By Calvin Onyango
Ndoto zetu was started by John Mwangi famously known as Dash Johnte on 22nd June 2016 as a program under Dandora Hip-hop City and a project for children in Dandora. He was driven by the desire to change the world through children, who he believes are the carriers of the future and he later joined hands with James Andare to expand.
Ndoto zetu is community based organization that works with children of up to sixteen years of age, with an aim of equipping them with life skills, communication skills, artistic skills, identifying individual talent, providing opportunities and platforms in different spaces to showcase their ability and keep them engaged so as to ensure they are not influenced by social vices. Their main concentration is following up on, taking initiatives and starting conversation around issues affecting kids in the society. They have different programs that run in three levels in order to identify, develop and expose children’s abilities.
In the first phase of the program, children engage in daily sessions, weekly sessions and school holiday sessions, after which they graduate and get certified. Upon upgrading. they proceed to level two, the second phase, which involves instilling in the children elements of professionalism and high level of discipline. In the last level, the children become teachers of the younger ones and the circle continues.
The activities serve the purpose of providing a conducive space for children to share ideas, ask questions, engage in discussions and to do their after-school assignments. It is a program that serves to occupy the children during the periods when schools are closed.
Ndoto Zetu has had numerous successful of activities which includes Mr. and Miss Dumpsite, Back to School Campaigns every term, Children’s Music and Drama Festivals, Mr. And Miss Ndoto Zetu, Workshops and Academic week. They have also managed to perform at Usawa Festival 2019 and 2020.
All these achievements have been made despite the challenges they have gone through, one being lack of resources. They have been supported by different organizations and companies in achieving some of their major activities through which they have managed to reach five thousand children and are still targeting more in 2021. They are also aiming to have a lot of programs to keep the children engaged and learning.
Long term goals of Ndoto Zetu include to have their own space that will include Talent Academy, Permaculture farming, Ndoto Zetu Boarding School and a TV show that will be airing their content.
Dash Johnte believes that in creating a better community you need to change people’s perception and behaviors.