I recently returned from a holiday to Kenya, specifically in the Nairobi area.
I wanted to see the animals, go on safari and so forth but whilst I was there I wanted to give something back and learn about the culture.
So for one day before myself and a friend left we booked in with a local charity to go on a tour around Kibera, the proceeds from the tour guides is going towards building a new school. For more information click here.
I made a bit of space in my case for a few things that we probably take for granted.
I had managed to order some Colgate samples through the practice, and our hygienist Paul Fox donated some children’s’ toothbrushes. Of course we also gave a few cuddly toys for the younger ones as a toothbrush probably doesn’t look very exciting to a 2 year old!
Firstly a few facts about Kibera:
- Kibera is the biggest slum in Africa and one of the biggest in the world.
- There are approx 1.2 million slum dwellers in the Kibera in an area of 2.5 square kilometres.
- 75% of the population of Kibera are under the age of 18 and 100,000 children living here are orphaned.
- Kibera is divided into 13 villages, including Kianda, Soweto East, Gatwekera, Kisumu Ndogo, Lindi, Laini Saba, Siranga, Makina and Mashimoni.
So the day of the tour came..
We met our guides and wandered through the market and into the heart of Kibera. There was literally so much joy, by western standards its heart breaking to see that people still live in conditions like this.
We then went to a nursery for working mothers and orphanage. The kids were literally adorable and just wanted to interact and be cuddled. I’ll admit the toys went down better than the toothbrushes, but hopefully they will get well used in the future. Toiletries are something we probably all take for granted yet something that is not a necessity if you are struggling to pay for for food.
The woman that runs the nursery also makes and sells jewellery to fund the centre and a women’s centre for those with HIV. The items donated were very much appreciated and she was very grateful. As you can see I enjoyed the cuddles too. The people in Kibera although that have little they are so friendly and welcoming it was a bit of a humbling experience overall, it really does make you think.