Ruben Maternity Clinic First Anniversary

The following video was done by students of St. Paul's University. It features everything the Ruben Centre hosts and all that the Centre Director Br. Frank O'Shea has overseen. Please leave a like and share the video. Don't forget to subscribe to see more of Ruben Centre.


Br.Frank O’Shea has been at the realm of Ruben Centre since 2010 as the Director. As the curtains are bowing before him, a video was done in commemoration for transforming Ruben Centre from a small organization somewhere in Mukuru (Kwa Ruben) Slums to a hub of diverse activities.

In his own words, the Ruben Centre is a one stop shop; home to a variety of pursuits. He has achieved all these with the Mukuru community coming first and therefore he will be a sung hero hereon after.

The footage also features some of the 32 projects the organization boasts of.

Video Courtesy: Jesuit Media


Who We Are

Ruben Centre is a non-profit, faith-based organization striving for an empowered and just Mukuru community by providing quality education, health, financial and social services to children and families in the area. Run by the Christian Brothers African Province, it is one of eight Christian Brothers project sites across Africa, and offers a vital source of community development programmes to the residents of one of the largest slums in Nairobi.

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Our Programs

Ruben Centre runs 27 different development programs, spread across 5 primary categories.

Ruben Medical Clinic Staff during a medical camp

Ruben Medical Clinic Staff during a medical camp


The Ruben Centre Health Clinic began in a tin shed in 1992 and was first started by a Japanese NGO – African Education Fund. After the Christian Brothers began administering the Centre, a new clinic was built and it opened in 2003. This new clinic offered much needed improvements and to date the clinic offers a range of services to residents of Mukuru Slums and beyond.

Students attending the Digital Learning lessons

Students attending the Digital Learning lessons


Ruben Centre’s strategic Objective one is To Improve Access to and provide Quality Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education to children in the slums of Mukuru. A.E.F Ruben Primary is a public sponsored school by the Christian Brothers - Australia.The school has a population of over 3,000 children with 58 teachers ;28 government teachers and 30 project teachers.

Empowering the youth in the community

Empowering the youth in the community

Social & Economic Empowerment

Aims to provide livelihood opportunities to extremely vulnerable women and Youth in Mukuru Slums. It uses theoretical and hands-on skills training in different handcrafts to ensure professional, innovative, holistic and technical input that enhances their work opportunities and gives greater awareness around business development and management.

Striving for a Just and Empowered Mukuru Community

Striving for a Just and Empowered Mukuru Community

Advocacy & Networking

Advocacy and Networking is Ruben Centre’s fourth strategic direction in the five-year 2016-2020 strategic plan for Ruben Centre. This strategic objective is embedded in a wider advocacy and network of the Christian Brother’s strategic objective adopted in 2014 in Nairobi. Therefore Ruben Centre is achieving the objective for the Christian Brother’s, which is stated in their mission.

Ruben Centre leadership team during two days workshop on strategic review

Ruben Centre leadership team during two days workshop on strategic review

Organisational Capacity

With a focus in strengthened human, institutional ad infrastructure of Ruben Centre to effectively continue to respond to the needs of Mukuru Community by: Sustaining Capacity building opportunities including recruitment and retention of  staff in all departments and sections including proper succession  procedures to avoid any gaps left by staff who leave the organisation.



As the only Community Centre, and “one stop shop”  in Kwa Ruben our diversity of projects enables choice and change for people who are caught in the "poverty penalty”, and, whose vulnerability is more pronounced because of the lack of government/donor funded investment in this particular slum.  In fact, over the past two years, the slums of Mukuru have been highlighted in a number of international studies, and these indicated the negative impacts experienced by this community, because of the minimal attention or support received from the Kenya National and County Governments. 

3,000 +

Children access free primary education

A.E.F Ruben Primary School has continued to offer free-quality primary education to children in the Mukuru Slums and beyond. The school is a public-sponsored. Thousands of students have completed their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Ruben Centre. The school has 58 teachers: 30 project teachers paid by Christian Brothers and 28 government teachers. 50 children with disability are also accessing free education through the Ruben Centre Special Unit.

Over 30+

years of serving Mukuru Community

Ruben Centre was started in 1986 by a Mercy Sister, Sr. Mary Killeen who saw the need to start a primary school for children in the slums who did not have access to education. She Handed over the Centre to a Japaneese organisation ;African Education Fund (AEF) who started the first clinic in 1993. The Japanese handed over the organisation to Christian Brothers- Australia in 2000 and they are currently offering 29 programs tailored to empower the Mukuru community.

