Sunday, March 29, 2009

Still moving forward!

A couple schoolgirls heading home in Kibera.

Last week I visited Kibera, Kenya's largest slum, to talk with Caroline, the woman who runs Binti Pamoja, the girls' group to whom I'm distributing my Goods 4 Girls kits. Caroline kicks ass, and the projects she's doing with the girls are amazing. I brought four other volunteers with me and they were all excited at the possibility of doing some work with the Binti Pamoja teens. So Caroline is working on selecting the girls to receive the Goods 4 Girls kits-- there are currently well over 200 girls in the program, and I have 35 kits, so she is personally selecting the girls with access to water who are also motivated to put in the effort it will take to maintain the cleanliness and usability of their kits. Interesting the considerations involved here. Now we're looking for a weekend when the other volunteers and I can all go and spend some time with the teens and start establishing those relationships, in hopes that, long after the Lunapads have been dispensed, there can be an ongoing connection between the volunteers from my program and the Binti Pamoja girls.

If you want an idea of the work Binti Pamoja does, you can check out They're an amazing group. Specifically, look at their Lightbox book: it's an incredible collection of photos and mini essays by the girls about their lives as young women in Africa's second largest slum. The book is exquisitely done and 100% of the profits goes to funding scholarships for the girls' secondary education.

So, I'm enjoying developing my contacts with this group, and as Caroline gathers her group of recipients we'll be doing a Goods 4 Girls extravaganza day sometime soon! Thanks for bearing with my "African time" approach to implementing this project... I value the development of personal relationships, since I'm planning to be here awhile, so I'm taking my time making this happen, and I think it's going to be a terrific success in the long run.

A message painted during the post-election violence. Entire sections of Kibera were destroyed in the riots.

The other volunteers who plan to work with Binti Pamoja.

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