeen toilets and a large playing field has a population of 698 students, 456 boys and 242 girls. All the students receive FREE education from a well-trained teaching force of 21 staff, 18 of these teachers are provided by the Ministry of Education. During the 2001 national examination the school obtained 6th position in the Province, and the top six students were admitted to the various national schools. The top girl student from the Province was also from our school


For the past few years negotiations were underway with the Islamic Development Bank for a grant for the construction of a secondary school. Al Hamdulillah the buildings of the school consisting of an Administration Block, 5 classrooms, two laboratories and sanitary block were completed by June 2002. The IDB delegation which visited the school on 3rd September 2002 were satisfied and handed the buildings to the YMA through Br. Abdulhamid Slatch and Sheikh Moti ur Rasool. The school is planned to start with the first intake in January 2003, Insha’Allah. The construction cost of the buildings together with the furniture is Ksh.15, 503,670. The science laboratories and the computer laboratory needs to be equipped for which the Association will have to raise funds.


The GMCH runs a fully fledged IDDADI (Primary) Madrassa which caters for 450 students from the Home and the surrounding villages. A well laid out syllabus prepares the students who after external examination qualify to join any of the Thanwi (secondary) Madrassa in the country. Once again the education is provided free of any charges. The Association has employed eleven (11) Maalim (teachers) under the capable supervision of Sheikh Ismail the Head master.

Spread on about one hundred acres of land the YMA farm, which is also known as the Children’s farm grows horticulture crops such as paw paw, bananas, mangoes etc, etc. The cash returns from the sale of the produce goes towards the upkeep of the orphans and destitute. There is also a dairy farm with 30 cows, the milk produce is sold in the local market and its income generated for the benefit of the children.


3.1 Religious Education

The core of tarbiyya and the basic Islamic Training is achieved through our madrassas and DUKSI system of education. Since the introduction of 8 – 4 – 4 system of education in the country the Muslim Children found it impossible to receive religious education through the normal madrasas due to lack of time. The Association has been engaged in developing and improving the Madrassa education, currently the Association runs:-
1. 3 Duksi
2. 2 Tahfeez ul Qur’an Madrassas
3. 1 Girls Madrassa
4. 9 madrassas up to Iddadi level


The project for the memorization of the Holy Qur’an at the Railway Mosque, Nakuru caters for 24 boarding students. So far 36 students have graduated as Hufaz.


Since its introduction in 1984 as an examinable subject at the Primary School level the Association has been involved and spearheading the implementation of the teaching of the subject in schools. A panel (I.R.E. panel) of 14 various Muslim Organisation was constituted under the Chairmanship of Br. Bashir Mchangamwe with his dedicated leadership more that 100 schools in Nairobi are benefiting with the teaching of I.R.E.. Br. Bashir also sits on the academic committee of the Kenya Institute of Education. The panel has recognition from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and consults it on issues of teachers, curriculum and training of new teachers. The panel also lobby’s for the admission of Muslim students at Kagumo Teachers College.


Since the start of the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home, the major policy of the Association has been to develop human resources. To see it achieve success the Association has laid a great emphasis on the development and implementation secular education for to the Muslim youth by providing them with resources to achieve this goal. The Association provides bursaries to the needy and deserving students at the Secondary, College and University level. In the year 2001 a sum of Kenya shillings one million seven hundred forty five thousand (Kshs.1,745,000/=) was paid in form of school fees and bursaries.

Currently 2 students, a brother and a sister are also undergoing their masters degree courses sponsored by the Association. During this year 4 students were also assisted to obtain admissions at the International Islamic University of Malaysia and Uganda.


Under the Government’s policy of Education for ALL (EFA) by the year 2015 the UNESCO is very much in the lead with the local education based organizations to develop and establish NFE programmes especially in the rural areas. The Y.MA has been pushing ahead with its agenda that the Muslim’s Madrassa education system be recognized under the NFE. The Association was appointed a member of the NFE Committee at the K.I.E. and is represented by Br. Abdulhamid Slatch.


To achieve better educational participation and delivery to the Muslim Child the Association has been engaged with various stakeholders and partners to achieve maximum results:-

a. Partner With UNICEF On Early Childhood Development And
Islamic Integrated Education Programme (I.I.E.P.).

b. Committee member, Emergency Response Education Committee,
c. Member of Steering Council – Elimu Yetu Coalition.
d. Founder and steering council member of Pastoralist Children’s
Education Coalition (PCEC).
e. Executive member of the Inter – Faith Education Forum.[



Since Young Muslim Association’s inception regular youth training programmes through, Lectures, Youth Rallies Camps and Seminars have been an ongoing project of the Association.

