Published: May 20th 2008May 20th 2008
Over the last week I have continued developing workshops for Africa Youth Trust and the young women who work here, attended an HIV/AIDS project launch, and meet more people that inspired me.
On Thursday I had the privilege of going into Kibera slum with Faith, a dedicated youth empowerment worker where she showed me a recycling and composting program that the Soweto (slum region) youth group started. From the pictures you'll just get a glance of what its really like. The air is filled in some parts with the smell of a sewer as the only way for residents to dump their waste is in small plastic bags in a little stream that flows around their dirt homes. It wasnt the smell that got to me so much as the kids playing in and around it. IT brought tears to my eyes and yet they were happy. I brought little candies from home with me for the kids and the smiles on their faces could have made ever the hardest person smile back or want to take them home. By the way, I did ask about adoption here (hahahaha, I know I know mom) and you have to be a
Girls cleaning their fish for dinner
resident of Kenya for 7 months before you can take a child out of the country. The reason they made this law was to maintain culture and values though in the same notion a local can adopt and use them as a slave so with some briding and lying so it doesnt quit make sense. ANYWAYS, it was quite an experience to see this project and have asked the group to send me a proposal as they are in desperate need of a small truck to transport the garbage to sort out. They have built a small shed to put the garbage and are using old wheel barrels from one end of the slum to another. The slum makes home to some 800,000 plus people so you can imagine the side. When I asked Philip one of the boys who started the group what he hopes for in his work (which he doesnt get paid for really), what dream he would like to make alive out of this project, he said he wanted to educate people in the slum about waste management, to build a garden for vegetable with the composing and to make a small playground with all the
These girls were fun.. Those are the candies I gave them and they were so amazed with my camera they wanted more and more pictures taken... You know all the clothers we give to Red Cross and the other NGOs... is there where these girls get their clothes from...:)
children so they didnt have to play in garbage. I could do nothing but smile.
On Friday I met Mama Hemza, an 8o+ yr old woman who started a group called Vision Sisters in Kibera. She reminds me of Auntie Ji in India, and has the energy of my old friend Dolly who was a 3x cancer survive. The minute you come in contact with Mama Hemza she hugs you, welcomes you, and asked you what you are here about. Kevina, Njoroge, and I sat in Mama's living room for a few hours which consists of an 1970s couch, dirted cement floors, and a small coffee table and this is higher class for the slum area of Kibera. They charge women a small fee to be part of Vision Sisters (women who are somewhat empowered and are either working or getting an education of some sort)and with that money were able to buy a plot of land to build a small centre for women escaping several domestic violence. Her work and passion is amazing. Mama has asked me to help her get properly sorts with the housing and programming for when they get going. We talked alot about the
Njoroge, Africa Youth Trust, Mama Hemza, her granddaughter, and Kevina, UNDP. I have been renting a room with Njoroge and Kevina. Kevina has been volunteering with Mama since she arrived in Kenya 4 years ago.
possibility of the Passion Foundation helping out and she pleads that I do what I can. So you can imagine that need to fulfill her wish and I will be coming home needing some help from some of you Women with PURPOSE members since our goal is to give back.
After Mama H. asked yet again to promise to come back and help her and the Vision Sisters I left for my safari in Masai Mara.. I had an amazing guide names Julius who took good care of me on my safari. He was an amazing guide. I also met a family from California who was travelling around the world for 6 months. Matt, the father, is working on helping with the Dali Lama centre in Vancouver go figure! After 3 nights at the Mara Serena, too much good food, and good company I am now back in NAirobi for a day and then off to Malindi for three days, 2 nights on the beach for some rnr and to finish up my work.
This month has gone by soooo quickly and there are so many more stories that I haven't written.. I will be creating a report
from my professional accounts here and creating a slide show when I get home with both professional and personal adventures...
Anyways I'm to organize my work There will be one more blog before I come home :)
Hope you are all well
There are more photos below