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The Mwelu Foundation is a youth project based in Mathare Valley, an informal settlement in Nairobi. Its founder, Julius Mwelu initiates and trains some 40 youngsters to photography and ensures that they remain in school and attend classes regularly. These children and teenagers use photography and film production to document their lives and communicate their challenges – and their hopes – to the wider world.

The Foundation has also set up a library and a workspace where the kids can do their homework.  The Mwelu Foundation is taking positive steps to improve their livelihoods by building essential life skills. Through their initiatives, the Foundation hopes it can begin to displace the myth that slums like Mathare are dead-end places with no potential or home-grown talent.

The photobook Julius Mwelu & the Mwelu Foundation / Nairobi  part of the collection Africalia Editions [photo], presents a hundred testimonies of these image and dream hunters.

They have also worked on the production of the documentary Ni Kuruka Maisha – Jumping into Life, together with Kuruka Maisha Foundation.

Programme 2015-2016: Africalia supports core staff costs, expenses related to their training activities and exhibitions.


Inspiration Centre Building,
3rd Floor, Along Juja Road, Opp Moi AirBase.
00254 721 585 157 or 00254 711 668 053

Flickr: Mwelu on Flickr

Some examples of their work

The people in Mathare
Nairobi TV item over Mwelu Foundation