Regular Saturday youth programmes within Nairobi are being co-ordinated by Khalfan Jabir who himself underwent Islamic Leadership Training Programme at the Da’wah Academy, International Islamic University, Islamabad. Currently 35 young persons (brothers/sisters) are undergoing the Leadership Training Programme. These participants are drawn from Nairobi’s slum areas i.e. Kibera, Korogocho, Kangemi and Pumwani. Besides Leadership Training Programme the youth are also being educated against drug abuse and HIV/AIDS.

A 4 days Islamic Training and Da’wah seminar for the youth was held at Voi during 2002 March where participants from Taita, Wundanyi and Mwatate also attended.

Inter – Faith Youth Reconciliation and Peace building programmes have also been included in our youth agenda and are being co-ordinated by Br. Abdulrahman Wandati.


Al Hamdulillah the Association has successfully been able to establish 275 Muslim Student Associations in the secondary schools, 22 College, Public Universities and 2 private Universities i.e. Maseno and USIU. The Muslim Student Associations operate independently but are affiliated to Young Muslim Association. The Association provides them with the Holy Qur’ans and Islamic Literature for their libraries. Praying facilities and financial assistance for their religious educational programmes and Ramadhan iftar are also assisted by the Association.

5.1 With the Islamic principal of Da’wah “Reach out to the People by way of Hikma”, the
Association has been engaged in two fold Da’awah Programmes – one within the Muslim fraternity and the other amongst the Non - Muslims.

The Da’wah amongst the Muslims is through Lectures, personal approaches, distribution of literature, interaction through electronic media, seminars and symposiums calling them to the Universal And Correct Message of Islam.


The members of the Association through its strategic approaches, engage in discussions and dialogues with our brothers and sisters from the other divide. After the September 11 incidents, besides the whiplash. There has also been an increased interest amongst the people to know more about Islam, the Association took the opportunity and imported 5000 copies of the English version of the Holy Qur’an and some other English Titles for free distribution – courtesy of our brothers from U.K.

The following copies of Holy Qur’ans and books on Islam were distributed during this year:-

a) 500 copies of the Holy Qur’ans, to the Armed Forces of Kenya
b) 1000 copies of the Holy Qur’ans to Uganda
c) 1000 copies of Holy Qur’ans to Tanzania
d) 100 copies of Holy Qur’ans to Christian participants of a seminar on peace
and reconciliation.
e) The copies of Holy Qur’ans to schools and University Libraries
f) The following titles are also under distribution:-

1. Islam and Introduction
2. Islam and Christianity
3. Islamic Concept of Hygiene
4. Human Rights in Islam
5. A copy each of the Encyclopedia of Hadeeth was sent to all the Eighteen Kadhi’s Courts.
6. Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam.
7. Islam In Focus
8. Woman Under the Shade of Qur’an
9. The Qur’an and the Gospel
10. The Battles of the Prophet

There is demand for Juzu Ama which was reprinted by the Association many times and distributed free of charge.

Under Da’awah programme four mosques were completed during the year ;

a) A mosque at Madogo village
b) Assisted in the completion of the Kabimoi mosque
c) Rehabilitated the Butere Jamia Mosque
d) Assisted in the completion of the Odha mosque, Tana River District.


6.1 Kenya has a history of natural and man-made disasters as a result of continuous drought, floods and tribal clashes the poor communities in the Northern areas always suffer. The Association with the help of our International partners i.e. Muslim Aid, Muslim Helfen, WAMY Riyadh and others carried food relief Programmes in Tana River District, Garissa District and Taita Taveta District.

Since the El – Nino Phenomena in 1997 the Association has been running a regular Child-Feeding Programme in 9 villages of Tana River and 4 divisions of Taita Taveta.

The Ramadhan IFTAR Programmes in the poor areas are normal features programmes for the forthcoming Holy months of Ramadhan are being planned.


Water is life and since majority of the Muslim population of Kenya lives in the ASAL areas the availability of clean drinking water is very scarce. The association developed a simple and cost effective programme to provide the needy communities with clean water by sinking shallow water wells and fitting them with hand pumps. Al Hamdu Lillah with the assistance of Muslime Helfen, Muslim Aid and other individual donors we have completed 18 such projects and also assisted Wajir West with their major water scheme.


With the poverty rate at 56% the Kenya Muslims are the worst affected and need regular assistance. The Association with its limited resources extends a helping hand. Some of these are regular Programmes while others are assisted as the need arises: - Our Regular assistances are:-

a. Monthly ration supply to the Old Women’s Home in Pumwani
b. Monthly financial assistance to a number of widows
c. Free funeral vehicle services for the deceased.
d. Burial of the un-claimed Muslim bodies.


Every year this programme is conducted so that the udhiya meat reaches out to the poor and needy people. Al – Hamdulillah during the year 27,990 people benefited from our qurbani programme when 667 goats, 32 cows and 2 camels were slaughtered and its meat distributed.


