With schools closed in Kenya, children have faced many months at home. We asked them to share insights into their life and community.
I’ve been digging my family vegetable plot
Coming from a community where development is still lagging behind, I find great joy in being a helping hand to the old. We may not have much but it’s the abundance of sharing the little we have wholeheartedly. Hopefully one of these days we shall go back to learning.
To call Kibra a slum is almost reductive. It is a complex, buzzing organism with unique human stories. People in my community co-exist peacefully. Despite the unique set of challenges faced by my people, there is entrepreneurial energy that resonates. Kibra offers art and culture that makes this place very beautiful.
My community does not consider any member as an outsider, widow or orphan since we are more of a family than a community.
I decided to go to the Health Centre to help out. My ambition is to be a doctor.
The virus has led to unemployment so it is hard for parents to raise money to cater for their kids. This is also a problem for us girls because some of us need sanitary towels. In Kibra, there are many childhood pregnancies due to lack of money. There is a project that has helped over a thousand girls who were unable to afford towels.
I have taken time to protect my community by setting up a handwashing station and distributing masks to children.
I can proudly say there is unity in diversity in Kibra…
Kibra is the home of diverse communities. I can proudly say there is unity in diversity. For example, physically challenged people play a vital role in Kibra. They have a voice in the society. However, I am not blind to the fact that Kibra has a myriad of problems. Youth engage in crime due to unemployment. I have witnessed the death of many youths lynched by the mob after stealing as little as 100 Kenyan Shillings (less than £1). Lack of parental guidance has created a gap as many children end up in bad company. As we know, bad company corrupts good morals. In summary, we have come a long way and we are making progress. I am proud to be associated with Kibra.
I’m planting vegetables
My community is Maasai. Less than 20% of Maasai women enrol in school. The girl is trained by her mother to look after babies, cook, wash clothes. Between the age of 11 and 13, she is circumcised but the government is putting an end to it. Soon afterwards, the girl is forced to early marriage, but the government is also trying to put a stop to that. Mostly their life expectancy is 45 years because of the physical abuse and the will of her husband to have many children. If you educate a woman, she will know her rights and have the confidence to stand up for them.
Life here is hustle. I have shared some drawings to explain what is going on in my community…
I’m teaching the children in my community how to keep themselves
Life has been miserable since food has been scarce. Weddings and burial ceremonies have been affected as gatherings are no more. Online learning is not affordable. I learn through radio lessons and my books.
I am from the Kamba Bantu tribe. For now I am trying to form group discussions with my friends to help each other study and to keep busy. We are also trying to create awareness in the community on how to help keep safe from the pandemic.
I am trying as much as possible to concentrate on my books. The government lessons we learn on TV, though we meet a lot of challenges since in my community it is full of noise throughout the day. Lack of electricity and resources is a problem. After school I want to be an electrical engineer. I like playing with wires and started with my mum’s phone. If it has a problem, I open it up to see what is inside. I work with my neighbour who repairs phones and I use them as part of my artwork.