This weekend I visited the infamous Kabira for the first time. This Kibera (meaning forest or jungle)...opposed to the country club I was a member of in Kampala...this Kibera is a community in Nairobi with over 1 million people. (I will write more about Kibera in more detail another time- but did you see the Comic Relief documentary that sent British celebrities to live and work in the ‘slum’ ; ‘Rich, Famous & In The Slums’ ? ) The problems of Kibera are known around the world and money is thrown at it.( I will write more about There are said to be approximately one NGO worker for every person living in the community-quite a figure.
The projects that work are (of course) self-sustainable. On Saturday I got invited by a friend to visit a project, Kibera Mpra Mtaani,which she is heavily involved in; it is becoming self sustainable and (more importantly) a success!
The project works by using football as a tool to reach out to young people. One of the things the organisation was able to do was buy a small plot of land at Kibera (from the very rich landowners...) for an Education Centre. The facility is a haven for pupils that go to school, that need a place to do homework (with lights etc). There are weekend sessions, to keep children from spending money on watching porn and out of trouble. A lot of these teaching sessions are fun and active using resources that are not always available in local schools (not something the children often get to experience at school)-for example paints and colours were taken today to do some art with the children. There is a full-time member of staff and volunteer teaching assistants that run study sessions. To make the organisation establish sustainability it spent donated funds on a satellite to view football games. People have to pay a small amount to watch the game (which is above some Eco toilets...and has a good view of Kibera!) and the money is then pumped into the after school/weekend education facility. I was shown the new fridge that the organisation got from Cocacola to sell sodas at games to raise funds. Sounds simple, it is in theory, and it is massively successful.
I got to meet Steven, the first pupil that has used the facility and was supported by the organisation and is now starting University on Monday, studying Education.
The next step or the club is to expand their facility (as there are often days with over 200 children in the tin hut) and build an ICT suite – again which would be self sustainable.