Report for Youth Exchange to Nairobi, Kenya

28 September 2018

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This report was written by Moho Mofokeng, a youth leader from Orange Farm, South Africa. 

The purpose for this exchange between the South Africans, Kenyans and the Paraysam youth was for sharing ideas and helping each other as they have a similar project they youth is working on. Kenyans are doing numbering while the South Africans are doing the street naming project and the two projects are almost similar and both a necessity for every community to have.

Day 1.  28-08-18

South African youth met with the youth from Kenya and the Kenyan KYCTV youth. Everyone introduced themselves and the South African’s were the first to be given a platform the share their work, ideas and everything that they do how and how far are they as well as plans for future projects etc.

Joseph Muturi who is the Muungano (federation) coordinator explained his position in the organisation and what they do as well as their plans, and on how the South African team was different from other youth who was present on the day regarding saving because it was what he had picked on the South African youth that they emprise and practice daily saving.  Later on we got to learn and hear the Mukuru (Nairobi) side of doing things, they shared and explained their ways of collecting data, mapping, enumeration and also the way in which they mobilise.

Kate from the KYCTV and who is also a member of the federation shared how she got engaged with saving with the organisation, she further explained the challenges they had faced by not having toilets eg; the dirtiness and smell their area had which lead to many people getting sick they call it the “fly toilets”, and it made them come up with the idea of coming up with the toilet project which was a success after they’ve presented the idea to the city and the Marubi water, and it brought change and job creation to the unemployment federation youth Nairobi. She later talked about the evictions happening around Nairobi and on how the community have been affected by it. They have seeked help from the government by informing area chief and by also sending a petition to government.

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Day 2. 29-08-18

The South African met with the members of Muungano and the community to see how they number their address and what we have realised was that their house numbers are way different from ours like for example their address goes like: RVS/A/202B hence we only have 4-5 numbers and the map which they have done themselves for doing the project.

  • RVS-cluster
  • A-cluster code
  • 202-house number
  • B-door number

We then shared the reason why we do street naming and the challenges we had faced for not having our streets named. People have been dying on our watch while we wait for the emergency service and lots of incidents happening and the emergency services can not reach the community, also mails getting mixed up because they will be delivered to wrong address so the youth took upon themselves to name their streets and how we did it.

Day 3. 30-08-18

We were taken Kibera to view the demolished houses, schools and churches and this area is where the recent eviction and demolishing took place as its said it’s a government land the area is supposed to be a road joining the other big road on the other side. And now most of the people were homeless, kids are now not going to school, most of the community members moved to railway houses that led people working as housekeepers in order to pay for rent and the other side that we saw is the side for people who can afford and it is called “Langata”

Later on that day we went to Kambi Moto to see the houses built by the federation members.  On our way there we were able to see the eviction taking place, shops and other business were evicted and demolished.

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At Kambi Moto members had planned the houses and the size themselves which were first side 4 scale meters and it took them several years to take place reason why they wanted to do things by themselves it is simply because government will want to build big houses and not all people will be able to get a house,34 houses were built at first phase and second phase has 28 houses.to get a house one must be a member of saving because the houses are from loan from saving

To be part in the construction you must have the following:

  • Saving book
  • Active member of federation

Houses were not enough for every member so some who could not get houses made withdrawals so they can rent to reduce labour. Fed-up mamas were part of the construction. We even went to see their community centre where they have their meetings,the youth also opened a business of washing cars from their savings in order to get a little income since they are not working.

Kambi Moto members aim was to construct houses in 2003 they started with the housing with the money from the federation (AMT) is the term they use for (UPF) the group they have formed, they would get loan from the AMT to build so AMT gives them 80% and 10% will come from each member another 10% will be from the saving this is only for members who save and attend meeting.

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DAY 4 31-08-18

We met with the area chief and the people from the slums to share how they do their savings and mobilization, the south African team shared and made the people who were part of the meeting how important and how our challenge is similar to theirs.

On the last day of exchange, the participants visited Riara village in Mukuru where the federation met with a number of community mobilisers. The exchange participants gained a broader understanding of the community planning process anchored under the following:

  1. Mapping
  2. Formation of clusters
  3. Numbering and data collection
  4. Creation of occupancy registers
  5. Formation of cells(nyumba kumi)
  6. Formation of subclusters (baraza ndogo)