Kibera is one of the world's largest informal settlements and it is located just outside of Nairobi. There are just over a million people that live on 2.5 square kilometers in structures made of mud and tin sheets. Most structures are no more than 8x10 and often large families share the space. Most of Kibera residents live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.00 per day. Unemployment rates are high. Persons living with HIV in the slum are many, as are AIDS cases. Cases of assault and rape are common. Just a few years ago, the number of sexual assaults or rapes upon young females or women in Kenya was 40,500 and that was noted as a conservative number. Clean water is scarce. One in five children die due to the unsanitary drinking water and conditions. Diseases caused by poor hygiene are prevalent and the average life span is approximately 30 years old.
A great majority living in the slum lack access to basic services, including electricity, running water, and medical care. There are few schools, and most people cannot afford education for their children. High school is nearly impossible for many as it is not free and school fees are often impossible. Girls suffer the harsh reality of little to no education more so than boys considering the culture tends to favor boys and see them as more valuable. As a result, when there are monies available for school, the family often chooses to send the boys. This leaves the girls to face the dangers that lurk in the streets such as prostitution/ trafficking, early child marriages and more. UNESCO (2016) notes that only 46% of girls are in secondary school (high school) and more than half of women aged 15-24 who live in the slums have no income generating skills and activities. The long term impact of neglecting education leaves a large skills deficit.
When most walk into what was just described, that is all they see on its surface. However, we see so much more than that! Our Founder and President has been coming to Kibera at least three times a year since 2013 and the rest of our Board of Directors has been at least once and some twice. It is where our Board of Directors met!
When we are in Kibera, we see joy. We see the value of family, we see so many people smiling, we see a drive for change, we see women in the community who are willing to come together and stand together! The Angaza Project joins the girls and women in the long term work toward equality and opportunity in education, economic opportunity, and leadership. They want to shine and shine bright!
Crime Scene Investigation Nairobi and Murigi, K, (2008). Quantitative research findings on rape in Kenya. Retrieved from http://covaw.or.ke/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Rape-Statistics-in-Kenya_CSI-08.pdf
Education for all Monitoring Report in Kenya. (2016). Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/gem-report/sites/gem-report/files/EDUCATION_IN_KENYA_A_FACT_SHEET.pdf