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.
Jun 10, 2015

Dismantling Myths About Menstraul Hygiene

Every year on May 28th, women all over the world celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day. Because the menstrual cycle is so common, it might sound odd to have a day dedicated to it. However, in many areas, including the Kibera slum, menstruation is considered taboo or shameful. As a result, many myths about menstruation arise, and girls learn incorrect things about their health.

One of the goals of CFK’s Daughters United program is to teach girls accurate and reliable health information in a variety of areas, including sexual and reproductive health. This month, our target was to reach out to 600 girls in informal schools across Kibera. Throughout the month of May, we held 6 sessions on menstruation hygiene, each of which had 100 girls participate. We invited an external speaker who taught them about menstruation in depth. The girls were also trained on how to use sanitary towels, which we provided for them free of charge.

It is very important to train young adolescent girls on the importance of maintaining hygiene during menstruation. A lack of good hygiene leads to infections and at times affects their performance in school and their social lives. It is also important to teach adolescent girls about themselves, as knowledge and confidence build their self-esteem. With this knowledge about their menstrual cycles, they have nothing to fear in terms of embarrassment from a completely natural process. Instead, they can focus their efforts on their education, confidence, and long-term goals.

May 11, 2015

The Year's First In-House Competition

Did you know that the CFK Sprinters also hold competitions amongst themselves from time to time? Held a couple of times a year, these in-house tournaments give jumpers a chance to engage in friendly competition with their peers. Most importantly, the in-house competitions test, monitor, and grade the jumpers, and help seasoned athletes as well as rookies understand the rules and regulations of the jump rope sport.

The Sprinters’ most recent in-house competition, held on 1 May, brought together over 65 jumpers from the team. We had a massive turn-out from the community, with residents crowding around to watch the live performance. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, since it was the last day before school started up again after a long vacation. This made it even sweeter for athletes who attend boarding school; the rest of the team bid them a nice farewell until the next school holiday in August.

Like all tournaments, the in-house competition seeks to give jumpers a chance to compete and challenge their peers to work hard and improve. As such, we had several awards there up for grabs by the best performers. The awards were encouraging and motivating as every participant tried their best to walk away with a medal.

However, the tournament also featured an educational component. Many members of the Kibera community do not know the rules of jump rope (and some do not believe it is a real sport), or how the power of sport can be harnessed to teach kids about confidence, healthy habits in their daily lives, and friendship and teamwork. Children who were there got a chance to dance alongside the jumpers and, if they were old enough, to practice their moves with a rope. By encouraging children from the community to try out jump rope through competitions like these, Carolina for Kibera can reach more at-risk youth in the community.

May 11, 2015

Inveneo Donates 100 Tablets to CFK's Health Department

Carolina for Kibera’s data collection methods are getting an upgrade! Earlier this week, 100 new Google Nexus 7 tablets arrived at CFK’s U.S. office in Chapel Hill. The donation came by way of Inveneo, a technology non-profit that seeks to deliver technological tools to people who need them most in the developing world. CFK shares their belief that technological innovation can help connect people with life-changing services across many areas, including health, education, and entrepreneurship.

So what could we possibly do with 100 sleek, shiny new tablets? These tablets will be used by Community Health Volunteers to more accurately collect health data from thousands of families in Kibera! With more standardized and thorough data, CFK can better assess the community’s need for health services and outreach. A more complete picture of what the community needs will also help us evaluate the success of existing programs and pinpoint areas of improvement.

Thank you, Inveneo! With this donation, you’ve certainly advanced your mission and ours—to help people lead healthy, safe, and self-sufficient lives.

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