Friday, 31 January 2014

Mtaa Safi (Clean Neighbourhood)

A new initiative to find and implement sustainable solutions to issues facing garbage in communities has started in Nairobi and we are trying to get everyone on board. Please like the page and join the growing discussion on how to keep our environment clean >>> Mtaa Safi

Friday, 24 January 2014

At Large In Eastlands

 The best thing about a social hall is the diversity of each day. There is always so much going on and can alway expect for it to be different. The social hall earns income by hosting meetings and events. In this picture Kaka speaks at a forum on Informal Waste Management held by our friends at Spatial Collective.
 The next day the hall is full of young men who are part of the new fitness program that Up With Hope is supporting. A new paint job has given a new life to the centre for a fresh start in the new year. 
 Work as usual with Farouk at the centre in Makadara. Welding a wheelbarrow under the shade of a tree that we planted only 2 years ago but is growing into a part of the centre.
 The number of rabbits at the centre are growing (unsurprisingly). These guys devour a lot of organic waste from the neighbourhood.
 Our chickens eat just about everything as well as organic waste. Here they peacefully drink water outside their home.
 Some tools from a day of work.
 A paint job on the new gate as part of our effort to rebrand the centre and bring some color into the community.
 Mr. Farouk making things happen as his boy watches on.
 Meet Barack, original rasta baby 
Job done, this gate is so nice!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

New Slum Soccer Project

A couple weeks before christmas, a large group of tin shacks went up in flames and burnt to the ground. This piece of land is about a hundred metres from the Mathare Environmental Youth Centre. It was soon after discovered that the homes had been occupying public land when consulting a city council map.

The thinking gears went into immediate effect and Kaka the community leader decided that the land must be reclaimed for the public. All the youth of the area were told they should start to play football there and refuse anyone who wanted to start construction. If you see the picture above, at the bottom someone has already started construction claiming they owned the land before. 

Here are some renderings from a Canadian architect named Jonah Marrs. These will be the basis for our proposal to get funding to continue this project.

On January 18th we started to clean the surface so that the youth can occupy the whole area.

It was very dusty but a lot of youth turned out to help and had things going in no time.

All ages of youth were getting their hands on shovels. It was a great way for them to identify with the area and start a feeling of ownership of the area. 

Mr Kaka the mega community leader showing the kids how its done.

The area where the homes had burned down still had a lot of charcoal dust that made it very difficult to breath when shovelling. No guts - No glory is all there is to say.

There is still a lot of work to do on this project but for now the youth have a got a strong connection to the land. Now days where space for youth to grow and be safe from the negative elements of society, it is so important for them to have a sense of identity with their community. 

Friday, 3 January 2014

Nairobi New Year

Happy New year to everyone who reads this and supports us. 2014 will most definitely be another great year. Here are some recent pics and some from celebrating the new year. 
 Nairobi CBD. Moi Avenue. One of the best streets in the whole world. Giant palm trees keep a cool breeze as huge buses carry people all over the city.

 These pics are to get an idea of the dynamics of a bustling African city. Above is the entrance to Gikomba Market, one of the largest open air markets in the world. You can see the city scape in the background. In the foreground is hundreds of thousands of people about their daily life. There are very few places with as much comotion as there is here. 

Not everything is comotion in Nairobi. One of the UWH centres in Partnership with Kamaliza Youth Group has become a landmark in Nairobi. Here you can see the new addition to the centre. Over 50 chickens and a huge new chicken coop are keeping the members busy.  Its a very peaceful place where many come to do business, get their hair braided or just pass time with other members.

Farouk proudly presenting the new members of Kamaliza  

Chickens eat all day long.  

Members look on as we install a brand new gate (homemade btw) 

Another oasis away from the hectic streets of Nairobi is the Mathare Environmental Centre. Here the members of Mathare Environmental join together before welcoming the new year. There was an absurd amount of food. A very large party ensued with the whole community dancing about.

After dinner, the kids of the community first got an opportunity to dance until the adults started the party. This picture is of the kids competing for best dancer. The group members are so good at keeping the kids attention and making sure that everyone has a chance to take part. 

Another picture from our slum soccer tournament that still has kids talking.

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