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.
Oct 15, 2009

Visiting Carolinas for Kibera and meeting clients in Kibera

One day before our visit, I call and talk to Mohamed, the CEO of Carolina for Kibera. He is more that willing to meet our team and so he gives us an appointment to meet him and his team.

As we approach the offices, we notice about three four-wheel drive vehicles with diplomatic number plates parked outside the offices which are in the sprawling Kibera slums. I call Mohammed just to let him know that our team has arrived. “Sorry Leah, I am in the field , but just get to the office and talk to the people there.” This takes me by surprise, but I realize that this being a community project each and every person is empowered with information.

The security person ushers us to a meeting place, and then calls one of the officers from the main office to come and attend to us. He introduces himself as Ben Hagai, a program officer for Sexual and reproductive health. As we settle down to talk, Mohamed walks in and requests Ben to let him talk to us. This soft spoken man then takes us step by step on how the organization was started and its mission. He is full of praise of their relationship with GlobalGiving.

“If I can remember, GG gave us money in 2003 which we used to establish the health clinic, (Tabitha Medical Clinic). Since then, they have not given us any monetary support, but the fact they profile our work on their site has given us a lot of mileage for which we are truly grateful," says Mohamed.

"GG has created a lot of awareness through online documentation of our work," he says. However, this gentleman puts more emphasis on GG being able to ensure that projects are accountable to communities they serve. "GG funded projects should form coalitions for purposes of sharing information, experiences, best practices; this is the BIG brother BIG sister kind of relationships."

“Just giving money without follow-ups is dangerous,” says Mohamed. "At Carolina for Kibera, we have received leverage just by being on the GG website."

We seek to talk to some of the beneficiaries of the project and so he takes us to a building about 300 meters from the office site and here we meet some girls who have been and are still beneficiaries of the organization.


We met Maureen Wandia, she is full of praise of the project.

"I joined the project when I was 12 years. I have now just completed high school and gotten myself placement at the office at Brain Trust."

I ask her what that means, and she explains, "I help other girls realise their dreams. I have been mentored and given opportunities by this project, so it is my time now to give back."

She goes ahead to explain, "When I talk to the other girls, I remind them that living in a slum is not the end of life. Rise up and give your life a direction, show others that you can make a difference. That is what i do at Brain Trust."

"Binti pamoja has changed my life," she says.


Linet Nyanchama (21 years) was busy typing on her computer as we talked to Maureen. She looks at us with expections. She has a story to tell. I ask, "So when did you join the project?"

"I was 14 years", she says.

I can tell, from the confidence on her face that she is truly empowered.

"I am a peer educator. I discuss issues of sexaulity and sexual maturation with younger girls. I also facilitated the formation of the peer education group as a way of giving back to my community in Kibera. This project has seen me through school and are paying for my college education. And besides they have offered me a job."

I ask her how much she earns, and without coersion, she discloses her allowances - ksh.900.00. She is the proud earner of a salary of 9000.00 kenya shillings which is close to a dream to majority of the Kibera residents.

"I wish that the world could encourage more girls to realise their dreams," Says Linet.


Jackline Angwanda is another beneficiary of Carolina for Kibera. She says that she was introduced to the project by a friend and since then she has never regretted. She is a partial orphan with 4 siblings. She is the sole bread winner for her family.

"How do you manage to provide for your family?" I asked.

"My mother taught us how to share and be responsible to others from an early age, and this is a value that I urge other girls to emmulate. We should go beyond our families and help the community," she concludes with a parting shot. "If you empower girls, you eradicate poverty and I see this through the girls at Carolina for Kibera."

"Our organization is of young people, you can see our CEO and even all the other officers," says Jackline.

Oct 27, 2004

Carolina for Kibera update

15 October 2004
Dear Friends of Kibera,

It’s been an eventful six months in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, when the government of Kenya had just completed a vast slum eradication program that resulted in the abrupt displacement of over 50,000 families. International and domestic pressure, to include a coalition of NGOs involving CFK, stopped these disastrous initiatives. However, violence over land disputes renewed this past September when mass rioting resulted in the torching of the area chief’s office and two deaths. A number of casualties of this violence were treated at our clinic.

Unfortunately, despite the rhetoric, few government resources have reached Kibera in the past year-and-a-half. Virtually all estimates now place the Kibera’s population between 1 and 1.4 million people. No government schools have been built in the slum. The price of water has increased 30% for residents, who on average pay twice as much for dirty water as Nairobi’s affluent elite pay for clean water.