During the Holy month of Ramadhan Zakat ul Fitr is collected from the Muslim Community and then distibuted to the deserving and needy Muslims before the Eid Day. During the year Ksh.518,505/= was collected and distributed.


For wider approach and reaching out to the others both at National and International levels on various issues, the Association interacts with the following:-

i) World Assembly of Muslim Youth – Saudi Arabia
ii) International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations
iii) UNICEF – Education & Health
iv) UNESCO – Peace Net
v) NGO Council – (Member of Technical Committee on National NGO Policy)
vi) Member of Steering Council on Youth Policy (Ministry of Social Services)
vii) Member of Task Force Related to Laws on HIV/AIDS
viii) Member of IRAC (Inter Religious Aids Committee)
ix) Executive Board Member – Kenya Alliance for the Advancement of Children.
x) Member of National NGO’s – CRC Committee
xi) Member of the Steering Committee – CADEC
xii) Member Elimu Yetu Coalition
xiii) Member of Steering Committee Pastoralist Children’s Education Committee. (PCEC)
xiv) Member of Mombasa Islamic University Interim Committee.
xv) Accredited to the United Nation General Assembly’s Special Session
on Children (UNGASS)
xvi) Member Kenya Human Rights Commission – Network
xvii) Member Islamic Human Rights Commission

Dear Brothers, these are some of the activities and Programmes which the Executive Committee of the Young Muslim Association with the blessings of Allah Subhanaho wa Taala and your assistance have been able to implement. We pray to the Al – Mighty to grant us with wisdom, courage and Tawfeeq to continue striving for this Noble Cause.

Wa Billah e Tawfeeq.

Abdul Hamid Slatch
Secretary General



Changing Lives for the Better

A Project of:

P.O. BOX 48509 – Nairobi 00100
Telephone: + 254 (20) 229896
Tel/Fax: + 254 (20) 229756


A Project of The Young Muslim Association

Rationale and Background

The Garissa Muslim Children’s Home is a complex complete with an Orphanage, Primary School, Secondary School, Dispensary, Agricultural and Dairy Farm and its own Water pumping and treatment system. This project affectionately referred to as “Center” and is undoubtedly the grandest project of the Young Muslim Association in collaboration with Well-wishers who includes individual donors and the Government of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have continuously responded to the rising needs of the Center by upgrading it. Today, thirty five years after its inception, the center has tremendously changed from the one room shelter to the present complex. It is impossible to trace the history of the Center without touching on the history of the country, especially in the area of relations between the colonial and the first post-colonial governments and the Kenyan Somalis who inhabit the three Districts of the North Eastern Province.

The North Eastern Province of Kenya is made up of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa Districts. Garissa where the Center is located is the Provincial Headquarters and the closest of the three Districts to Nairobi. It is a Semi-Desert area with an average temperature of 35° Celsius. With an unreliable rainfall, the weather is usually hot. Due to these climatic factors, the inhabitants of the region are nomadic pastoralists. This pastoralist lifestyle coincides with that of their neighbours (and in some cases their relatives) in Somalia to their East, Ethiopia to the North. The region also boarders the Coast Province to the South.

Between 1895-1963 the British Colonial Government Administered North Eastern Kenya in the context of the Northern Frontier District (N.F.D). The whole of the NFD most of whose inhabitants are Muslims, included besides the three Districts of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa – Marsabit and Isiolo Districts. Because of the Skirmishes that existed between the Colonial Government and the Muslim Somalis of the NFD, this part of the Country was closed to the rest of the country and the movement of the people thoroughly restricted.

As independence of Kenya from the British drew near, the Somalis of the NFD agitated for cession from Kenya with the hope of merging with their brethren in Somalia. By Independence however, this region was still a part of Kenya. The first post-Independence Government failed to establish a relationship with the NFD owing to differences from what prevailed with the Colonialists. Consequently the “Bad-blood” and the aspirations for “A grater-Somalia” climaxed into a civil war with the NFD fighters on one side and the Government soldiers on the other. This painful and destructive war dubbed the “Shifta War” was to drag on until 1968.

With climatic conditions that do not support Agriculture, the only source of income for the people being livestock ( most of which had been taken by Government soldiers), the inhabitants of the NFD were rendered destitute, while many families lost their primary bread-winners, and others were disrupted never to re-unite again.

The ensuing period of relief intervention was lead by the Catholic Church which established an early and strong presence with its establishment of “the Garissa Boys Town”. While the apparent motive of the Catholic intervention appeared to be relief and charity work, the subtle yet real motive was to win Somali converts to Christianity.

