Mathare Youth Talented Organization


Meet the team teaching at MYTO

All of our teachers are volunteers, with MYTO being unable to give them a regular income. Donations, when they come, are spread among the team. Most of them have a small business on the side ta make hands meet and pay for rent and other expenses they have. Despite this, they are extremely committed to the children they teach every day, show amazing levels of dedication and have a willingness to give back to the community. And they have results to show for their teaching skills: every year the vast majority of students pass the government tests and can make it to the next level.


Lilian Odhiambo: teaches baby class and nursery, and head teacher of the school

  • Lilian comes from Siaya County, where she did her primary education. She then moved to Trans-Nzoia County where she did her secondary education. She moved to Nairobi on her own to look for a job. She was also one of the founding members of MYTO, where she taught at the school from the beginning. Between 2010 and 2012 she received teachers training.
Lilian always had a business on the side to support her: she sells tomatoes after school and on the weekends. She is a single mother, of a 6-year-old boy.

Dan Owiti: teaches English, Swahili and Christian religious education (CRE) to classes 4 to 8

  • Dan comes from Kisumu County. He was brought up in different places: Nairobi, Kijiado County and Molo. 1996 was the first time he came to Mathare: he was working in town, assisting the manager in a laundry. 
Dan joined MYTO in late 2005. At that time he had his own group, and one of the members introduced him to Ben, and they decided to work together. Since then Dan has been a key member of MYTO: he started the theatre group in 2006 and has been heading it since then. At that time he was working in manufacturing. In 2009 he started teaching at the school. Dan is MYTO's secretary and now also heads the microfinance program. 

Dan is married and has four children, 3 girls and one boy, aged 5 to 14. He manages to support him and his family through some donations MYTO get, helps in construction when he can, and is part of MYTO music band and theatre group, which are sometimes paid to perform. 

Dan would like to see MYTO become a proper NGO, working all around the world. Another dream would be to have his own foundation, working for the underprivileged. 

Millicent Akinyi Owenoteaches nursery

  • First of 6 children, Millicent was born in Mathare but her family is from Siaya County. She got educated in a school similar to MYTO, then went to a high school close to Mathare. She is now 30 years old, and has a six-year-old boy. 
Millicent was among the founders of MYTO in 2005, but she was doing other jobs at the time, such as acting and hairdressing. She started teaching in 2010. 

She still does hairdressing for neighbours and friends on weekends, and this is what she depends on in terms of income. 

Millicent has big dreams for MYTO: she hopes the school can be one day moved to a good, permanent building. And she also hopes one day MYTO can employ people, especially ladies, and help them having a better life. She would also like to own a house in the rural area.

Paul Adams Okoth: teaches science to class 4, English to class 6, math to class 7 and CRE to class 8

  • Paul Adams was born and raised in Mathare. He went to a school next to MYTO from baby class to class 3. In 2003, when the government implemented free education, he went to the only government school in Mathare. When MYTO started in 2005, he was part of some of the programs: he used to sing, play football and theatre. When MYTO school started, he came to study there for classes 7 and 8. He then went to high school, but day schools are very far away so he used to walk a lot to reach there and come back. Over there he was the youngest president this school ever had. He finished in 2010 and came back to MYTO to become a teacher. 
Paul Adams is proud of where he comes from, and it is very important to him to work to change the community. He is also an activist and is part of several groups advocating for human rights and issues regarding politics and life in the slums. Finally, he is a basketball coach for kids in the neighbourhood. 

Paul Adams is married and has a 3-month old daughter. His dream is to study and become a lawyer. 

Phelister Njoroge: teaches all the subjects to class 2 and Kiswahili to class 1

  • Phelister was born and brought up in Mathare. She left in 2011 to take a CPA course but had to drop out because she could not afford it. She realised she enjoyed teaching so when she came back in 2014, she decided to become a teacher.
She manages with the little she gets from the school, and on the weekends she also looks for small jobs to do for her neighbours, such as plaiting hair or do laundry. But those opportunities happen by chance, you can never rely on them. She lives with her mother who does not work, so she has to provide for the both of them. 
Phelister learnt from a school similar to MYTO, so she understands what the learning environment is like. She strongly feels that it is important to give back to the community. "I will stay here as long as MYTO exists"

Kevin Okoth Onyango: teaches English to class 4, social studies to classes 5 and 8, and CRE to classes 5 and 7

  • Kevin is 20 years old and was born in a town called Bondo. He came to Mathare with his family when he was young, when his father came to look for a job, so he has been living here most of his life. He came back to his home country in 2004 to finish his primary education, then back to Mathare for high school, which he finished in 2012. He did not have enough funds to join college so he decided to volunteer for MYTO, to help the community. In the future he wants to go to college to become a nurse. 
Kevin lives alone. At home he guards a few pupils and teaches them, this is what sustains him financially. 

