Reactions of Kiberans toward CFK November 16, 2012 by Carolina For Kibera
By Erick Owenga
Carolina for Kibera has touched the lives of many people staying in the Kibera slum. The locals are proud of CFK for its noble work with the community.
A random survey carried out by Kibera World Wide (KWW) found that several people have a story to tell about CFK. They shared their stories without fear.
Samuel Ouma, 25 who is a resident of Gatwekera village, says for the past three years he has been in Kibera. He has known CFK through the commitment of the Tabitha Clinic for providing affordable medical services.“Not only my sister has been assisted at Tabitha, but I had been there for Voluntary Counseling and Testing; I was advised and then attended to carefully,” noted Ouma. He narrates how one morning his sister was sick and the family didn’t have enough funds to take the girl to another hospital. The only option available was the Tabitha Clinic, which would hopefully rescue his sister from her illness.
Additionally, CFK, since its inception, has been known for tapping youths’ talents through sports. As a result, many youth have developed careers, such as joining the Kenyan Premium Football League. Mr. Kennedy Juma, who is Assistant Program Officer of CFK, stated that, through soccer tournaments conducted by CFK, at least six youth from Kibera have made it to the National teams, and they are progressing. Mr. Joel Oketsa, who is a teacher and resides in Makina village, congratulates CFK for the good work of organizing football tournaments for the youth. Joel views this move as a binding tool for Kibera’s ethnic diversity. “I suggest if the community can have a Talent Centre purposely to accommodate the youths who cannot make it through education but can [succeed] with their exclusive talents,” said Joel.
CFK’s issuance of scholarships is another appealing aspect that the locals have felt. Through the Education Program, the level of poverty would be alleviated if the residents are educated. Thomas Kozzih, 31 who has lived in Kianda village of Kibera for over 20 years, narrates how CFK has helped some girls he knows in the community: “What CFK has done is imperative and education is relevant to even the less fortunate and orphans. There are girls who have benefited from CFK who I know, and I hope their lives will change,” noted Kozzih. He acknowledged CFK for their good work and suggested if they have means again, they should keep working with Kiberans to transform this society since there are many people who need help.
CFKs’ Economic and Entrepreneurship Department, dubbed Taka Ni Pato, has reached many youth in Kibera. Taka Ni Pato trains the youth and equips them with proper business skills. Swaleh Juma, 29 a dweller of Soweto village, explains how CFK’s trainings have helped him. He says most youth in the area are just idle and this may lead them to engage in bad activities. “I urge youth to attend these trainings organized by CFK. Most of the youths are jobless, and getting knowledge on how to be independent is superlative because with CFK after training, they link you with the Microfinance Institution to give you capital that you will refund later,” shared Swaleh. He maintains that his business is now growing very well and in the near future he will expand it with the profit he is generating from the sale of his products.
Last but not the least, Binti Pamoja, which is the girls based program of CFK, has reached many girls in Kibera by creating awareness on reproductive health issues. In Kibera, girls are at risk in several ways, such as rape and early marriages. Salma Jaban, 21 who lives at Makina village, explains that she has been in Binti Pamoja for ten years now. She is a mother of a child aged four. As a leader in the program, she conducts community outreach and home visits to address the threats affecting girls in Kibera. “Many girls in Kibera are victims of rapes and abortion, as others become young mothers; in Binti we counsel them and treat them well without discrimination in an initiative called Safe Spaces,” stated Salma. Binti offers training to the teen girls to equip them with knowledge and skills. These skills have enabled girls to respond well to the problems that come with the environment they are in.
Kiberans are proud of Carolina for Kibera; the survey shows the positive attitude the locals possess about CFK. The organization has put the community first and has been dedicated to serving them with lots of love and passion.