With this realisation, the local Muslim Leaders launched country-wide appeals to Muslim Well-Wishers able and willing to take care of the Orphaned and destitute children (who numbered in their hundreds) to come forward.

The Young Muslim Association though only Five years old (having been formed in 1964) responded by sending a fact-finding team to Garissa. With the recommendation of the team for urgent establishment of a child-care facility, the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home (G.M.C.H) was established in August 1969.

The first 25 boys were admitted in the temporary structure near the main Mosque in Garissa Town. The Administration of the Center was set up around it’s first Director Ibrahim Ndirangu. The Young Muslim Association officials formulated policy and sought funds for the running of the Center. Effective response to the situation demanded that as many orphaned and destitute children as needed shelter and protection at the Center were admitted. This called for more resources, primarily, which was land to set up permanent and comprehensive facilities.

With the help of Allah, the Association’s application to the Government for land was accepted and 500 acres allocated for the establishment of appropriate infra-structure that is today the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home.

Al-Hamdulillahi, despite all odds, least of which was bad roads and weather, there was sufficient support from individuals and Government Departments to see the first phase of the Center successfully completed.

In July 1973, the Center was moved to the new site, which is 4 Kilometers out of the Garissa Town. By then, the inmate population comprised 77 boys. For children with a painful past, this new secure environment was more conducive for their education and early development.

In a sentence, it can then be stated that the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home owes its beginning to external as well as internal factors. The external factor being the civil war that dispossessed the people, the response by Government to an application for land, the response by local well-wishers and the secondment by the Saudi Government of personnel. The internal factor is the vision of the Executive Committee of the Young Muslim Association and the commitment and consistence of the same Committee. To all of them who played a part- May Allah reward them, as only He knows best.


The vision of the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home is to effectively, comprehensively respond to the cry and wipe the tears of every Muslim Orphan and Destitute child in the country.


The mission of the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home is to provide an environment and facilities within which the inmates can experience love, achieve self confidence, gain education benefit from an Islamic upbringing understand and prepare to serve the Muslim Society in particular and the rest of humanity in general as enshrined in the teaching of Islam.

Goal Statement

The goal of the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home is to be a Center of excellence with the best and committed staff capable of imparting quality and relevant values to the inmates that will make them outstanding members of society.


Pursuant to the Vision, Mission and Goal statement, the Center has pursuant an integrated approach in the Education and early development of the inmates. The children are thus exposed to the Madrassa as well as School-related training. This is the path established right from the inception of the Center in 1969. Until 1978 when the Center opened its own primary school, the inmates used to attend school out of the compound. This was to compliment the Madrassa tuition that they received in the Center.

Garissa Muslim Children’s Home Madrassa

The daily Mosque activities form part of the training of the children in the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home Madrassa. This Madrassa with an enrolment of 600 pupils (250 of whom come from outside the Centre) is run by a total of 15 teachers who instruct the children in the knowledge of: Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, Seera, Tawhid and Arabic Language. Apart from emphasizing to the children the importance of Akhlaaq, the teachers also train the children in Hifdh -Ul-Quran. The Centre has therefore entered its competent pupils in this area in both internal as well as National competitions. The Centre is now at I’daadi (Intermediate level) all the costs including the salaries of the Madrassa staff are paid for by the Association. As extra-curriculum activity in this area, the Teacher and some of their students undertake Da’wah activities outside the Centre.

Young Muslim Primary School

This school declared a Centre of excellence in Garissa District has a current enrolment of 800 pupils 450 of whom are from outside the Centre and include girls. The remaining 290 are all inmates of the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home. As indicated earlier, this school was established in 1978.

While the Young Muslim Association provided for the infrastructure and continues to equip the school and supervise it, the Government has provided the Teachers who follow the 8.4.4 Syllabus. The performance record of the school has consistently improved. In 1995 for example the second-best result from the province was scored by a pupil from the school. Young Muslim Primary School also participates in extra curriculum activities such as Drama, Games etc. The seriousness with which the school views these activities is attested to by the fact that the school holds a National Certificate in this regard.

Despite the fact that the school entered its pupils in the seven out of the 16 National schools placed allocated to Garissa District, the Association still hopes to improve the facilities at the Centre to enable and even better result.

Young Muslim Nursery School

In 1987, in response to request from the Muslim community, a Nursery school was opened at the Centre to provide and Islamic environment with which Muslim children can develop. The Nursery school follows the integrated syllabus which introduces Islamic values to the child side by side with secular knowledge.


