Talent Scouting the Slums

Compassion International

Today I met 14 year old Nelson Juma Dbongo of the Mathare Slums. He wants to be a journalist and an actor.

He has what it takes. In his free time, he goes to the library to read and learn how to improve his writing composition. He has already written 8 comedies and a few dramas on tough topics like AIDS and drug abuse. Since 2001, Compassion International’s Mathare Community Outreach has made this possible. It takes him 30 minutes to get there (or 1 hour if he walks slowly).


Nelson wants to attend university, hopefully in America. He wants to be a successful actor and journalist so that he can help the poor and the sick. He offers this wisdom:

If you have money, you can’t just keep it for you alone. You share with the poor people what you have.

Nelson says that many kids in the Mathare Slums are unhappy, have bad habits, and don’t go to school. But he says that you can help by praying for them, visiting them, and sponsoring them. Nelson is very grateful for his sponsor, Kevin.

Compassion International


I hope Nelson does attend university. His speaking ability, poise, and confidence stunned me! I hope to one day see him in movies. He is a good performer and will only get better (college talent scouts should snatch him up!). You just have to see it for yourself:

The video doesn’t do his performance justice. His eye contact and engagement was amazing!


He hasn’t always had the opportunity to read, write, and practice his gifts. By age 4, both of Nelson’s parents were dead from disease. His brother George (who was 14yo at the time) has raised Nelson and his other three siblings for the past 10 years. As a baby, Nelson was diagnosed with a heart problem, so he can’t play soccer with his friends. But he can act and joke with friends, particularly his best friend, Charles.

Becoming a sponsor of a child like Nelson is easy, simply visit Compassion.com and sign up.

Compassion International