950+ Women

accessed Maternity services in a period of one year

The Ruben Centre Maternity Unit was officially opened 0n 22nd June 2018. The vision of the Maternity is offer dignified,accessible,respectful and affordable maternity health care services to the women of Mukuru and beyond and in a period of one year only, we have managed to serve over 950 mothers, delivered 855 babies and referred over 130 mothers to higher health facilities after they developed complications.

Young Farmers’ Club at the Prof. Maathai garden at Ruben Centre.

Young Farmers’ Club at the Prof. Maathai garden at Ruben Centre.

Professor Wangari Maathai Urban Garden

Started by Br. Frank O’Shea, the urban garden in Ruben Centre was started to fill the gap in farming specifically in the urban set up. It is well known that in city there are two limiting factors when it comes to farming; water & space. The garden that was named after the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize employs concepts that see to it the shortcomings mentioned earlier are met.

Teams warming before a match during the Ruben FM tournament

Teams warming before a match during the Ruben FM tournament

Ruben FM tournament first month report

Ruben FM tournament is an initiative of Ruben FM, a community radio station operating from Ruben Centre in Mukuru Kwa Ruben Slum, Nairobi County. The ongoing tournament is the second edition after a successful first edition in 2018. This initiative came as a result of Mukuru teams’ request to Ruben FM to organize a local football tournament in 2018.

Laura Saldanha who volunteered at Ruben Health Centre - Occupational Therapy

Laura Saldanha who volunteered at Ruben Health Centre - Occupational Therapy

Message by Laura Saldanha on her experience at the Ruben Centre

I can’t believe my 12 months at Ruben Centre has come to an end. I came here with little knowledge about the culture and what exactly I was supposed to be doing, but I was welcomed so warmly by all the staff at the centre and quickly felt a part of the team. Freddy the Occupational Therapist had already done an incredible job in increasing the size of the Therapy Department and I came at the right time to assist in managing the increasing client load.


Director’s corner


Work... and Play


On 29th October Bev Watkinson, Sammy Muga and I were the center of attention at the Edmund Rice Foundation 500 Supporters Luncheon at the Melbourne cricket ground.

This is the second of their annual fund raisers for Ruben Centre. This one is timed around the season of horse racing and in particular the Melbourne cup. A strong and very loyal committee put a lot of work into these events and I always love to participate and offer them a hand.

Over 450 people attended the lunch and several racing identities spoke. The Melbourne Cup even adorned the room. The spirit of the luncheon was great and people really enjoyed it and hopefully they rose around AUD 300,000 for Ruben Centre.

Bev our great 3 year volunteer greets everyone and is doing well and looks forward to returning sometime in 2020. It was great to catch up again with her and she was able to meet many Australians who have visited Ruben in recent years.



The day before this, my friend Dr. Peter Stratmann fired up his fighter jet for me and I enjoyed the flight of a life time over Melbourne and doing air rolls and maneuvers over Port Phillip Bay. It was sensational experience and I even came back with my lunch.

On the 31st of October I am visiting Emmanuel College in Warrnambool and should meet with Brian Brown who wants to return to Ruben again in 2020. Let me see what this coming week brings. Thanks everyone at Ruben who is actually working.

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Get Involved

You can become part of the Ruben Centre by getting involved with us in various ways. Ruben Centre welcomes people to join us by volunteering, donating to support our programs, signing up to become a Ruben Centre Champion or by visiting us to have a first hand experience of the work happening at Ruben Centre.


Be our Champion

We need champions (people, organisations, governments) who will work with us to create future opportunities and further the development opportunities for the Mukuru Community. You can do this by fundraising for our programs, linkages with possible donors and create awareness about our work to friends and social networks.

Bev Watkinson has been Volunteering with us for three years now.

Bev Watkinson has been Volunteering with us for three years now.

Volunteer with us

Are you a game changer? Are you looking for a place to volunteer your expertise in a Community Based Organisation in the heart of Mukuru Slums? Ruben Centre is looking for professional volunteers in areas of health, education, community development and areas of Organisational capacity to join us. You will get a fulfilling experience.



Our Programs are donor funded with our major donor being Edmund Rice Foundation Australia. We welcome individuals and organisations to donate towards Ruben Centre’s Different Programs. Your donation goes a long way to put a smile on the faces of the less privileged and the vulnerable people living in the slums of Mukuru.