By the Grace of Allah, with the support of well-wishers particularly; Local Business people, Jamjoom Family of Jeddah and Africa Muslim Agency the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home now boasts four Dormitories. Dar al-Arqam and Dar-al-salaam which were constructed through local initiatives have a capacity to accommodate 90 children each. Dar-al-Jamjoom too has a capacity to accommodate 90 children and was built by the support of the Jamjoom Family while Dar-al-Abrar which was built by funding from Africa Muslim Agency of Kuwait can accommodate 120 children. While the children are accommodated in respect of their ages, they are each allocated a bed, mattress accompanying linen and a box, while at the Centre, all the wardrobe requirements of the children are catered for by the Centre. With the box the child is given school uniform, change of clothes, shoes etc. Every year, they are given shirts, Sarong’s (Kikoyi) and Kanzu (robe). The Housemasters assigned to each of the four dormitories supervise the activities of the children in their particular dormitories and monitor their academic, and disciplinary progress or otherwise of the child.


Through the Sadqa program, well-wishers have continued to support the Center’s commitment to the provision of a balanced and nutritious diet to the children. The Sadqa program has remained consistent since its establishment in 1972.


In order to promote and sustain healthy conditions and environment for the child, the Association undertakes all the Medical expenses in respect of the inmates. To minimize reasons for hospital visits to only major cases the Association established a dispensary within the Center in 1988 to serve other ailments suffered by both the children and the staff. Though the Association had employed a clinical officer to man the dispensary, the cost of drugs and remuneration become prohibitive. Consultations are going on at the moment towards a viable alternative, Well- wishers are called upon to assist.

Young Muslim Association Farm Project

The project was set up in 1975 on a 150- acre plot with the goal of generating income for the Center. The dairy section currently with 28 animals has recorded tremendous success. The Agricultural section has recorded some disappointing results with the failure of its first citrus crop. Since 1993 however, new ideas have been solicited and new crops like Mangoes and Neem trees are being grown. At the moment 403 Mango trees which mature in 3 years have grown. Another 200 trees will be planted soon. With consultation with ICIPE, it was established that Neem tree which does very well in a climatic zone such as Garissa’s has medicinal value. Plans are underway to pant more Neem trees.
To facilitate irrigation, a 750 metre canal has been laid at the cost of KShs. 500,000/=. Self-sustainability and income-generation as the goal the Association holds for the Farm project, ideas and support for its improvement are continuously being sought.

Other Activities:

Besides its core-activities, the Centre also runs a bursary program for needy students, distributes Islamic Literature and Provides lecture to students in different schools within the area. The Centre also supervises and Co-ordinates teaching programs in 30 Madrassas with a teaching force of 70 teachers and a student population of 2000 children. Besides providing Text Books for use in such madrassas, the Centre also oversees syllabus preparation courses for the madrassa teachers.

With such an elevated status, the Centre also plays an active role in the Socio-political activities of the region as they relate to Islam and Muslims. These include peace missions, security issues and participation in meetings affecting the inhabitants and the country as a whole.

The Centre as the base has also received full recognition by the UNICEF as its training partner for the implementation of Islamic Integrated Education Programme in the Country. Being part of the National Children’s Caucus it has become a hub of activities for the region on United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child, the African charter on the Rights and Welfare of Child and dissemination of Information on the Children’s Act recently passed by the Parliament.

Thirty Five Years Later

Today about 1,650 students have gone through the Centre from different stages. These stages or levels range from Primary, Secondary, Colleges and finally University. A good number got absorbed into various trades and professions. What is common about them however is that they maintain touch with the Centre and Association. They make a difference wherever they are. They remember the Centre was there when they needed somebody to take them in. And above all, they pray for all those who contributed in one way or the other to give them a fresh start in life. This is no mean achievement in only thirty-five years! With their permission, we cite in this report a few of such old Boys of the Centre who now occupy important positions in the Society on Appendix 1.

These 12 have been selected to illustrate and relevance of the Centre to these young individuals as a provider of a second chance. One need not strain too much to imagine the probable other life they might have led without the intervention of the Centre.

Other Relevant Needs

If it has to live up to its Vision and Mission, the Centre must not only respond to the growing needs to anticipate them, and prepare effectively. While a competent staff of full-time professionals run the activities of the Centre under the Director, the need for constant training to keep abreast of new skills in the field of child-care remains paramount. The state of the world characterized by wars and refugees is signal to the capacity-building requirements that the Centre must address. As it has been the practice over the past 35 years, development of infrastructure is at the Center of these capacity-building needs of the Centre.

Secondary School

Al-Hamdullillah with a generous grant from the Islamic Development Bank the Secondary School Complex consisting of 4 Class Rooms, 2 Science Laboratories, 1 Computer Lab, Administration Block and Abulation Block was completed in November 2002. The School opened its doors to the first intake of 21 students in January 2003. The unique feature of the school is its syllabus which besides teaching of secular subjects also teaches Arabic and Islamic Religious Education.


Though reading library facilities are currently held in two old classrooms converted into a library, a proposal is being made for a fully fledge library complete with reading and audio/visual components.

