The end of November meant it was time for the annual “CFK Day” in Kibera. The main objective of this day is to recognize and reward all of the committed teams, groups and individuals who dedicate their time to CFK activities throughout the year.
This year’s celebration was attended by more than 5000 youth representing each CFK program as well as many other organizations and initiatives within in the slum. Throughout the week, peer educators were able to recruit 114 young people for VCT services through individual talks and group sessions at the soccer fields. On the actual day, the youth of the Sports Program held a procession through the slum with banners reading “Tuliza Amani Mtaani,” or “We Want Peace in Kibera.” Over 1000 youth made the 4km hike as part of the parade!
In addition to the soccer finals for several of the teams (U-12, 14, 17, and 20), CFK also held a community forum in which the youth participated in the reading of poems and narratives as well as the performance of dances and skits. Throughout the day youth were rewarded with uniforms, balls and other soccer equipment, as well as school uniforms, books and pens. Finally, CFK also conducted an awards ceremony in which Provost Leadership Awards were awarded to emerging young leaders within the community.
According to our Executive Director, “it was a day of fun that went from 7am to 9pm”!
As always, we welcome your comments and feedback. On behalf of the youth, staff, and volunteers of Carolina for Kibera, thank you all for your support! Without your generosity, our work would not be possible.
Friends and colleagues,
Many of you have called or e-mailed asking for information and sending your thoughts and prayers to the Carolina for Kibera (CFK) staff and volunteers who are on the ground in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Thank you for your solidarity and support.
To our knowledge CFK staff and volunteers have suffered only one relatively minor injury as a result of the recent ethnic violence. However, large numbers of volunteers of all ages have had their houses burned and looted. There are no Americans volunteering with CFK at the moment on the ground in Kibera. CFK has kept its office and clinic closed since the election. However, today we began a short-term feeding program out of our youth center.
The violence stems from the December 27 presidential election in Kenya. At first, the election seemed to be peaceful and well orchestrated. It appeared as though the main opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, had a significant lead in the early polls. The violence began after President Kibaki was prematurely declared the winner in a small, hasty ceremony at his Presidential estate. It is unclear whether or not Kibaki won the election, but elections monitors (including the Kenyan head of the Kenyan Electoral Commission) have publicly called the election results illegitimate.
Although ethnic divisiveness is no stranger to Kenyan politics, no one anticipated the level of violence that has engulfed Kibera and much of Kenya. The situation on the ground is deteriorating rapidly as each day passes. Stores in Nairobi are looted and people, particularly the poor, are running out of food. Food prices are soaring. Large swaths of Kibera are burned to the ground. Criminal opportunists have joined the fray and there are incidents of wanton violence. Yesterday we received reports that a group of community members repelled a gang of thugs from looting and burning our youth center.
It should be noted, however, that those perpetrating the violence in Kibera number perhaps in the hundreds. Over 700,000 people, half of whom are under the age of 15, reside in the slum. Nevertheless, the level of hatred and divisiveness throughout Kenya today is unprecedented. People are afraid, and those with the means are fleeing from Kibera and other multi-ethnic communities racked by violence. Each day of violence besets the next and further solidifies more ethnic enmity.
The violence must stop now. Efforts to unite Odinga and Kibaki and encourage these leaders to lead and bring a halt to the violence have thus far been futile. None of these leaders have been on the ground in Kibera since the violence began.
In the face of this current tragedy, we must take stock of where we are as an organization. Some commentators suggest that these events signify a hopelessness of development and progress in Kenya. We who have labored on the ground with our brothers and sisters in Kibera see it much differently. We initially started CFK as a small soccer program with a hundred youths from every village and every ethnic group in Kibera. A key goal was to help promote ethnic cooperation and support the education of remarkable young leaders living in some of the most austere conditions imaginable. The violence reminds us that development depends on good governance and security. But our charge is still very clear, and even more important in light of the current bloodletting. CFK staff and volunteers are the forces and voices of positive change that will help create and sustain an equitable and peaceful society.
