Kibera

Meet the Kibera FAFU Students!

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Kibera is a neighborhood in the city of Nairobi, Kenya, three miles from the city center. Generally considered the largest slum in in Nairobi and the largest urban slum in Africa,  Kibera, whose population varies between 170,000 and over 1,000,000 depending on which slums are included in defining the area, often lacks the daily resources that even lower-class Americans take for granted.

The government in Kibera owns all the land. Ninety percent of residents in Kibera are tenants with no rights who live in 12 x 12-foot shacks leased out to them by the wealthier 10 percent of the population. These shacks often house up to eight or more with many sleeping on the floor. There is a range of ethnic groups who reside in Kibera, including the Luo, Luhya, Kikuyu Kamba, and Nubians. Tribal tensions are a common source of conflict within the region.

Only about 20 percent of Kibera has electricity, and up until recently, Kibera had no water – it had to be collected from the Nairobi dam, an unclean source that was known to cause typhoid and cholera. Now, there are two main water pipes into Kibera, one from the municipal council and one from the World Bank. In most of Kibera, there are no toilet facilities. One latrine, which is essentially a hole in the ground, is shared by up to 50 shacks. These are just some of the physical problems that LEAP and other humanitarian organizations are aiming to combat.

But beyond the physical problems that certain communities face, LEAP also looks to identify personal problems faced by its youth in order to shape them into the talented leaders of tomorrow. Children in Kibera, many of whom struggle with poverty and disease, are at an immediate disadvantage, despite being as and sometimes more driven than their American counterparts. Many have desires to become lawyers, doctors, teachers and leaders with the power to change lives and ensure that no one has to face the same struggles that they do.

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