Assembly Hall

There is a need for a standard hall that will not only be used for Assemblies but for other meetings of the students as well.


That Education includes observations needs. In this respect, learning by observation is a feature of the Kenya Education Structure and includes nature trails and tours. To fully take advantage of this opportunity, the Centre requires a Mini-Bus to transport its pupils to such outings.

Girls Centre

While the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home has offered respite for Boys in difficult conditions, it has only assisted Girls in Similar condition by providing for their education up to the primary level. This assistance too is limited to those who can find shelter of their own within Garissa Town. The need for a Centre for Girls such as the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home is therefore a real one.

Additional Dormitory

Current projections show a need for another Dormitory with a capacity of 80 children.

Future Plans

The 8.4.4. System of education is geared towards developing the pupils and students in skills. While conceding that some of the inmates of Garissa Muslim Children’s Home have not performed well in their examinations for absorption into the labour force, the inability and unpreparedness of the Centre to absorb them is lamentable. It is proposed that as part of a future development strategy, the Centre considers introduction of a vocational training and skill imparting College in the compound of the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home.


The Centre has provided the much needed Home to the needy for the past 35 year by the Grace of Allah and the support the Association continues to receive from individuals, families and organizations both within and without the country. Both the public and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have supported the Centre in different projects. The office of Daawah and Irshad, Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf Saudi Arabia have seconded the services of a qualified personnel.

Africa Muslim Agency:
Since 1983 the Agency has continued to sponsor a number of the inmates of the Centre, thus giving it much needed financial support. While acknowledging the lump some donations received for specific projects and activities of the Centre, the sponsorships under the Sponsor-a-Child Scheme deserve special mention. To each of these supporters the Association wishes to record its appreciation and gratitude. Insha’Allah, Allah will surely reward those who strive on His path with Jannah.

If this report appears to emphasis achievements it is because it narrates the story of the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home during the past 35 years.
In terms of the Vision however, there is much to cry about. As the expenditure estimates for the next three years on Appendix 11 will indicate the current budgetary obligations are overwhelming if left to the Association alone to mobilize. The relevant needs too need looking into and funds mobilized. Yet the greatest challenge remains that of preparedness in terms of meeting the needs of all the children in difficult circumstances when such needs arise.

You Can Give Us Your Hand
Thirty five years ago, only in a dream could one imagine that the temporary shelter where the 25 boys were enrolled would become to complex the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home is today. This dream was made true by the Grace of Allah and the faith and Trust our supporters placed in us. The progress made at the Center so far justifies the dream of a bigger Centre with all the facilities necessary for the realisation of the vision of the Centre.

Sponsor-A-Child Scheme: For KShs. 2,000/= a month you will help pay the fees, provide food, clothing and textbooks to one child.
Zakaat, Sadqa and Donations paid to the Young Muslim Association only helps with the upkeep of the unsponsored children but sustain other specific projects of the Centre and general programmes of the Association.
Endowments and Legacies left to the Centre or Association guarantees self-sustainability and immortalizes the dream

For Thirty Five years children who could otherwise have died in infancy or grew up miserable and probably in a life of crime have had a second chance at this Centre. Is it not necessary that more children in similar circumstances have a place to look forward to?

Allah (S.W.T) says in the Quran:
“So gives what is due to kindred, the needy and the wayfarer, that is best for those who seek the countenance of Allah and its they who will prosper: “……………. But that which you give for charity, seeking the countenance of Allah, (will increase) it is these who will get a recompense multiplied”

The Prophet (S.A.W) has said:
“He and the care taker of (sponsor) the Orphan are like these two fingers in Janna and he pointed to his index and next finger implying that they will be side by side in Jannah.

It is in this spirit that we request you to extend your hand in co-operation and send your contribution to:

A/C N0 35025-05 A/C NO 011328-0
P.O. BOX 30673 P.O. BOX 30584


Listed Below are Some of Garissa Muslim Children’s Home Old Boys

Ibrahim Mohamud 1974-1981 Has MSC in Environmental Education served as
a teacher, Headmaster and currently National Co-ordinator of Wildlife Clubs of Kenya.

Abdulaziz Sheikh 1972-1982 BA, MA in Journalism worked with government and currently working with British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Abdisalam Sheikh Mohamed 1971-1981 Certificate in Social Work, working with Young Muslim Association as Administrator of Garissa Muslim Children’s Home – Member of Kenya Adult Education Board, Kenya Board of Mental Health and District Education Board and District Health Board and District Health Management Board.

Mohamed Aden Mahat 1974-1984: Certificate in Social Work, Awarded Presidential
Silver Star for his service to the community, Appointed 3rd Secretary Embassy of Kenya in Abu Dhabi. Currently he is the Kenyan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Abdirashid Sheikh 1972-1983 BCS. Civil Engineering currently working with
Ministry of Works based at Wajir North Eastern Province.

