Agenda: Introduction to Kenya Background on Kibera Introduction to Friends of Kibera Getting Involved
Roughly twice the size of Nevada, 35 million people call Kenya home, with half of those under the age of 18. With unemployment rates reaching near 40 percent in slum areas, and 23 percent of all Kenyans living on less than one dollar per day. This creates an issue of families not having enough money to send their children to school or provide them with basic necessities.
With over one million people housed within a square mile, leaving roughly 27 square feet per person, Kibera, Kenya is the largest slum in Africa. Many basic amenities do not exist within Kibera such as running water, toilets, electricity, proper drainage and garbage collection. Homes are mostly informal structures constructed from wood branches and mud with corrugated tin roofs, and generally measure no more than 100 square feet, housing upwards of 15 people.
HIV/AIDS continues to be a persistent problem, with one in five Kiberan residents afflicted, as well as treatable diseases such as typhoid and malaria due to sanitation problems. In what has become one of the worlds most perplexing issues, Kibera and its people face a tough challenge finding opportunities to better themselves and their families. Despite these challenges, many leaders are working in areas of social work, education, microfinance to create positive change in Kibera.
After returning to the US from a May 2009 tour of Kibera, Kenya, Jenn Karaffa Pae, Patrick Magee, and Katie Smith sought to create an organization that could continue to assist existing non- profit entities within Kibera already excelling in their socio- economic endeavors. Rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel, the co-founders wanted to create a way to continue supporting well-run programs which already had their own structure in place within Kibera. Through this aspiration, Friends of Kibera became a reality on July 10, 2009 and looks forward to supporting deserving organizations.
Friends of Kibera partners with successful non- profits working within Kibera slum. These organizations work in the areas of education, microfinance, and health promotion to empower individuals and create leaders of the community. Creation of partnerships occurs when organizations demonstrate that they can provide a lasting net benefit to a need that remains unfilled from lack of investment.
Friends of Kibera is proud to announce its partnerships with the Fr. Jim Karaffa Business Academy for Women and Anajali Primary School of Kibera.
JKBAW employs a holistic three year program to educate its students, all of whom are women, to become business owners. The unique curriculum provides day long seminars eight times during the first year of study, four intensive weekend seminars in the second year (which includes a first year review course, and access to their first business loan), and a business internship focused in the area of each womans business for the third year. When education and microfinance combine they create a powerful tool that can empower an individual to support themselves financially, and also provide for their family.
Seminar topics during Year 1 and 2 include: How to purchase inventory from a wholesaler. Principles of running a small business (registration, theft, naming, marketing, employing staff, etc.). Saving, accounting, and inventory management. Personal hygiene. AIDS prevention. Personal and business budgets. Family life skills.
Year 3: The third year internship is a truly unique arrangement whereby each woman is paired with a respected business in Nairobi to learn via experience what running a business entails, and to also see what their business can become. For example, one woman from JKBAW makes clothes to sell, and she spent her internship with a fashion designer in downtown Nairobi. Upon repayment of their first loan, each woman is entitled to a second loan at double the amount. If this second loan is repaid, they are entitled to a third loan at double the amount of the second loan, and so forth. JKBAW does have a few women who are currently on their third loan.
On May 30, 2009 JKBAW celebrated the graduation of its first class of 19 women at the AMREF House in Nairobi, Kenya. It was a day of song, dance, stories and speeches of amazing hope and possibility.
FLORAH MUHONJA Businesses: Beauty Products Shop and Water Business BUSINESS OVERVIEW Florah Muhonja sells beauty products at her kiosk in the Ayany area of the Kibera slum, and also sells water to Kiberan residents from her water tank. She earns a profit of about $25 per day from the two businesses. BUSINESS LOAN AND GOALS Florah would like to request $1,250 to expand her beauty products business from a kiosk to a wholesale shop, and also purchase a larger water tank to sell more water. IMPACT With the businesses Florah currently operates, she has enabled herself to move out of Kibera slum to a middle class neighborhood and send her children to school. Florah commented that if she had the capital to expand her businesses she could eventually live the Kenyan dream of owning her own farm in the country to settle with her family.
The Anajali School provides elementary education to 440 children Monday through Saturday in Baby Class through Class 8. Wellingtone Nabwoba, the founder and head teacher, began working with the children of the slum and streets in 2000 with 7 students.
Anajali provides an academic education, life-skills training, music, and meals once a day. Each small classroom holds 30 to 60 students. One window provides limited sunlight and ventilation. A chalkboard is used to write the lessons that the children must then memorize. Few textbooks are available. Despite high academic scores, very few students can afford to go to secondary school.
We will never be too poor to be no use to anyone - Beatrice Ekonya, 2 nd Year JKBAW Student - There are many ways to get involved with our work. www.friendsofkibera.org - Sign up to receive our newsletter and email updates, become a fan on Facebook, or invite your friends,