As I wrote before 60% of Nairobi’s popoulation is living in slums. People are coming from all over Kenya, hoping to find work and better living conditions in the country’s capital. But work is rare to find here ´- especially work which really get paid. As Sally Kosgei pointed out yesterday: “Only 5% of Kenyans in formal employment earn more than 30,000ksh/month”, which is less than 350 Euros. And the population is growing fast … 1 million per year according to a census published today in the Daily Nation!
So it is not rocket science that the challenges for the slum population will grow – and they are already countless and hard – if not impossible – to handle. Initiatives like the Slumcode Group, founded 5 years ago by Albert Nashon, are very important. Albert and his volunteers grew up in the slums, so they know what they talk about.
Slumcode is a Community Based Organization, located in the heart of Huruma, a densely populated residential town in Nairobi, Kenya. It was formed with the aim to facilitate community development through resource mobilization and equal distribution of resources to help uplift the living standards of members of this community.
With the Youth particulary in Mind, their target motto is – Exploring Opportunities – Empowering Communities.
Registered under the Ministry of Gender Sports Culture and Social Services, our organization operational since January 2006 and officially launched in August, has surpassed milestones through a series of events we have organized and been a great part of including Usafi na Mitaa: a clean up campaign during our launch, a tree planting in support of the One Billion tree project by Nobel Lauriette Prof. Wangari Maathai in collaboration with National Environmental Management Authority and lately The Grand Slumfest – a very successful open day forum with stakeholders who have played a major role in community development.
In this short introduction Albert gives an overview of what Slumcode is all about:
Together with him and his 2 volunteers we took a walk through the Huruma Slums. Here are a few impressions:
The 2 volunteers Dennis and Eric Fred, who are working with the youth in Huruma, tell us their story on how they managed to finish school and how they volunteer at Baraka school, an unbelievable public school in Huruma. In Europe we wouldn’t even consider calling this place a school ….
… about their work at school:
While we were walking through Huruma we found a plastic bag in the street where many young children were playing around. Inside the bag: a fresh fetos … Prostitution, abortion, HIV – Albert is trying to exlain, that this is daily life in Huruma:
And if you find a fetos in the streets, just imagine how the “medical practice” must look like … There is no clinic inside the slums –at least none of which is licenced. At least there is somebody, paid by the government, who advises women on aids. Approximately 45% of all women in Huruma are HIV positive:
The following youtube player includes all the videos we’ve done in Huruma. It was a very emotional and thoughtful day for me, especially when I went afterwards to Mark Kamau and heard his story escaping the slums … Let me finish this way: To anyone for you out there in the so called “western world” – if you do think life is a challenge, come here and face the facts life has to offer here …