Hajir Sharif 1969-1981 Diploma in Special Education, worked as
Headmaster of the special school for the disabled in Garissa, Currently BEd at Kenyatta University

Dagane Mohamed 1975 – 1990 BA-Journalism Al-Azhar University worked as
A Public Relation Officer-Africa Muslim Agency currently working in Saudi Arabia.

Khalif Dol 1979-1990 BA Nairobi, worked with CARE currently
Employed as a District Officer with the office of the President.

Captain Mohamed Nur Ali Joined the Kenya Army – Currently serving as Major. Now
Self employed.

Khalfan Jabir Actively involved in Youth & Daawah Programme, worked with Kenindia Assurance Co. Ltd. Dealing with Litigations, Currently working with Young Muslim Association in Youth and Dawah Department

Idle Ibrahim Ahmed Graduated with a B.Sc.(Environmental Studies) Second Class Honor Upper Division Degree from Kenyatta University . Conferred on 17th October 1997 by President of Kenya. Working with Barclays Bank of Kenya as a Country Service Manager.

Aden Guliye Yusuf Graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree from University of Nairobi. Currently employed by the Ministry of Health as General Superintendent of Garissa General Hospital. Read More...



An Organization Profile

For more than three decades the Young Muslim Association has been actively engaged in programmes and projects in the field of Education, Orphan and Child Care, Youth Development, Dawah, Relief, Water and other social welfare activities. All these accomplishments would not have been possible without the generous support of hundreds of donors and well wishers, who give their time, energy and money to change the lives of the less fortunate members of our society.


Garissa Muslim Children’s Home, a fully fledged institute located in Garissa, caters for the needs of Orphans, destitute and needy children. Since its inception in the early seventies, the Home has been instrumental in providing shelter food and education up to secondary level. To date over 1,600 children have gone through the system and are gainfully employed and living as respected citizens of Kenya. The current number of children at Garissa Muslim Children’s Home is 300.


The Association has gone a long way in reinforcing the general development of the child through CHILD FEEDING under its Duski Education programmes and has also developed in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Kenya Institute of Education an Islamic Intergraded Education Programme (IIEP) which has been adopted as a component by the Ministry of Education for Pre-school-Madrassa Integration. Currently the Association is running three projects under the scheme.


Adjoining the Garissa Muslim Children’s Home, are the primary schools facilities, consisting of 16 classrooms, and administration block and playing fields. The current enrollment of the school is 970, and provides free education up to primary level.


Having attained self sufficiency in the primary school education and the increasing demand to provide quality secondary education within the same environment, the Association embarked on the construction of a major school project for the development of Education; the construction costs of the building was sponsored by the Islamic Development Bank. The Construction work was completed in November 2002 and the first intake of Form one structure started in January 2003.


A fully-fledged project dedicated to the Hifz-Ul-Qur’an Programme. To date, 36 boys have memorized the Holy Qur’an and are taking higher Islamic Studies in various institutions. Currently, 24 boarding and 11 day students are undergoing the vigorous training.


A project to provide Islamic Religious Education to students in Government Primary and Secondary Schools in Kenya. The Young Muslim Association is meeting the salaries of numerous teachers under this programme, however considering the gigantic nature of this project and the financial involvement, the Young Muslim Association appeals to all people of good will for their generous support.


In addition to the books for the teaching of IRE, the Young Muslim Association also publishes regularly Islamic pamphlets, handouts and booklets in various local languages and dialects currently it is also involved in the translation of Islamic works from English to Kiswahili.


The need to impart religious education to our children remains an ardent task of the Association. Some 75 Madrassa teachers are supported in the rural and underprivileged communities of Kenya. Without this assistance hundreds of Muslim children will remain deprived of basic Islamic knowledge.


Northern part of Kenya which is predominantly Muslim inhabited lives in abject poverty. To alleviate the suffering of poverty stricken students in secondary schools and colleges, the Association provides financial assistance to many deserving cases to facilitate them complete their education.


To train Youth, the Association organizes seminars and training workshops and supports the efforts of Muslim students groups in the universities, colleges and schools. Hundred of Youth have thus been saved from going astray and lead the Islamic way of life. The Association also conducts Counselling and Career guidance programmes for Form 4 students – Has conducted Youth seminars on creating awareness on HIV / AIDS, Drug Abuse and Child Abuse.


