Friday, July 27, 2012

Sixth Computer Lab Established at PCEA Silanga Secondary

After the pilot computer lab was established four years ago at the Red Rose Children Center, The Children of Kibera Foundation celebrated the installation of the sixth computer lab at P.C.E.A Silanga School, Kibera last month. We were greeted and welcomed to the school by the Principal, teachers, and students who were eager to join the rest of the world into ‘zooming ahead in the information technology superhighway’. 

The ceremony, that marked the establishment of yet another ‘bridge to the other side of the digital world’ began with a skit performed by two students, illustrating the disadvantages to citizens when government officials bribe individuals to obtain votes. The school principal expressed his gratitude for the gift of the computer lab which he described as a modest venture that they promised to make good use of. He discussed with the students the importance of learning computer skills which he said will be able to make them qualified for many careers and compete favorably in the already congested job market. Following the Principal’s speech, a handful of students explained the importance of computers in their lives and how special this new computer lab is for their school students.

CoKF Director, Mr. Kenneth Okoth, on his part gave the students an inspirational talk on
pursuing their dreams and using his personal life experience to demonstrate the essence of
quality education and dreaming big. ‘Proper application of computer skills is a way to boost
your knowledge, accomplish your academic goals, expand your worldviews, and discover new
interests,’ he explained.

The ceremony was concluded by the official opening of the new technological space. Everyone
was able to get a glimpse of the new computer lab experience with a few students, teachers, and
the Principal testing their skills on the machines. A total of nine computers along with a printer,
scanner and projector! This newly installed computer lab will serve over 200 students and
hopefully impact their future career paths and technological skills.

We were all thrilled to witness the joy and feel the excitement among all members of the
School as they look towards all the possibilities that now lay before them because of these new

 You too have the right to IT Education

 Just before cutting the tape...

 'I declare the computer lab open!'

 Our first lesson together!

'Let me also give it a try'

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Life Lift into Prosperity.

The famous airlifts of the 1960s organized by J.F Kennedy and Tom Mboya to give promising Kenyans a chance to study in America changed the world for good. Among the group that came back to help Kenya adjust to independence was Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel peace prize.
We view the scholarships we award to the children of Kibera as ‘a life lift’  for the group we serve  are extremely gifted students who use this scholarship as their bridge to university education and subsequent lucrative careers. This is entrenched in our belief that education has the power to help these children escape the vicious cycle of poverty in Kibera now well into its fourth generation. 
This special group has not disappointed us.
With our pioneer scholars attaining the 100% university admission mark in 2012, the ‘life lift’ is slowly taking shape. Establishing a tradition in this life changing trend, five of our scholars in recent prize giving days were all awarded for being the best overall students in their various classes. Some of these highly motivated scholars would not have had the chance to set foot into a high school classroom were it not for this timely scholarship. 
Together with carefully crafted enrichment programs, we inculcate in our scholars: leadership qualities, spirit of service and the purpose to build an outstanding individual brand. This package will catapult them into the world’s stage-a sure life lift.

Millicent, Best overall- Ngara Girls Form 1

 Vane Best overall -Buru Buru Girls, Form 4

 Mohamed-Best overall -Aquinas Boys,Form 3

Franklin-Best overall- Aquinas Boys, Form 1

Kassim,third best overall -Lenana School, Form 2

 Sally, Third best-Pangani Girls, Form 3

A section of our scholars

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Boys Club-A Safe Space for Slum Boys

Kibera like most slums is a harsh and difficult place to live in. The unending struggles to make it through life with enormous obstacles which include diseases, poverty and other quandaries of life from birth to death creates a vicious cycle of  poverty culture that has become difficult to break. These plethoras of challenges have called for measures in an attempt to curb this generational shame.
The Children of Kibera Foundation in collaboration with LitWorld-an NGO based in New York have started boys and girls clubs to help this unique group firmly lodged in a precarious situation overcome these challenges.
The Boys Club was a response measure to address the needs of the boy child who suffers silently at the expense of the girl child. The club acts as a ‘safe space’ for the boys who engage in different activities that are tailored to meet their educational, social and polito-economic needs. It draws its objective from a curriculum that spells out seven social norms that form the pillars of all the engagements within the club.
Currently the club holds a proud membership of close to forty enthusiastic and promising boys who are drawn from nearly all the 13 villages making up the slum. These are members of ages 10-16, all of whom are school going. The club provides a platform for the members to explicitly express themselves and also exposes them to other worlds so as to widen their worldview. This is done through skype meetings with boys from other clubs outside Kenya, watching documentaries and movies etcetera, etcetera.  The boys also make social trips and engage in team building activities, sports and games. All these are blended to create individuals with strong personalities, good morals and very much optimistic of a prosperous future.

 A mentor at work

 Inculcating a reading culture

 Lets read together

 Generous donation from friends

 Being inspired

 Let go through the seven strengths

 Exchange program with Uweza Foundation

We are the boys!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Potent Platform for Performance-4th Annual Children of Kibera Music Festival

4th Annual Children of Kibera Music Festival
June 22nd and 23rd marked Children of Kibera’s 4th Annual Music Festival.  Twenty-three (23) schools came out on both days and wowed us with their performances.  The festival was hosted at Kibra Academy for the fourth year in a row.  Their large field and great location made everything very accessible for competitors and spectators.    
Tents, judges, competitors, and spectators!

Other local organizations also participated in the festival by setting up booths and spreading their message.  Partnering with other organizations and helping the people of Kibera learn about different programs and services is something that we believe is important at Children of Kibera. 
A representative from the Africa Health and Community Program


The Uweza Foundation had a very popular table

Children of Kibera Foundation’s next door neighbors, Ghetto Light, brought representatives

USAID| Kenya brought information about their Kibera Gender-Based Violence Outreach Project

This year’s theme was “Responsible Leadership in Elective Positions.”  The purpose of this theme and the resulting performances were to promote patriotism, civic awareness, and peaceful elections through the creative performing arts.  During Kenya’s last election, in 2008, disputed results and tribalism caused violent eruptions of protest around the country.  Kibera was heavily affected by the conflicts and many people were injured and/or displaced.  The performances during this Music Festival reminded people to choose their future leaders wisely and promote peaceful elections in 2013.
Performances were divided into three categories: Solo Verse, Choral Verse, and Dance Performance.  Both primary and secondary schools competed in each category.  Many presented traditional dances from different areas of the country, while others focused specifically on the theme of electing responsible leaders.  There were many talented performers of all ages that showed their dedication to the performing arts as well as strong work ethic and creativity.  The following photos show some of the performers in action! 

The event also featured local rappers, comedy troupes, and musicians. 
This local comedy troupe also served as MCs 

Children of Kibera’s own High School Scholar Mohammed performed

Christian boy band, BMF, performed a number of their radio hits and invited a bunch of the kids to dance with them


Local media outlets also showed up to cover the event

Spectators of all ages look on

On Friday, judges reviewed every performance and invited the top 6 back the following day.  Saturday was filled with tense competition as the top students in each category performed again for the judges.  Every school that participated received a voucher that could be used towards school supplies.  Trophies and additional vouchers were given to the top students in each category.  As students waited to hear the results, tension mounted.  When first, second, and third place were called, students and teachers ran from their seats to receive their prizes. 

Overall, the music festival provided an opportunity for youth in Kibera to showcase their talents and promote non-violent elections in Kenya.  The Children of Kibera Foundation continually looks to create opportunities that benefit students by giving them a free platform to improve their