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.
Jan 8, 2014

Celebrating the International Day of the Girl Child

The UN recognizes 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child.  Throughout the world, essential rights for women and girls remain unfulfilled or ignored, including access to education, reproductive health, and to live free of gender-based violence.  In Kibera, the situation is very much the same.

The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated worldwide—and, as Binti Pamoja, we organized an event to celebrate adolescent girls in Kibera.

During the event, girls came together to showcase their different talents.  Some of the activities included performance of poetry, skits, dances, and modeling.  The girls had several opportunities to talk to each other and share on the different challenges they face in Kibera, especially how they are not treated with the same amount of respect as boys.  They have to really work harder to be at the same level with the boys.  Often, they lack goods or services like sanitary towels, an essential item, or a space in which they can express themselves.

All in all, the girls are very happy that despite the challenges they are facing, progress is being made.  There is a huge difference compared to some years back as more girls are getting vital information about their health, education, and well-being.  The celebration reinvigorated the girls to reach out to their friends with the aim of spreading information on issues of reproductive health and women's empowerment.   

Jan 8, 2014

CFK Sprinters Perform at the East Africa Jump Rope Competition and Camp

On Friday, 13 December 2013, Carolina for Kibera (CFK) and One World One Rope co-hosted the Fourth Annual East Africa Jump Rope Competition (EAJRC) in Nairobi, Kenya!

The competition brought together over 60 youth from Kenya and Tanzania to compete in individual and team jump rope events.  Many of the jumpers had also competed in the World Championships that were held in the US as well as made performances around the world.  CFK's team, The CFK Sprinters, has performed locally at the Safari Sevens, Carnivore and Kenya Premier League football matches.  The team has also represented Kenya in South Africa, France and the US at various competitions and performances.  Special guests from Japan, the US and Canada joined parents and other jump rope enthusiasts to cheer on the participants.

The competition was a great success!  Several members of the CFK team earned medals in their respective categories, adding to their impressive collection.  Going to competitions like the EAJRC helps young athletes not only earn trophies, but also provides unique learning opportunities by bringing jumpers together from different locations around the world.  With diversity comes the chance to master new skills and talents, establish friendships, and build a strong sense of teamwork.  Needless to say, The CFK Sprinters are looking forward to their next tournament.

Dec 11, 2013

Saving Children's Lives at Lishe Bora Mtaani, CFK's Nutrition Center

Isaac with his mother, Esther (left), and Francis.
Isaac with his mother, Esther (left), and Francis.

When CFK met Isaac in May of this year he weighed 6 kgs (~13 lbs), at 13 months old.  The normal weight of a child his age in Kenya is usually around 8 kgs (~18 lbs).  That may not seem like a lot, but it is for a young child. 

During a community screening for malnutrition, CFK Community Health Workers (CHWs) met Isaac and his parents.  Isaac’s mother is a housewife who, at the time, had just moved to Kibera from the rural areas with her son to be with her husband, Isaac’s father, who works as a casual laborer.  Only making 150 shillings (~$1.75) a day, the minimal income wasn’t enough to provide for the family, and Isaac’s health showed it.

Not only was Isaac severely malnourished, but he suffered from anemia, pneumonia and developmental delays.  Doctors at CFK’s Tabitha Medical Clinic recommended that Isaac be admitted to Mbagathi Hospital for eight weeks.  Not able to cover their usual day-to-day expenses, Isaac’s family was worried about the hospital expenses.  Thanks to the support from CFK’s Health Department emergency fund, the bill of 4,800 shillings (~$56) was covered, and Isaac was released from the hospital weighing 6.7 kgs (~15 lbs).

After being released from the hospital, Isaac was enrolled in CFK’s Lishe Bora nutrition center where he was fed every two hours, with feeding supplements and balanced meals and snacks.  As part of the holistic program, Isaac’s mother took classes on preparing balanced meals for her child and on the importance of good hygiene and sanitation for families living in Kibera.  After just two months in the centre, Isaac was able to stand and walk on his own and was beginning to speak, all developmental milestones he previously hadn’t reached.  He was finally discharged from the nutrition center weighing 18 lbs.

Isaac’s journey still continues.  He and his family receive weekly home visits from the nutrition center and CHW teams at CFK to make sure Isaac continues to progress.  In November, I joined CFK Nutritionist, Esther and CHW Francis as they visited Isaac in his home.  A shy but clearly loved and happy little boy, Isaac recognized Esther when she arrived at his home.  Isaac’s mother held and hugged her little boy, talking to Esther about how she was able to change meal preparations to make them more nutritionally rich and healthy for her family, something she learned from Lishe Bora.  She told Esther that if it weren’t for CFK, she may have lost her son.  Esther replied, “This is what we do.  We’re just doing our part for the health of the kids.”

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