Kenya and local heroes (CFK)


it's been a busy three weeks in Kenya, with the Base of the Pyramid Protocol Pilot team bouncing around western Kenya. If anyone doubted poorer communities had local geniuses or heroes, you should come spend some time in the parts of Kenya few outsiders ever see… we can't seem to turn a corner without bumping into amazing people. So much is being done locally, yet so many challenges still exist.

Among the heroes is our local partner in Nairobi, Carolina for Kibera (CFK), a local community based organization in Kibera: at one million strong, Kibera is one of Africa's largest slums. CFK was started by a 22 year graduate of the University of North Carolina (and U.S. Marine) and a former orphan & Nairobi "slum dweller" (one of the most amazing men I've ever met). Started as a sports organization, CFK capitalizes on the football fervor of Kenya to encourage youths to take part in their community. To register a team in the Kibera soccer leagues, youths need to earn points through community service, programs which include local trash cleanups (badly needed), trash for cash programs, and other programs. CFK also runs the Kibera-based Tabitha Medical Clinic (started with a $26 grant) and Binti Pamoja, a reproductive and women's rights peer group. The organization has mobilized some 5000 children and continues to grow, somehow navigating around the tricky political and ethnic issues which plague Kibera to create a stronger community.

Oh and yes, there are many great toys to be found in Kibera. You should see the eyes of a grown Kenyan man when he recalls the wireframe rally car he built and raced as a child. So, check back later for more stories about the toys of Kenya.