The Thunder Foundation TODAY

Since 2012, The Thunder Foundation has gone from strength to strength and helped many unprivileged children, teenagers, families and the entire Kawangware community through a variety of projects. Our mission is simple – to make a noise for the children who cannot be heard by raising awareness and providing help to those most in need from the slums of Nairobi.

From the start, we have continued to educate and support our Thunder school children. Watching them learn and grow is the greatest reward. As a charity, we are committed to these 40 children - their well-being and education is paramount and the ultimate goal is to transform them into the future leaders of their communities.

We have eleven students who just completed the first year in High School, one student undergoing a vocational internship in electronics, seven children who will enter high school in January 2024 and five students in Primary school.

Through individual sponsors and many fundraising activities, we are able to offer our students a high-quality education, uniforms, school, equipment, food, family support, basic health care and social well-being, seminars, workshops, and field trips. Their progress is continually monitored to ensure they all reach their full potential and have a promising future ahead.

Two of our Pupils at New Highlight School, Kenya

Also funded through individual sponsors and supported by Thunder, we have 16 children with special needs. Our children are distributed in four different schools, to better cater for their needs. The difference that our help has made not only to the children but the lives of their families has been incredible. Through providing daycare for these children, they have been accepted into the community, the stigma of disabilities has been removed, families have had invaluable support. Jobs and work opportunities have been created. It is a continuing success story!

In 2023 we paid special attention to our family’s financial support system. 2023 has been recorded as one of the worst financial years for Kenya, with the Kenyan shilling losing value for 29 consecutive months. Prices have doubled and unemployment skyrocketed. To contribute to creating a safe and stable home environment for our 40 children, we launched two projects: chicken farms and microfinance loans. We are training our parents to emerge from financial insecurity with the creation of new businesses or with the development of their existing business. Life is hard and complicated in the slum but as a big loving family, we support each member and make sure we do our best to assist them in their daily challenges.

About us

How it all began ...

Raad Swais, a Physical Education teacher from Bexhill, East Sussex, founded 'The Thunder Foundation' in 2012 when he went to Kenya to teach at a large private school, located next to one of the largest slums in Nairobi.

Raad was so shocked by the appalling living conditions and complete lack of opportunities for those living in the slums, that he was determined to do all he could to help them, especially the children.

The Mutaratara Learning Centre, 2014

At first Raad tried to help by handing out food, clothes and books but he soon realized that this provided only short term benefits. With support from family and friends both in England and Nairobi, Raad established The Thunder Foundation and began raising funds to start a small schools program for primary school aged children from the slum.

In January 2014 The Thunder Foundation opened The Mutaratara Learning Centre, their first school, in a vacant property which was provided at a peppercorn rent. It started with 22 children handpicked by Raad from two areas from the Mutaratara district of the Nairobi slums. These two areas were chosen as no other aid agencies worked there. The school offered these children, free education, food and healthcare provided through individual sponsors. Most of these children are still with us today, thriving in full-time education supported through The Thunder Foundation.


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... a child's education

Every penny goes to The Thunder Foundation. Gift Aid is passed on in full for free. Please include Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer.

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Making a noise for the children that can't be heard