We will post updates about new developments to our website. If you are interested in learning more, below is a powerful UN article that features CFK and Binti Pamoja member Fatuma Roba. Her two-minute radio interview is particularly powerful. Also included is a link to a front-page article about CFK and Kibera from the Raleigh News and Observer and an insightful op-ed in the Financial Times from long-time CFK supporter and dear friend Michael Holman. Below is a graphic video of the violence in Kibera from CNN.
Please keep our brave leaders and volunteers on the ground in your thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. It is likely to get worse before it gets better. If you are so inclined, we could as always use your financial support.
President and Founder
Kimberly Chapman Page
Chair, Board of Directors
You can make a donation online through GlobalGiving to support CFK or learn more at: http://cfk.unc.edu
Thank you for supporting the Youth Sports Program of Carolina for Kibera (CFK) in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Below is a quarterly report submitted by the CFK staff on the ground in Kibera.
I hope you'll keep our friends in Kibera in your thoughts and prayers during the holiday season.
In the last quarter, the CFK boy’s tournament was ongoing, with a recruitment of U-16 and U-20 teams. The girl’s teams attended the a tournament in another Nairobi slum, Mathare, and the U-12 team returned home with a 1st place trophy. The Kicking AIDS Out! project underwent a recruitment of 10 new members, traveled to Naivasha for a refresher training, was divided into two groups to better reach out to a diversity of villages, and underwent a graduation strategy to give more responsibilities to senior members. Monthly life skills training sessions for the girl’s sports members were also introduced to create a safe space for the girls to address the unique challenges and questions faced, which are not adequately addressed through sports.
Sports Council and Fair Play Code members continued their weekly meetings to discuss the challenges and achievements experienced throughout the week. While the U-12 and U-14 teams in the ongoing boys' tournament concluded their preliminary matches and now await the second round, the Sports Council registered 25 new U-16 and 22 U-20 teams to begin the upper level matches of the tournament.
As compulsory for all teams, the under- 12 and 14 categories conducted four community clean up exercises in Makina, Kianda, Silanga and Lindi villages, with a total of 470 youth participating, and one cleanup in Kianda village for the U-16 and U-20 teams with 160 youth participating.
New members were recruited into the girls program, and home visits began in order to involve parents in their child’s progress at CFK. Two members are visited weekly and the parental response to this new program has been positive. The girls participated in a tournament in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya at the end of August and were very successful with the U-12 team winning 1st place and the U-16 team coming home with a 3rd place medal. This was CFK’s first 1st place medal won at the Mathare tournament. Training uniforms and socks were received from Schools Without Borders Canada and 22 balls were received from SportsEndeavors.
Life Skills Training
The Life Skills Training Program for the girls sports members kicked off in August and five trainings have so far been held. Divided into two groups, the U-12 and U-14 teams have undergone two trainings on HIV/AIDS and Boy-Girl Relationships, with 25 and 28 members respectively present. The U-16 and U-20 teams have undergone three trainings on Peer Pressure, Sex and Sexuality and Boy-Girl Relationships with an attendance ranging from 11 – 14 members. These trainings have contributed to the creation of a safe space for the girls to discuss the challenges they face. The gender specific approach to the trainings has helped to increase their understanding of socially constructed gender roles, to empower them to see their futures as their own to define. The senior female Kicking AIDS Out! members, who have been facilitating the trainings, have demonstrated strengthened confidence, facilitation and workshop creation skills.
CFK Advisory Board member Brett Bullington and his son, Kyle (15), recently returned from a trip to Kibera. They brought with them nearly 100 new soccer balls and other equipment donated by Nike and Adidas. CFK staff in Kibera showed them around the CFK Youth Center and the slum. Kyle practiced with the boys and girls teams, and also volunteered during a community clean up with his dad. Check out the attached photos from Brett and Kyle!
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