In June 2017, I volunteered at Red Rose Primary School which welcome 450 kids and at Uweza Foundation, an organization which develops talents and abilities in children and young adults. Both are located in the slum of Kibera in the outskirts of Nairobi in Kenya.
With more than 700,000 residents, Kibera is one of the most densely populated urban settlements in the world and east Africa’s largest slum. Most of the people of Kibera are earning less than one dollar a day and have to overcome many of the world’s most challenging issues — poverty, poor health care and hygiene, no electricity, water shortage, HIV/AIDS, ethnic conflict, and lack of women’s rights.
When I came back to Los Angeles, I decided to support the two organizations. They both believe that giving children a good education, but also teaching them how to build life skills and developing talents is the only reliable and sustainable route out of poverty for kids living in the Kibera slum. At Uweza community center, everyone in need can find some help and support from sponsorship to mentorship, soccer academy, dance or art program. It is also a safe space for adolescent girls or young mothers who encounter many challenges in the slum.
In 2018, with the support of Uweza Foundation and the Red Rose School, I launched Project Kenya, a service and learning trip for high school Students who want to volunteer and create a project in the slum. This blog relates our adventure in 2018 and 2019.
These trips to Kibera changed my perspective on life and I wish any teenager or even adult could live these amazing moments with the people of Kibera.