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.
President, Carolina For Kibera, Inc.
- 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.