Why Kibera?

Kibera Quick Facts:

Size = 1 square mile
Population = Unknown, estimates range from 170,000 to 1 million
Percentage of Population under 15 years old: = 50%
Percentage of Kiberans infected with HIV/AIDS = 10%-25%
Typical Size Home = 10 x 10 feet
Average Daily Income: = $1.25

A Defining Issue Of Our Time

As the world’s population increasingly leaves rural areas for cities, sprawling slums like Kibera grow at unprecedented rates. An estimated one billion people live in slums. In Africa and Asia alone, the number of people living in urban areas is expected to double between 2000 and 2030.

Kibera is one of the most densely populated urban settlements in the world. An untold number of people, possibly as many as one million, crowd a 632-acre area outside Nairobi, Kenya. In this small, crowded community, residents struggle to meet basic needs—daily meals, clean water, adequate housing. Gender inequality, limited access to education, ethnic violence and a lack of jobs further impede individual and community progress.

Why Youth?

“The youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow.” -Salim Mohamed, co-founder, Carolina for Kibera

Kibera is one of the fastest growing areas in Kenya. As many as half its residents are under the age of fifteen. Despite these sobering statistics, we believe the dedicated, resilient youth of Kibera will grow into a new generation of wise and empathetic leaders.

Kibera’s young people are familiar with hardship. Managing the daily struggle of life in Kibera and rising up as hopeful, confident young adults requires great courage, creativity and determination. These same qualities are essential for affecting and sustaining great change in their community and in our world.


1UN Population Fund. (2007). Urbanization: A majority in cities. http://www.unfpa.org/pds/urbanization.htm


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