Gichagi slum is home to over 10,000 people. The slum sits inside the larger community of Ngong, home to approximately 60,000 residents. The Gichagi slum began during British rule when land was dedicated to displaced refugees. In time, disenfranchised and marginalized citizens from a variety of poverty-stricken situations further settled Gichagi. Today, both extreme poverty (people surviving on less than $1 per day) and moderate poverty (people surviving on less than $2 per day) hold a tight grip on the residents of Gichagi. 

While the appetite for soccer in this community is high, the region is also home to some of the world’s greatest runners. Because of Ngong's elevation and the rolling hills, it is prime training ground for elite runners from around the world. But a runner’s life in Gichagi is extremely difficult. The body needs proper care and sufficient nutrition in order to fully sustain the rigorous life of a training athlete. Many of the area's runners are faced with a scarcity of food and water, due to poverty, and are often separated from their families because of insufficient funds. 

In 2009, Vapor Ministries sent field representatives to the area to begin establishing the Gichagi center.  Along with office buildings and soccer fields, we also constructed a running track. The track sits at over 7,500 feet above sea level and is the highest elevation track in the area. Along with the weekly sports leagues, this center draws some of the world’s greatest runners—including multiple Kenyan Olympic athletes—for training.

Hundreds of people in the Gichagi community are finding the hope of Christ as Vapor’s indigenous staff engage in life-on-life discipleship with children and youth in this community.  Through poverty-alleviation funds, we are able to assist desperate residents in need of critical assistance. From job provision and medical support, to feeding assistance and hygiene training, Vapor Ministires is alleviating poverty on a daily basis in Gichagi.

As with Vapor’s other centers, we are fighting illiteracy and sowing into many of the slum’s poorest through Vapor’s child sponsorship program called Hasmin’s Friends. Through our basic disease-awareness education and disease-prevention training, young people are learning the importance of basic sanitation practices, such as hand washing. 

Along with directly impacting these physical needs, the Gichagi center has several micro businesses such as field and track leasing, a gym facility and a commercial water distribution site. These efforts help the center to operate in a more sustainable manner. 

The African Inland Church of Ngong Hills is Vapor’s primary church partner in the area. The local body is led by indigenous African pastors and is overseen by an indigenous denomination called African Inland Church. Vapor Ministries depends on this, and other local church partners, to accomplish the mission God has given us. 

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