Wycliff Otieno: teaches social studies and CRE to classes 4, 5 and 6

  • Wycliff grew up in Migori town, and moved to Nairobi on his own after finishing school. His father passed away really early, so he came here to look for an income to support him and his family. After finishing form 4 he entered college to study community work development. 
Attracted by all the group activities they had developed, he joined MYTO in 2008. He is the teacher who has been here the longest. Soon he will start to work part-time in a high school in the city.

Wycliff is responsible for his brother who is in form 3 now. He works on the weekends, in whatever he can find, mostly construction work. 

He is looking forward to the future, to start a family and find a good job. He would like to move out of Mathare and go live closer to the city. 

Jerine Awino: teaches pre-unit

  • Jerine grew up in the rural area, in Homabay County. There she did her primary and secondary education. At that time she lost her parents, so she came to Mathare with her aunt to look for somebody to take her to college. She did a social work certificate at Kisumu Polytechnic, after which she joined MYTO as a social worker to look after young kids. 
She now studies at Unity College, where she expects to graduate next year. She goes to university when the school closes, and her work at MYTO helps her pass training in ECD. She really enjoys her work here, especially the opportunity to interact with kids and people from different backgrounds

Jerine has a 3-year-old daughter. She hopes to get funds to continue studying and do a diploma. 

George Odhiambo: teaches maths to classes 4 and 5, science to classes 6 and 8, and social studies to class 7

  • George comes from South Nyanza, Migori County. He left his home two years ago. Before that he was teaching in Kisii. He decided to move here because wages in town in are a bit higher, and Ben, who he knew from Migori, offered him a position. He likes the fact that MYTO has good relationships with other NGOs and they get visitors from time to time. He is decided to stay here and help the organisation for as long as he can.
George is married and has two children, a boy and a girl aged 12 and 8. 

During the weekends he also work to get some money, through private tuition as well as some work in construction. 

Felix Okinyi: teaches maths to classes 6 and 8, science to class 7 and social studies to class 4

  • Felix was born in Homabay County, in a village called Kadougio. He came to Nairobi in 2010, right after finishing school. He met Ben when he arrived in Mathare, as he was living next to the MYTO office. Ben saw he had an interest in teaching, so he brought him to the school. Felix decided to fully join MYTO to give the organisation a chance to achieve its goals.
Felix loves his job here because the people involved are united, love and respect each other. He also knows the fruits of getting educated and this is why he has the heart to teach the kids. He wants to stay in MYTO in the future.

Felix also works in construction during his free time, and after school he helps out in a men's hairdressing salon.

Florence Ouma Anyango: teaches all subjects to class 3

  • Born in 1992, Florence grew up in Kisumu County and did her education over there. In 2012 she did the Kenya Certificate of Education (KCEs), after which she came to Nairobi to look for a job and visit her aunt. She started by teaching ECD in another school in Mathare for a year. She then joined MYTO and has been enjoying her time here, especially the fact that all teachers are here to help the community.
To support herself, Florence does private tuition for little children every evening as well as on the weekends.

She wants to keep on teaching at MYTO in the future. She has a dream of this school expanding, building new classes and reaching more children, implement more programs to help them and also expand the feeding program.

Elly Ogallo Oiro: teaches science to class 5, Kiswahili to classes 6 and 7, and English to class 8

  • Elly from Kisumu County and grew up in the rural area. He has been living in Mathare since 2000, where he began primary school. For secondary he went to a boarding school back in Kisumu. But opportunities were not there after high school and life was very tough, so he came back to Nairobi and started teaching at MYTO in 2013, but as a volunteer. His mother helps him, who lives in Mathare as well. He also works in a kinyozi when he has free time. 
Elly would like to get married and start a family in the upcoming years. He also wants to further his studies to receive proper training to become a teacher.