Two of the biggest areas of need in Kibera at the moment are hygiene and education. The lack of hygiene is because there are very few toilets or showers available and the educational need is because it is difficult for children to study as they can't afford textbooks and have no study space.
We are fundraising to address these needs. We plan to build a toilet and showers block in the Kibera slum, this will be a vital facility in an area where people have very limited access to clean water or toilets: Kibera is famous for its "flying toilets" where people use a plastic bag for their business and then throw it away.
Diseases, such as cholera and dysentery are common and are caused by the lack of clean water and waste not being properly disposed of.
Once built, the facility will be managed by our local partners, the MED committee, and they will will make a small charge for the use of the facilities. This will be a sustainable local business, providing employment and making a profit that will be invested back into the community.
The block will also have an upstairs room that we will equip for study. Children living in the slum don't have access to text books for homework or even space to study at home: a family will typically all live in a single room hut. Poor education is the main factor of children growing up without prospects, thus taking the cycle of poverty into the next generation. This study library will provide quiet space and access to books for study so that children can complete their homework assignments.
Update: We have raised enough funds to enable us to buy a plot of land in the slum. The team in Kibera are currently looking for the right place. This is a tricky operation as there is little formal process in land ownership in the slum areas, but if done properly the purchase is legal and safe.
The Kibera Saints are a football team started a few years ago by three exceptional coaches, Mark William and Abdi. All the players come from the Kibera slum where football is a welcome distraction from an otherwise negative culture where crime, drugs and unemployment rule. The Kibera Saints offered young people an alternative to gang activity resulting in fewer robberies, thefts and assaults. They trained the players; established an under-17s team and set up a barber shop to fund the club. The senior team has been successful, raising to the top of their Nairobi league winning against more established and richer teams.
The coaches have recently started a drug addiction rehabilitation programme for young people to reduce the issue of drug abuse in the youth in the community. This programme is based on the well-established 12 steps system. The 12-Step model provides support, encouragement and accountability for people who genuinely want to overcome their addiction.
The groups have regular meetings to encourage the kind of social support that has helped countless people stay clean. We are supporting two facilitators for this programme and providing meals for those attending the meetings.
In addition to class-based discussions, the programme encourages the participants in entrepreneurship and work to support themselves. The current work scheme is a rubbish clearance programme. Rubbish is a massive problem in Kibera and is everywhere you look.
In addition to starting to clear the mounds of rubbish the team have visited local households to invite them to pay a small subscription to have their rubbish taken away. We are helping with the set-up costs of this programme and will support it until it becomes self-sustaining.
Cleaning up the slum is a key part of our vision for Kibera, this project provides not only physical cleaning of rubbish but also mental cleaning with freedom from drug addiction.
Our local partners in Kibera have set up a community organisation to help small businesses. They will issue loans to enable people to buy stock or equipment and will support these businesses with training and advice. They also hold workshops where the businesses can give support to each other. When the businesses repay their loans the finance will then be available to another business, thus growing the group and changing more lives. This model means that all donations are very efficiently used to change many lives.
We support them by raising capital for the loan fund and providing training, advice and encouragement.
The initiative is registered with the Kenyan government as a community-based organisation (CBO) under the name of New Community 2019 Micro Finance
Encouraging self-help and support amongst local business entrepreneurs is another way the programme is making a difference at a local level. The local committee members are well respected and successful business people in their own right and are able to offer business development training and support to the scheme benificiaries.