Who We Are
Hope4kibera and the associated John Wynne Poor Fund is a new enterprise, which aims to improve the lives of children living in Africa's biggest urban slum, the Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya.
The charity has been set up by nine people from Woodbury, Devon. This was following a visit to Kibera in February 2019, where they had the privilege of spending 10 days with Swahiba Networks, a local Kenyan charity who have been working in the slums for the past 17 years. Swahiba means "close friend" in Swahili and they have been working amongst the marginalised and destitute neighbours in their area.
Swahiba's focus is to support children of secondary school age, and their families, to give the best possible chance of them completing school. Their interventions include provision of sanitary products so that girls don’t miss a quarter of their schooling, mentoring and empowerment classes to give girls and boys hope and reduce the risk of being a victim of violence, rape, and prostitution. They also give training in income generation schemes and access to some apprenticeships.
We were really impressed by the dedication and efficiency of the Swahiba team, working hard on a ridiculously low budget. All but one of them had grown up in the slum and come up through their various programmes, so they knew what they were talking about.
However, the bottom line is that many of the families cannot afford food or health care so there is very little money for school fees. Many capable and enthusiastic youngsters drop out of school or have a fractured schooling that gives them no hope for the future.
Swahiba therefore have a vision to open a free school for these children and they have already raised the money for the school and built it. However, they do not, as yet, have the funds to open the school and run it. Our group found this so inspirational that we have launched an official charity to raise the necessary funds for the school.