New Community Kibera is a non-profit organisation working in Kibera, one of the world’s largest slums, and the organisation seeks to support practical development in the region.
Kibera is located in Nairobi, Kenya and is thought to be the largest slum in Africa, as well as one of the largest slums in the world. Population estimates for Kibera vary widely between 170,000 and 1.5 million, depending on the source.
The majority of Kibera’s population live in small, rented mud shacks with corrugated tin roofs. There is very little infrastructure in the area; clean water is sold at an inflated price by private sellers, access to electricity is very limited, and the lack of toilets and sewage systems means that the streets are strewn with human waste, as well as refuse. Medical and educational facilities are also extremely limited, and what is available is generally supplied by charitable organisations.
Poverty is a key issue in Kibera, where there is an unemployment rate of about 50%, and where many of those who are employed are in relatively unskilled, poorly paid jobs. Malnutrition, disease, alcohol and substance abuse, prostitution and violence are also all issues that heavily affect the people of Kibera, largely resulting from the poor living conditions in the region.
About New Community Kibera:
New Community Kibera aims to serve the needs of the local people living in Kibera. They do this by supporting health, educational and micro-finance projects that are taking place in the area, and place an emphasis on practical development.
Importantly, New Community Kibera seeks to foster independence, not dependence, for the people in the area. This is achieved by connecting and partnering with local people, as well as by enabling them through the sustainable sharing of resources and ideas. The organisation works both alongside people in person, and also via the World Wide Web. They work closely with the local church in Kibera, in addition to partnering with other charitable organisations working in the area.
You can read about a few of the practical projects the organisation is involved in, below:
Building a Community Centre:
New Community has partnered with International Christian Assemblies to commission a community centre for Kibera, primarily funded by New Community’s Eastleigh congregation. Once completed, the aim is for the building to be used for education, training, feeding programmes, celebrations and as a meeting place (including for Christian worship on Sundays).
Children’s Feeding Programme:
The church in Kibera started a children’s feeding programme, providing a cooked meal to approximately 150 children once a month. New Community started to support this programme, with an initial aim to increase the programme to twice a month, and this has now been achieved.
New Community has since been able to provide additional equipment for the feeding programme, such as charcoal stoves, cooking pits and utensils. This means that the meals can now be cooked on site at the church building, rather than cooked off site with hired equipment and then transported to site. Plates, bowls and cups have also been provided, so children no longer have to share a plate of food between two, and can instead have their own plate. In addition, a 5000 litre water tank was recently purchased for the feeding programme.
As well as providing children with a cooked meal, the programme also offers Bible teaching, DVD-watching sessions and sports activities for children each Saturday.
Community Healthcare Volunteer Training:
New Community regularly takes a small team of volunteers to Kibera, in order to carry out healthcare training of local volunteers, with the aim that these local volunteers will then train others in Kibera.
The aims of this project include improving basic community healthcare in the Kibera communities, building confidence in the volunteer-trainers’ abilities, and developing basic knowledge in community healthcare needs. This is achieved by carrying out ‘assets’ and ‘learning needs’ assessments (to identify what is already being done and where there’s a need for improvement), using this information to identify teachable training modules that can then be used when carrying out training with Kibera volunteers. The trained Kibera volunteers can then reproduce the training in their communities.
How can I get involved?
You can get involved and support the work of New Community Kibera in the following ways:
- Give financially – You can support the work of New Community Kibera by giving financially towards the organisation and its costs. One-off donations are very much appreciated, but regular giving (even of a smaller amount) is even better, as it allows the organisation to more accurately plan resources. If you would like to support the project financially, please contact Dave Boniface (details below).
- Pray – The organisation also appreciates regular prayer support, particularly for the following points: good relationships between the UK and those on the ground in Kibera, for sustainability and favour for the organisation’s work, for financial provision, and for the health and safety of workers and volunteers.
- Support a fundraising event - We hold regular events to raise money for the work of New Community Kibera, so you can enjoy yourself and support the project at the same time! Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the latest events.
- Follow them on Facebook - Get regular updates about the project and find out about current prayer requests by following them on Facebook.
- Read their blog posts - Keep up to date with all that New Community Kibera are doing, hear updates from those in Kibera, find out about fundraising events, and more, by following their blog.
- Volunteer your time and skills – Approximately twice a year, a team of volunteers goes out to Kibera. If you have transferable skills in areas such as healthcare, education or IT, or an interest in developing micro-finance and small businesses, the organisation may be able to use your skills, even if that isn’t the planned focus of the trip. You can find out more about what's involved in a typical trip, below.
Trips to Kibera:
Although dates vary, there are usually planned trips to Kibera about twice a year. Here's a bit more about what a typical trip involves:
- Length of trip: Usually approximately seven to eight days.
- Cost: To be confirmed, but usually in the region of £1,000 (includes flights, visas, secure accommodation, transport and meals). Volunteers need to cover this cost themselves.
- Skill requirements: The organisation is particularly looking for people with transferable skills, for example in the areas of healthcare, education, IT, and small-business development. It is also important to have the ability to engage with people, to be very flexible under challenging conditions, and to be able to work as a team. A sense of humour is compulsory.
- Interested? If you think that you are interested and would like to find out more and when the next trip is, please email Dave Boniface at firstname.lastname@example.org. This won’t commit you to anything at this point; it’s just the start of a conversation.
For more information: To find out more about New Community Kibera, to support the organisation, or to volunteer for the next trip, please contact Dave Boniface at email@example.com.