This is a vast and very elaborate program under which the following activities are carried out: -

Regular assistance to poor, needy and wayfarers
Regular assistance to widows in slums and poor areas
Monthly rations to the OLD LADIES HOME in Pumwani
Water development programs in the ASAL areas; i.e. Sinking of shallow wells, installing hand and mechanic pumps.
Distribution of emergency relief in drought affected areas.
Organizing IFTAR & SIYAM programmes in poor rural areas.
Collection and distribution of Zakat Ul Fitr
Organize udhuya (Qurbani) programme during the month of Zul Hija


The Association participates at National Forums/committees to sensitize and create awareness on various issues as they affect the members of the Muslim Community.

The Association participated in drafting the amendments to the Children’s Bill.
Developed memorandum on Laws related to Women.
Member of the Drafting Team which prepared the first Kenya Country report on the Convention on the Rights of Children.
Member of the Caucus on the Affirmative Action and Gender Equality Bill.
Member of the Education Emergency Response Committee, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, UNICEF/UNESCO.
Executive Board member of Kenya Alliance for the Advancement of Children and the National Children’s Caucus.
Member of the Elimu Yetu Coalition.
Appointed Member on the Task Force on Legal Issues Relating to HIV/AIDS by the Attorney General - 1999 to 2000.
Founder member of Pastoralist Childrens Education Caucus – Now under Arid Land Management.
Executive Committee Member of National Council of NGOs.


1964 – First Registered under the SOCIETIES ACT NO. 1441

1993 – Registered under the NGO CO-ORDINATION ACT NO. OP.218/051/9396/125

PIN NO: P000607212K

Monday, January 9, 2006

Building a Child's Self Esteem

Building a Child's Self Esteem

"O ye people! Worship your guardian Lord, Who created you and those before you that ye may become righteous." Quran 2:21

Family Life Question: "Children frequently express feelings of not being liked by other children and not being able to do things before making an attempt. What are some ways to encourage self-confidence in children?"

Dear Parents:
Children who are morally and spiritually conscience develop a sense of their own self-worth. Helping our children develop healthy self-esteem is one of the most important things that parents can do for them; it is the foundation of their faith and commitment to Allah. Children need to be assured that they are a special gift from Allah and they are to dedicate their talents and resources to Thy service--this gives them value, purpose and direction for life. Through every phase of a child's development, they need provisions for moral and spiritual enrichment that encourages them to truly reverence Allah and to thus value the beauty in themselves.

"We have indeed created man in the best of molds." (Quran 95:4) There is no fault in Allah's creation; to man, Allah gave the purest and best nature. Our duty is to preserve, and nurture the distinctive character that Allah has created.

Healthy feelings about oneself or high self-esteem is best started in the home, and this needs to be cultivated in our children from birth. Thankfulness for who Allah has made us to be is based primarily on how our parents or guardians view us. Children mirror others' perception of them; they measure themselves by the standards set by those shaping their lives. A child needs our unconditional love. While we may show disapproval of wrong actions, the child still needs to feel cherished. We are guided: "...truly no one despairs of Allah's soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith." (Quran 12:87) Our unconditional compassion for our children will promote and encourage their faith in Allah and instill the thinking that "I am lovable, I am confident."

Persons with healthy self-esteem are more capable of making decisions; they exhibit thankfulness for their accomplishments, are willing to take responsibility, and are better able to cope with stressful situations. They meet and feel enthusiastic about challenges. Often a student with a high IQ and low self-esteem will do poorly in school, while a child with average ability and high self-esteem will excel. The thinking that is cultivated in a person in the early years affects his entire life.

The National PTA along with the March of Dimes has developed a program called "Parenting: The Underdeveloped Skill" to help parents learn to better communicate with their children and to nurture their youngster's self-esteem. Some steps they outline include: "

1. Showing kids how to communicate their feelings, openly and honestly, is a good place for parents to start. Children need to know that even anger and fear are to be appropriately expressed rather than bottled up. Because children learn by example, parents must let their feelings be known.

2. Listening--truly listening to children is a second key to developing good self-esteem. Having parents listen not only enhances children's good feeling about themselves, it also teaches them...(to be caring).

3. Teaching how to get along with others through negotiation and compromise is important.

4. Establishing fair, consistent discipline is one of the other building blocks of good self-esteem.

5. Giving children responsibilities--tasks that are meaningful and 'do-able' and that they can be accountable for also builds self-esteem.

6. Permitting children to make decisions (even an occasional wrong one) helps them learn good judgment.

7. Keeping a sense of humor is important. It can work wonders and helps children keep perspective on what is important.

8. Treating children lovingly, with both respect and courtesy, helps children learn that they are beautiful and worthwhile people. Parents, treat them the way you yourself want to be treated." The Parenting: The Underdeveloped Skill kit is available through the Chicago office of the National PTA.

When we build a warm and friendly relationship with our children, we establish the best opportunity for imparting strong moral and spiritual values to them--the key to high self-esteem.