In this challenging climate, CFK programs have continued to thrive thanks in no small part to our wide base of committed supporters in the U.S., Europe, and Africa. Our work brings light to thousands of Kibera residents and is a positive influence in difficult times. Some highlights are below. Thanks again for your interest in CFK.


Rye Barcott
President, Carolina For Kibera, Inc.
“Tujiunge tuangaze.”


  • CFK is nearing the finals of its U12 (62 teams), U14 (35 teams), and U16 (42 teams) boys’ soccer tournaments. These tournaments are four- six months in duration. The incidence of penalties has decreased by nearly 30% in 2004 and team representation at our community clean-ups remains high (in no small part because participation in clean-ups is a way to earn additional points in the overall tournament standings).
  • CFK has held 6 major community clean-ups since April and purchased a large amount of cleaning materials (shovels, wheelbarrows, etc.). CFK now temp-loans cleaning equipment to self-help groups throughout Kibera holding community clean-ups on their own initiative.
  • CFK continues to move ahead with our Taka ni Pato (Trash is Cash) recycling initiative. This is a collaborative effort funded by the Ford Foundation. It includes four other large community based organizations operating in Nairobi’s slums.
  • Thanks to a generous private donation of $10,000, CFK moved into a new facility with significantly more office space, a separate area for our community library, and a large hall that now serves as a community center. This office was recently equipped with eight laptops donated by UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • Sociologists Without Borders fellow Oliver Crespel from Spain spent six weeks in Kibera and successfully started CFK’s community band.
  • CFK welcomed UNC women’s soccer player Laura Winslow in June 2004.Laura led a two-week long leadership and training seminar for coaches and referees in our all girls league.
  • The sports association began integrating Binti Pamoja reproductive health training and awareness clinics into the soccer programs.


  • Binti Pamoja membership has grown to 36 young women, all of whom are now trained and certified peer educators on HIV/AIDS and youth reproductive health issues. In addition to the community outreach activities described below, the members also provide one-on-one counseling for youth in kibera.
  • Thirteen Binti Pamoja members are now receiving scholarships to complete secondary school. CFK implemented a cost-sharing program with each recipient’s parents. This is in keeping with Binti Pamoja’s efforts to encourage more involved and responsible parenting throughout the community. Scholarships average $150/year. We want to thank all the sponsors who are making a significant difference in these young women’s lives and welcome others to join the effort.
  • In April, the new photo exhibition was displayed both at Kibera Primary School and at the National Museum of Kenya. Over 200 people from all sectors of Nairobi attended the opening reception.
  • Eight community forums for youth in Kibera were held on drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, teenage dating, condoms, rape, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT).
  • Binti Pamoja held three major drama performances, each in a different village of Kibera. The first was on drug abuse, the second on unsafe abortion, and the third about stigma and discrimination on People Living With AIDS (PLWA).
  • The second issue of the Binti Pamoja newsletter, Tunanego (Let’s Talk), was distributed freely throughout Kibera and remains in wide circulation.
  • Binti Pamoja co-founders Karen Austrian and Emily Verellen said an emotional farewell in August after having spent the past year in Kibera helping to develop Binti Pamoja.
  • Binti Pamoja Director Caroline Sakwa welcomed Hilda Wambui as the Binti Pamoja Assistant Director. A graduate of Daystar University, Hilda is a trained counselor who worked previously at Nairobi’s Trauma Response Organization and the Brightside Drug Abuse Rehabilitation and Treatment Center.


  • The clinic attended to 2260 patients in the second and third quarter. The majority of the clients were treated for Malaria and Typhoid. Sadly, we had five deaths reported and one stillbirth from primigravida of a 13 year-old girl.
  • Our home based care program for HIV/AIDS patients cares for six children, three men, and eleven women. These patients have been receiving rice, beans, flour, sugar and IV fluids on a weekly basis. We have 10 active caregivers from within the community who volunteer with this program.
  • Footage of Kibera is featured in musician Sarah McLachlan’s new music video World on Fire. World on Fire is part of Sarah’s just-released Afterglow album. The song and video illustrate the living conditions of the world’s poorest two billion people. It is a call to international social responsibility. CFK is grateful to Sarah for a generous donation her organization made to Tabitha’s clinic. This donation will enable us to purchase (vice rent) a clinic in Kibera and cover the cost of medicine for the next six months.
  • CFK is looking forward to welcoming Swedish medical student Eric Sorstedt as a volunteer to the clinic this winter.
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