…Champion of the #RebrandingSlumsOfAfrica Mission – WE CAN DO IT.

Choices are said to have consequences well put, but are choices too a subset of status quo from history. Does behavior and decision anchor onto conditioning?  Anger and confusion are sweeping across Kenya’s poorest constituency, Mathare, over the fate of local residents and their welfare concerns following a scaring influx of moneyed outsiders vying for the area’s parliamentary seat and appearing to be very eager to confine residents to mere observers.

Slums

…do people in slums have the power to make political decisions?

The BIG FISH are George Wanjohi (TNA – stays in Thome estate in Parklands constituency), Stephen Kariuki (ODM – stays in Runda and Kileleshwa in Westlands Constituency), Tom Alila (KANU – from Rangwe Constituency), Joseph Mbae (WIPER – stays in Kileleshwa but is a politician from Gatanga constituency in Murang’a county) and lawyer Anthony Oluoch (ODM – stays in Imara Daima Estate along Mombasa road). Political Tourists who  neither know, live, understand nor share the problems of area residents.

They conspire to use their financial muscle to win all the major political party tickets to ensure local voters are conditioned to strictly pick one of them as next MP by virtue of political party affiliations and loyalty that seems to go along ethnic lines.

But how do influential national  political leaders manouver to force area voters to vote for them?. Who, where or what exactly is the problem?

THE CARTEL which has sitting Members of parliament as key players has mapped Nairobi constituencies and singled out constituencies to execute the plan. Mathare, Ruaraka, Kibra, Starehe, Dagoreti, Westlands and Kasarani have sprawling slums that have traditionally provided cheap labour to the affluent , upmarket , leafy estates of Lavington, Karen, Runda, Muthaiga, Buruburu, Thome, Garden Estate, Kitusuru, Kilimani and Westlands among others.

They believes that the advent of CDF, school bursaries, Uwezo Fund, Free Primary education among other affirmative action plans is likely to empower slum dwellers  and eat away at their social disadvantages and abject poverty that have always made them available for easy exploitation. For this reason, the cartel has recruited and deployed foot soldiers among them sitting MPs to frustrate the utilisation of these funds in the above constituencies so that affected slum dwellers do not benefit.

It was not surprising that many outside MPs and Politicians living in the posh Nairobi estates descended in large numbers on Mathare constituency to rally locals to vote for either choice candidates. 

Do Mathare residents have a say, can they have their way, do they need external influence? What exactly is the point of diversion? Is politics a different plate from poverty and family development. Why don’t the electorate connect their growth and economic development to choice and influence of local leadership?

For all these and more….read my next post on TRUTH BEHIND ELECTIONS.

LOVELY PARTNERSHIP

Valeria and Nicole of Slumcode share a nice moment after the training sessions Day II of the Prefest Experience in Huruma. http://www.facebook.com/slumfest for more details

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Nora Caowenji of Huawei PR Team and Albert Nashon exchange signed document

The Slumcode Group has over the last several years taken an upper edge in developing strategies for community driven development and Information Communication and Technology has become fundamental in every process.

 

The government’s effort towards transforming Kenya into a knowledge based economy through digital empowerment is founded on The Kenya ICT Master plan 2012 – 2017, which is a five year plan that seeks to drive citizen adoption of the Vision 2030 priorities through ICT policies and initiatives. It projects that by 2017 Kenya’s ICT industry will be contributing an estimated US$2 billion (some 25 percent of Kenya’s GDP) and have created around 500 new tier-1 ICT companies and over 50,000 jobs.

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LEADERS TO THE PREFEST PARTICIPANTS

Briefing the team Leaders after the sessions at The Slumcode Centre, after Day II of the Pre-fest Season II 8 Week Experience which is totally changing the way young people operate in Huruma and beyond.

YOUTH HAVE WHAT IT TAKES.

Young people must STAND UP na d be counted if they want to make a difference. Slums are homes to opportunities if all Kenyan Youth Serving Organizations realize that INNOVATION  and CREATIVITY are the fastest tools one can use to capitalize on the massive pool of resources that the World has to offer.

Below finds links of instances where our Youth initiated program has been featured. When The Slumcode Group built this concept 6 years ago – we knew it will take hard work, patience, creativity, networking and partnerships to hit our goal and today – we are at the verge of a BIG BREAKTHROUGH.

1. Tandaa Kenya of the Kenya ICT Board: https://sites.google.com/a/ict.go.ke/tandaa/events/upcoming-events/thegrantslumfestsix

2. Kenya Buzz – http://www.kenyabuzz.com/whats-on/slumfest-2012

3. Kuza Biashara – http://blog.kuzabiashara.co.ke/infinite-possibilities-leveraging-the-ict/1396/

4. Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e45sdYBrRlY

5. Opinion Kenya – http://opinionkenya.com/public/index.php?mntr=pal&o=209&b=656

6. Wasanii.com – http://www.wasanii.com/index.php/login/10-articles/86-slum-fest-the-5th-edition

7. Google Pages – http://www.slumfestkenya.kbo.co.ke/ICT+Events+2012

8. The Conference Hound – http://conferencehound.com/conference/grand-slumfest-six-2012/107328

We look forward to partnership with all relevant entities to make our community connect to the World.

SLUMFEST FOUR KENYA 2010.

