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Archive for the ‘FAMILY AND COMMUNITY’ Category

MATHARE ELECTIONS AND WHY POVERTY CONNECTS

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.

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LOVELY PARTNERSHIP

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

HUAWEI AND SLUMCODE’S LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN KENYAN SLUMS.

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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.

(more…)

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LEADERS TO THE PREFEST PARTICIPANTS

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.

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. 

KENYA – GRAND SLUMFEST TWO.

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. 

PASS IT ON

PASS IT ON.

Looking back might not sound like the thing most would want to do and more so when it has to do with a regret. “I wish I knew that then – I wouldn’t have…..” are familiar words when one realizes that they have hit a dead end.

Not so anymore as Mentors and Leaders of the International Churches of Christ – Nairobi took it upon themselves to build careers and nurture leadership when time is tour advantage. Led by Bro. Francis Kamau and Wife, Albert Nashon and Wife, Mr. Kimani, Wambwere, Mbugua Kinyanjui, George Khisa, Newton and Enock – the team has been brainstorming on how to use locally available resources to build capacities of its teenagers.

One such an instance was the just concluded exercise where over 72 participants were taken through a Personality Trait and Testing Test online (Insert photo) Amazing deal when parents offered to have their laptops be availed for use by the children including bringing a loaded modem to access the online tool – the exercise was an astounding success. These are teens who are growing in a World full of challenges leading to desperation and mediocrity. And worse off in Kenya where the education curriculum has been blamed for producing “half baked” graduates into the competitive job market.

The rate at which young persons are getting exposed to happening s outside their homes is rapid and they seldom get adequately prepared for their future career choices and endeavors. This initiative is therefore a big plus for the organizers. A chat with Joy Mandila and Emmanuel Arvin reveals its great success. I had always wanted to be a news anchor, now with my traits revealing otherwise; what is my fate? Asks Joy, whose DISC results puts her out as an introvert of the Steady or Melancholic type – silent and very relaxed. Arvin seems pretty excited that he is on the right path and has just been bolstered by the revelation – he can now focus. As an Influence or Phlegmatic personality also denoted as a blue, he just needs to fix his social skills and all others fit in.

How many kids get such chances to build on solid foundations in a world where economic crisis have taken Mother and Father into the work fields?  Many African children are so disillusioned by the Principles of Professionalism. Helping these cohorts make the right and informed choices early is a core support process that every parent must engage.

Luckily; this is not only happening in Umoja, but 3 km away at The Slumcode Centre through a major investment by Tara West of the famous Australian Resume Writer – out of school youth, job seekers and even professionals now have access to a professional Career Guidance Tool that helps generate Employment seeking documents from very well researched and designed templates with over 1039 professions covered. This is a great solution to Youth Empowerment and Employment in Kenya. The Slumcode Group again wins a plus for availing cutting edge technology right at the grass root and helping raise living standards for the needy persons in Huruma and beyond.

Not only in Africa, but across the divide in India, The Slumcode Group’s German Ambassador – Ulrike Reinhardhttp://about.me/ulrikereinhard is building the We School http://www.we-the-school.orgon a concept to enhance children access to fundamental solutions. The lowly need Professionals to STAND UP and be counted. From “I” to “WE” this concept is changing the World based on the idea of synergy, teamwork and Oneness.

There is nothing greater than building on a strong foundation and The Slumcode Group, International Church of Christ Nairobi and The We School are playing their part to shape future generations.

Will your presence be felt, can you support, do you want to be a change maker? Talk to me today and let’s be the change we ought to see in the World.