The Manyatta slums of Kisumu on Lake Victoria in Western Kenya provide few positive outlets for youth. Many are orphaned by AIDS or violence and malnutrition is common. Most live on less than $1/day. Kids seek thrills with glue-sniffing and join gangs. Girls are confined to home and often don't finish primary school. Unemployment is officially more than 30%, more than half live below the food poverty line, and 60% have no access to piped water. Frustration boils into violence and armed robbery.
Drama, dance, music, and sports programs develop the varying talents of girls and boys. Costumed dance teams are winning awards. Troupes perform skits at schools & games, earning small sums for themselves and the program. Musicians perform, record at a studio, and earn $$ selling CDs. Five boys and 2 girls soccer teams provide daily practice, weekly games, and tourneys. Food is provided on game days. Youth get help to stay in school. The programs give girls and boys a boost to escape the slums.
200 girls and boys are learning communication, sports, and performance skills they would not otherwise and they will stay in school. Their successes encourage others to try. Participants will have experiences and knowledge they can put to use in helping develop Kisumu. Over time, cultivation of trust among team members, performers, and their mentors will lead to a better ability to work together to solve the many problems within the community. Conflict resolution skills may help deter violence.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).
Equip Manyatta and Manyatta Youth Resource Center