Theme: “Inspiring Leadership to shape community interventions”

Venue: Pumwani Boys Secondary School Grounds – opposite Pangani Police Station.

Date: 14th August 2010.

Sponsoring Partners:

Liverpool VCT, I Choose Life Africa, Kenya Commercial Bank – Eastleigh, St. John Ambulance, Coca Cola and Friends of Slumcode UK Chapter. A host of exhibitors including Jua Kali artisan James Njoroge, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, NAVNET and Wasanii Kenya.

The warm Saturday begun with setup by exhibitors and a colourful display was done ready for the Slumfestors – as they have become known. Citizen Television through their morning Power Breakfast had just given us airtime to share with the viewers all about Slumcode and Slumfest and with Dominik Byrne from the UK in Nairobi to help in the organizing – all was set to go.

Arrivals begin and music plays. Participants coming in the ready to have another surprise and this time – St. Johns volunteers are ready to teach the basic processes of a CPR, First Aid and many other techniques of getting lives out of danger under the command of Beatrice Omondi a key facilitator.

Food forms a major part of the festival and fires together with smoke burn away in a corner. Soon Chapati, Beef Stew, Vegetables, Tea and snacks will be served at affordable rates to all attending.

Thanks to Coca Cola team, we have a truck with a drop stage and powerful music to keep everyone shaking their heads and legs with Mc. Romeo (Kenneth Ndichu) climate setting and soon artists begin to take to the stage one after another and to keep its style and touch with fashion – the KMF Talent team arrives in glamour and the catwalk steals the show as various design and wears are paraded by the beauty queens.

The exhibitors make sales, market more products and share ideas on how to improve their services and luckily if they need any financial support – the bank and youth ministry are within minutes in the true Slumfest feel of networks and managing opportunities.

Liverpool VCT continues to register couples for test a trend that is being encouraged for many who are either married, engaged or planning a steady long term relationship and they manage to test 62 couples to their amazement. The Slumcode Founder always leads by example and is not left out either. This space has changed the attitude youth have towards testing and living healthy lives through the choices they make.

The ICL Shop is definitely a crowd puller with their rich display of Behavioral Interventions, abstinence and condom use demonstration. Many youth sign the commitment to abstain cards.

And as evening sets in, reflections of the awesome encounter with youth from various backgrounds, being empowered and connected to resources as the main goal of this event are the joy that we share as we promise to make Slumfest Five bigger, better and more interactive. 2011 here we come. 

The second annual event, held on August 16th 2008 during the International Youth Day as one amazing and phenomenal show a community that was healing after the effects of the Post Election Violence experienced. Our working partnership with Nokia Research Africa, which had just set up and begun operations in Nairobi and was working with The Slumcode Group to reach the Huruma Community richly enhanced the day’s activities and preparation.

Slumfest Two taught major lessons in communication, presentations, planning and execution as we had to work to standards of a major multinational while just 2 and a half year old as a community youth led organization in Huruma Slums of Nairobi – Kenya.   

The carefully crafted theme, “Our place, Our people, Our potential” was well thought of by Albert Nashon – Founder The Slumcode Group who had an heart breaking experience in the hands of fellow Kenyans turned vigilante groups as a result of the tribal anarchy and ethnic cleansing many faced in a country and place they had only called home since independence. The need to reconcile and preach peace and cohesion was top priority and the Slumfest – an initiative of The Slumcode group did not disappoint. The call to recognize, appreciate and accept each other as One people, One land and the greater possibility of what we can achieve as a team was emphasized on by all speakers and artists.

Safaricom Kenya, Global Peace Festival Foundation, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Alliance Francaise and Hope World Wide Kenya joined other youth exhibitors in a show attended by over 1,200 people at Daima Primary School – Huruma.

The huge performance stage and air cracking sound of music provided by Live Gigs was a crowd puller and when local artists like Ekko Dydda, Yunasi and Pili Pili went on stage the crowds were tantalized. Many upcoming artists had just launched their career into the public domain – thanks to the Grand occasion.

Caroline Mutoko – Queen of Radio and Jalang’o both of Radio Africa’s KISS100 surprised the participants by heeding tour invitation to venture into Huruma in her sleek Mercedez Benz and gave wide coverage on her morning breakfast show. The Star newspaper also ran a feature on this great community initiative. She said, “I am impressed young people can pull such a move and bring many large corporate organizations to Huruma where youth can easily connect and share the experience” and Jussi Impio – Nokia Research Africa – Team Leader from Finland, was pretty elated at the success. He said, “ This is what we do best to connect youth to resources and help them realize their potential to achieve results, we are proud to work with Slumcode on this.”

Sarah Ochwada, Miss Catholic University of East Africa – 2008 together with her Mate were also in attendance and has since been a dedicated fan of Slumcode and Slumfest which earned her the position of Goodwill Ambassador to The Slumcode Group in 2011.

And one point is true, there is no limit to what a creative mind can achieve if guided and resources made available at the very opportune moment. If youth are given a chance, they can manage their own affairs and support grass root initiatives into major profitable and sustainable ventures – to paraphrase Madam Anna Tibaijuka – Former UN Habitat in Charge. On this philosophy – The Slumcode Group is based and Slumfest will continue to grow. See you all at Slumfest Three in 2009.