Hope in the slums of Kibera

Society & Culture | By Raymond Muwaniri, Social Development | 24 June 2013
PHOTO: © Raymond Muwaniri

I am currently in Nairobi, Kenya for 2 months (August to October) volunteering in a Children’s centre in Kibera. Kibera is the 2nd largest slum in Africa with over 1, 5 million people living in
undesirable conditions.

The centre is a preschool that deals with kids that come from very poor backgrounds. The centre is run by volunteers and currently has 75 kids. The kids are educated and fed breakfast and lunch as some of them would not have eaten at home. I am currently teaching the older class as they can speak English. I am enjoying what I am doing and I see so much potential in these children.  Every time I go to class I am greeted with joyful smiles and it makes my heart melt. These children have no idea of the hard life they are going to lead if they stay in these slums, it is our mission to educate them so they can have a better tomorrow and avoid being at risk to poverty, HIV/AIDS, crime and a  short life expectancy.

Many Africans who go abroad seldom return, they send money back to their families which is great but what about the others. It is up to us Africans to help ourselves develop as a continent and as a people instead of depending on aid. So I am encouraging all young Africans to do their best to make Africa a better place. You can do this by volunteering, donating money to credible charities that do the necessary work needed in Africa, also if you are educated abroad, make sure you return to your home country to put that education to good use. I will return to Zimbabwe and put the skills and knowledge that I have acquired in Europe to great use.

Africa has so much potential but unless that potential is realised Africa will always be at the bottom end of the ladder for others to step over. I am doing my part and so are plenty others but a lot more is needed. Stop the violence; stop the crime, stop trying to be hip hop American and living the material life which is fake.
Africa has a lot to treasure, our traditions and cultures, our foods, our animals, our music and joy, even our rural life is unique in itself. So let us appreciate Africa for how god made it and stop trying to make it what it is not.

Africa is the heart of the world and from my time living in Europe I can see that it is both feared and envied. The current generation of youth do not realise this.  We live in a global world now where people are free to move, so let us help to make Africa a primary destination that is appreciated for more than its wildlife. I am doing my part, so play your part!