Carolina for Kibera, Inc.

Run by Kenyans and advised by American and Kenyan volunteers, CFK's mission is to promote youth leadership and ethnic cooperation in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya through sports, young women's empowerment, and community development. Additionally, CFK works to improve basic healthcare, sanitation, and education in Kibera.
Mar 11, 2015

How Lydia Became an Acrobat

Nafsi Acrobats
Nafsi Acrobats

Yesterday was International Women's Day! In celebration of women worldwide, we wanted to bring you the following story about how Lydia became an acrobat.

Lydia, 16, found out about Carolina for Kibera’s Daughters United program (Binti Pamoja) through her best friend, who already regularly attended meetings. Having grown up in Kibera in a single-parent household, she had been longing for a place where she could meet friends apart from her siblings - specifically girls.

She quickly discovered and appreciated the sense of community she felt with the other girls in her group. “I like that Binti helps girls to overcome some of the challenges they face in the slum, such as violence, early marriage, and drug abuse, which are really affecting young girls in Kibera.” The program’s activities also help girls to identify and practice their different talents, including creative writing, photography, and—most importantly for Lydia—dance.

Lydia enjoys the program’s dancing sessions more than any other aspect of Daughters United meetings. But she had never dreamed of doing something as daring and unique as acrobatics. At one of these dancing sessions, a representative of Nafsi Africa Acrobats gave a spectacular presentation. Lydia immediately found the sport intriguing and exciting. The representative also took an interest in Lydia, hand-picking her to train with a team from Nafsi.

As Lydia practiced, she improved greatly; before long, Nafsi invited her to Copenhagen, Denmark to perform last December! Rather than being strictly a competition, the event functioned as a cultural exchange, bringing together dancers and acrobats from all over the world to share their heritage, culture, and distinct styles of dance, song, and acrobatics. The last day included a competition with participants from other countries, and Lydia’s group emerged the winners!

Through Daughters United, Lydia discovered her passion for acrobatics, which she plans to continue throughout college and the rest of her life. Perhaps one day, another aspiring acrobat will follow in her footsteps.

Feb 10, 2015

A Renewed Partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities

For the past 2 years, Carolina for Kibera has partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) on a large-scale project to bring clean water straight to Kiberan families. The campaign, conducted by Community Health Workers (CHWs), reached thousands of people throughout Kibera and brought 3,235 easy-to-use hand-washing stations right to Kiberan households. In the process, CHWs conducted health outreach through door-to-door screenings, bringing basic health information and services to over 10,000 families. In short, through our collaboration with RMHC, CFK created great impact by keeping families, especially families with children under 5 years old, healthy and knowledgeable about health resources in their community.

We are extremely grateful for RMHC’s support, and incredibly pleased to announce that our partnership will continue for another 2 years! The aim of this renewed collaboration is to build upon the work that our team has already accomplished by training more Community Health Workers and providing additional health information and access to health services to families in Kibera, specifically as it relates to maternal health. RMHC has contributed millions of dollars to 9 organizations, CFK included, to continue bringing innovative health solutions to underserved communities. We are honored that RMHC sees the value in CFK’s work, the talent of CFK’s team of Community Health Workers, and the potential of the Kiberan community to thrive.

You can find the first half of the official press release announcing RMHC’s collaboration with all 9 organizations to which it has pledged support for the next 2 years by clicking here. Thank you again, Ronald McDonald House Charities!

Feb 10, 2015

The CFK Sprinters Make National News (Part 2)

Remember our update last month when we mentioned that Carolina for Kibera's jump rope team, The CFK Sprinters, made national news not once, but twice? We wanted to share part 2 of that series with you. (If you missed the first clip, you can find it here.)

In the second of the two features, Voice of America gives a glimpse into how star jumper, Wycliffe Otieno, began jumping. "After class, I'd find people practicing jump rope and my interest was piqued," he says. "I saw an opportunity to learn and improve my skills and I decided to take it up seriously."

Another jumper, Christine Ondeko (who was among the first to join the Sprinters), mentions how jump rope inspires her to develop her skills and dedicate her time to something constructive. Coach David Okoth is also interviewed, saying that in addition to coaching the team in the actual sport, they spend time participating in workshops to learn about important life skills and health topics.

Watch the clip here for some great shots of practice, as well as each interview in full. Congratulations on your moments in the spotlight, CFK Sprinters!

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