Faces of Kibera, one of our favorite organizations working to help the kids in Kibera, (and one we frequently partner with!) is having their annual eBay auction.
Items being auctioned off include:
4 tickets to the Carolina Panthers Game Dec 27th with VIP Pre Game Field Passes
VIP Day for 4 to Giants training Camp 2010 in Albany
Signed Jerseys: Kevin Boss, Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Eli Manning, Steve Smith, Hakim Nicks, Antonio Pierce.
Autographed NY Giants balls: Kevin Boss, Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Eli Manning, Steve Smith, Hakim Nicks.
Signed Ringo Starr Drum Skin
The goal of Faces of Kibera is “to create and support a community-based facility for orphans outside Kibera. Funds raised will be spent on housing, food, psychological and medical care. We want to make a safe place the children can call their home, a family they can depend on and a hopeful future.”
Read more about Faces of Kibera at www.facesofkibera.org. Check out the auction and place a bid HERE!
Today, we had a party at Tunza Children’s Center in Kibera. The party was for several occasions. First, none of the kids at Tunza ever get a birthday party (and some don’t even know their birthday), so we decided to celebrate for everyone all on one day. Secondly, the Class 8 (end of primary school) and Form 4 (end of secondary school) kids just finished their very important exams and we wanted to celebrate their achievements. Finally, starting next week and finishing by the end of this month, all of the kids will be moving out of Kibera to the new home in Ngong.
By December, Tunza Children’s Center in Kibera will not be home to any more children and will be closed. It will re-open as a school in January 2010 but Tunza, the children’s home in Kibera, will no longer exist. I (Jen) have volunteered at Tunza since 2006 – this is my fourth summer – and it is surreal to think that the home will be gone. Tunza has always played a central role in my trips to Kenya and has been the place where I feel most at home in Kibera. I know it has also played this role for a lot of volunteers.
The move to Ngong is definitely better for the children in terms of hygiene and sanitation and space. The conditions in Kibera were terrible and those in Ngong are much improved. Because the great majority of our work is carried out in Kibera and because the home in Ngong takes a while to get to, our role in supporting Tunza will decrease dramatically once they move from Kibera. We will continue to sponsor the six children from Tunza that we do now and will visit the center from time to time to check up on the kids but it will be next to impossible for us to play a major role in supporting the center. We will also continue to send our counselors to Ngong every week.
It will be a big transition but we have some really great projects in Kibera that we are excited to devote more money and efforts to. We look forward both to seeing a better life for the kids in Ngong and improving some of these projects that we haven’t been able to put a lot of effort into, due to the time-consuming nature of assisting a children’s home.
This past month has been busy for the Tunza kids, with a lot of transitions taking place. They also continue to adjust to life in Ngong. The counselors have really helped them get through this time.
Click HERE to read their report for October.
Since last October, we have been selling jewelry and bags in the United States made by members of HIV positive support groups in Kibera. These groups meet weekly for various purposes – one group conducts a savings project where they each contribute a little bit of money to a group account each week and another has started a business and a small shop to sell jewelry, bags and other goods.
A large portion of the profits that was made selling these items went directly to the members of the group and was used for things like paying rent, hospital bills, food and children’s school fees. Another portion has been used to buy medicine, provide transport to the hospital or cover bills for members when they become sick. The final portion we have decided to start a business start-up project to help the members of the group sustain themselves.
In September, we started meeting with one of the groups, which is composed of 20 members. In keeping with Uweza’s idea of empowering, we would like the groups to sustain the project themselves, rather than have us tell them how to operate, so they decided all of the ground rules. They divided into groups of four (five groups total) and wrote up business proposals – their businesses include selling eggs, soap, rice and other items. They drew up paperwork and required each group member to fill out a form and provide a photocopy of their ID. When I asked them what they would do if a group member didn’t pay back their start-up money, they all responded that they would “auction off all of their belongings.” So it seems they are pretty serious!
We decided to give each group of four people 10,000 shillings (or $130) to start their businesses. The group decided that in order to motivate themselves to succeed, they would like to pay back the full amount to a group account with the addition of 5% interest every month. Once they fully pay back these business start-up loans (to themselves), they can use the money plus interest to improve/further sustain their businesses.
The 10,000 shillings per group was distributed on October 4 and it has now been four weeks. They have reported that everyone is paying back their loan and no one has defaulted. We are very hopeful that this project will succeed and will help these 20 people living with HIV to support themselves and their families.
We met with another group of five ladies today that would like to start a business selling charcoal. They will be opening a group account and we hope to provide them with the start-up funds in the next week.
The jewelry and bag sales are continuing in the United States and we are very grateful for everyone that has bought something and supported these men and women. They are so grateful to have the opportunity to make their lives better for themselves and their children.
If you are interested in purchasing an item made by the groups or in helping us by holding a sale, let us know!
Pictures of the men and women and their businesses are coming soon, we hope, so stay tuned!