Uweza recently teamed up with Kora Designs, a jewelry company that “merges the worlds of beautiful jewelry and sustainable business development in the belief that both can and will benefit. Our handmade pieces feature recycled materials found and used by local artisans in African developing communities.” Kora means “work” in Kinyarwanda, Rwanda’s native language. One of Kora’s artisans is based in Kibera and uses bone and horn collected from local butcheries to create jewelry.
This year, Kora has created the Uweza necklace, which features dyed recycled cow bone with aluminum wrapping and was designed specifically for us! 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the necklace will go directly toward supporting the Uweza Community Center.
The necklace comes in two different colors, and can be purchased on Kora’s website. Be sure to browse through the rest of their beautiful pieces as well!
Our girls coach Joyce has organized for the Uweza girls team to play in a league with other girls Under-16 teams from outside of Kibera for a few months now. Every weekend, 25 girls cram into a 14-seat minibus and travel to Dagoretti to play a match. They are currently in fourth place in the league, having won two matches and drawn two.
Today, they had their hardest match yet against a team who has been playing with senior (adult) girls teams for a long time and has won several tournaments. There was also extra pressure on the girls as the league’s sponsors were watching the match.
Every week as part of the league, both teams sit down for a small life skills talk before they play. Today’s talk was about stigma.
The girls played a great game but struggled in the second half and lost 0-2. It was a very emotional loss for a lot of the girls as it was their first loss in the league and they really did their best. Many of the fans were commenting on Uweza’s players and how talented and hard-working they were.
Two players from each team participating in the league, chosen by the league’s organizers, will get the chance to attend a course in photography, life skills and soccer in Kilifi on the Kenyan coast.
Despite the loss, the girls had a great time. They have four matches to go and still have the opportunity to place in the top three in the league, which would earn them a new set of uniforms and some balls. We wish them the best of luck and will keep you posted!
Last month, we held the official launch and opening of the Uweza Community Center! In attendance were over 200 Uweza staff, program participants, parents, neighbors, and community leaders. A face painter from Kibera entertained children in attendance with face painting and balloons. Children spent their time dancing, hanging out and creating drawings of their future career goals. A talented painter from Kibera donated his artwork for the event to decorate the center.
After a question and answer session and speeches from Uweza staff, the chief of the area congratulated Uweza on the good work in the community and spoke about how much the community appreciated being involved in the center’s opening and being made aware of our work. He wished us luck and expressed hoped that we would get many more donations.
The event was capped off with a delicious lunch. Everyone really enjoyed the day and we are very excited to start officially using our center!
Check out more photos from the event here: http://uweza.org/gallery/communitycenterlaunch.html.