Archive for the ‘Slums’ Category

Lenana School in the Dargaretti Slums

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

June 2nd
Today we visit the Lenana School, who will be the happy recipient of some funds to build a library and class rooms.  We came around and visited all the class rooms independently, saying high to the students and introducing ourselves.  I tried an introduction that asked if any students wanted to work with Metal (as that is what I do at work).  That question was met with an eerie silence, so I decided to not try that route again.  Next time I went with “I’m John and hairy like John the Baptist” while grabbing my sideburns.  Then at least I got some laughs.  Better than silence I must admit.

We also got the opportunity to pray over the 8th grade kids who were preparing to take their state examinations.  These examinations are like the SATs but to get into Secondary (High School).  If they do well they can get into better schools.  I believe most secondary schools are publicly funded, but good scores equal better school.  Secondary and University is the holy grail of nearly all kids down here.  Despite the fact that Kenya is actually over-educated as many adults with BA’s can’t find a job.  Similar to what is happening here in America.  I’ll keep comments on that to myself.  😉

EDIT:  Pictures of Lenana School are uploaded.  Pictures 1 through 4 of the Kenya 2011 Album

Posted in Children, Nairobi, Slums |


Friday, June 3rd, 2011

June 3rd, Nairobi
Pictures for this posting are pictures 5 through 18.

Today we visited DANSO; which stands for Dandora Support Organization.  Truth be told, it wasn’t until I actually re-read the picture of their sign that I realized DANSO doesn’t stand for “Dandora AIDS Network Support Org”; which is totally what I thought it stood for the entire trip.  Oops.

Irregardless, DANSO is an organization run by and for people who are either “infected and affected” by AIDs.  Meaning, members either are infected with AIDs or someone close them (eg. mother or brother) is infected.  DANSO is a wonderful network of people who support each other through difficult times and difficult health conditions as well as keeping each other accountable for the DANSO microfinance fund.  DANSO seems to be completly run by Kenyans, sans the funding, some of which I know has come from Westside Church though I do not know how much came from DANSO itself.

Dandora is one poorest suburbs in Nairobi and borders a huge above ground dump.  There is a section of Dandora with the overly crowded slum-style living conditions, though the slums seemed to be a little better integrated with a business area than Kibera (which is just a huge area of seemingly infinite crowded buildings). 

Above are pictures of the nearby dump.  There were plenty of people scattered on the dump doing what people have done to waste for thousands of years, going through it and scavenging anything worth anything.

We visited a few of the shops of people who are members of DANSO and had received microfinance loans.  One gal who seems to be an excellent tailor took measurements of Heather and Kathy for a few dresses.  You will see Heather model her dress on Kenya night for sure! Below is a picture of the tailor herself and another store owner who sells goods on the roadway.  Our presence gathered a nice crowd.  We also visited a hair salon microfinance recipient.

While visiting the stores, we also made a few house calls.  One to a lady with HIV and Breast cancer.  Both diseases are horrible by themselves, let alone in pairs.  Later, we held a meeting with members of DANSO to give them a few hundred bucks for the microfinance fund (an additional 3 loans were given out) as well as to peruse some of their jewelry wares.  The ladies had a fine time looking though hand made jewelry.  Below is a picture of the DANSO members (not all were at this meeting) and the white (mzungu) gals.

Posted in Business, Nairobi, Slums |

Kibera Slums

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

June 1st – Kibera Slums
We visited the Kibera Slums today.  Kibera is the 2nd largest urban slum in Africa.  It is crowded, dirty, smelly, unsanitary and would be unfortunate for anyone to live there, yet 1/2 to 2 million people are that unfortunate.  It has a 100 year history that can be found easily on the web so I won’t go into that.  I don’t have any pictures from our time here because it was recommended not to take any pictures.  Some might take offense at it, others might try to steal the camera.  So for safety concerns, no cameras.

We had two soldier escorts with us to ensure safety.  We drove all in one van down one of the main strips of Kibera which was littered trash and shops.  Shops selling anything from cell phones/credit, to tailoring, furniture, water, vegetables, meat, welders, grinders, hair salons, and even photocopying/computer services.  Any and all of the normal shops you’ll see in any Kenyan city.  This blog post here has a great descriptoin and some pictures of such shops.  Oh, and I would not suggest the meat, they don’t refrigerate.  My western stomach would hurl mightily if it attempted to ingest such food I’m sure.  Eventually we got as far as we could with the van, so we parked and walked 1/5 to 1/10th of a mile for a few home visits of people in the community that could use prayer.  On the way, we walked past a man who was peeing into the rain trench (which is generally filled with rubbish and feces).  I’m sure we surprised him more than we us, how often does he have a bunch of white westerns walk behind him in the middle of the slums?

Home Visits:

  • Young boy (under 3 yrs old) with deformed feet.  He had a metal brace attached to his shoes that will force his limbs into a proper placement as he grows.
  • Young girl (under 5 yrs old) who had been raped by a grown man.  This was hands down the hardest part of the trip.  Justice is the Lord’s was something I had to consider.
  • Family of 3 girls where the oldest girl (13 yrs old?) is taking care her sisters, one of whom doesn’t talk or is deaf (couldn’t quite get that figured out), and one who had a huge goiter on her throat.
  • Happier visit to some kids that a gal from Westside sponsers.  Checking on how they are doing and such, they are in school and seem happy.

Kara Kibera School
WorldComp Kenya supports a school in the middle of Kibera and feeds the kids who attend one meal a day (beans and corn mainly with a banana) to help keep them in school and somewhat healthy.  The kids were delightful, and gave us some poems, songs and other such “presentations”.  At the end some of the ladies associated with the school (moms?  teachers?) produced some of their bead work of which we brought home a bunch in order to sell at the garage sale and on Etsy.  Overall their going rate is about $1 to $1.50 per day of work.  So a bowl that takes 2 weeks may cost 12$-15$ bucks, but a pair of earrings may go for $2.  Which, surprisingly is enough to sustain their lives there (1 meal + rent basically; I doubt much if any is left over).