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.
Jul 15, 2013

Jump Rope Athletes Travel to the U.S. for World Championship Tournament

I have to admit that I had my doubts that they'd be able to pull it off, but when I got the text late on Monday that CFK’s jump rope team, the CFK Sprinters, had been approved for visas and would be heading to the U.S., I was amazed and excited.   Even though this trip was, in fact, a year in the making, it all ended up coming together in a span of 48 hours.  Before we get into that, though, let's back up a bit.

Every year, the World Jump Rope Championship & Camp is held.  This year, the competition was hosted at the University of Central Florida in Orlando where jumpers from all over the world competed in individual and team competitions.  This year, participating countries included France, the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Japan, Brazil, and the U.K.  In 2012, several CFK participants in the jump rope program were organizing to go to compete in this event (a trip supported by CFK partner One World One Rope); however, complications arose with paper work, visas, working with two governments with different requirements, traveling with minors—all legitimate issues that required sorting out.  Due to all the difficulties, the team wasn't able to make it.  This year the team started earlier, in March, to get the necessary paperwork, Kenyan government approvals, and of course visas to travel to the U.S.  Though it was hectic, the team got all the necessary documentation and left for the U.S. on July 2.

At the airport, we took pictures and shared high-fives, laughs, tears, and hugs as jumpers Ida, Cathrine Agnes, Diana, and Jackline began their journey to the World Championship Tournament.  They were joined by David, their coach, and Margaret, the Deputy Head Mistress of the Old Kibera Primary School.

For more information and to see the results of the competition, check out worldjumprope.org!

Jun 13, 2013

Clinic Opens New Nutrition Center for Children

In 2012, the Tabitha Medical Clinic identified hundreds of cases of malnourishment in Kiberan children, which hinders healthy growth of educational, communicative, and social skills.  According to the World Bank, good nutrition is also “the first line of defense against numerous childhood diseases, which can leave their mark on a child for life.”  With limited resources, the body will always prioritize survival and neglect growth (Sagan and Druyan, World Bank). Given that nutrition is an essential element in the development and overall health in children under the age of five, the Carolina for Kibera team decided to create a nutrition initiative in the Kibera community.

The CFK nutrition centre opened in May 2013 enrolling 35 children into the daily feeding and early childhood development program.  It is hoped that in three months the children will be at the approximate weight they should be for their age and that their parents will be well-equipped with knowledge and tools for keeping their children healthy.  The center is also working with Community Health Workers (CHWs) to support an additional 140 children in the community, visiting families and supporting the development of the children by sharing information with parents and guardians on nutrition and child development. The nutrition center, called “Lishe Bora Mtaani,” which can be loosely translated as “good nutrition for the community," hopes to expand its work to reach families in neighboring villages in Kibera.  The centre is an integral part of the Community Health Program, which works closely with Community Health Workers (CHWs) and the Tabitha Clinic for medical assessment, treatment and follow up of the children, facilitating referrals and the phasing out of services.

Apr 22, 2013

A Safe Spaces Mentor Reflects on Girls' Empowerment

I believe that knowledge is power and if every girl is empowered, then they have the power to enforce great change in the community. The Binti Pamoja Center provides girls with information and opportunities that enable them to make a step in changing their lives. We also discuss possible solutions to problems that girls face in the area, and how we as girls in the community can make a step towards change no matter how small it is. As mentors in the Binti Pamoja program, it is our role and responsibility to ensure that girls in Kibera have the same information we received, that they also have the same opportunities that we did, and to ensure that we support them so as to reduce the vulnerabilities they face, so that they can maximize all opportunities available to them to have a better life in the future and to complete their education. Continue supporting our program so that we can continue to reach more girls so as to improve their lives and to enable them to become leaders of positive change in their community and for them to be mentors to other girls as well.

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