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.
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.

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.

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