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.
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.
The Thunder Foundation TODAY
Over the years The Thunder Foundation has gone from strength to strength and helped many deprived children and teenagers through a variety of projects. Our mission as always 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 our committed to these children - their well-being and education is paramount. Today we have 26 children (all supported through individual sponsors) who attend a very, good local school where they receive a high standard of education, uniforms, school, equipment, food, family support, basic health care and social wellbeing. Their progress is continually monitored to ensure they all reach their full potential and have a promising future ahead.
Also funded through individual sponsors and supported by Thunder, we have 16 children with special needs. The difference that our help has made not only to the childrens but the lives of their families has been incredible. Through providing daycare for these children, they have been accepted into the conmunity, the stigma of disabilities has been remove, families have had invaluable support and jobs and work opportunities have been created. A continuing success story!