The Kangemi slum in Nairobi - The other side of reality

by Iris Schulz

Vegetable Market

Vegetable Market

Vegetable Market Hardware Shop

During our stay in Nairobi we visited different of the typical tourist places and also the shopping malls for the muzungos (Swahili for white man) but the most impressive visit was the one through Kangemi, which is a slum near Westlands.

We made a private guided tour with "Kangemi Slum Tours". Our guide was Daniel, who is also a dweller in Kangemi - he is very friendly, we felt secure and comfortable with him.

All the people we met are so friendly and cheerful and I thougt a slum has to be a sad place in the world. But there is lots of laughing and life. Daniel told us that most of the people here have a fulltime job - but they don't earn enough money to come out of the slum. Some of them have to support their families in the rural areas also.

We have seen a typical slum house, the making of special briketts, a container garden where the Kangemi people can produce their own vegetables.

We didn't miss a short walk over the local markets. We visited a school and an very impressive orphanage. The visit really changed my view of life.

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kangemi
by: Anonymous

You conviniently forgot to mention That kangemi is also home to mountain iew,loresho and one of the areas wherr fatmers are sippliers of produce we find in out supermarkets

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kangemi
by: Anonymous

You conviniently forgot to mention That kangemi is also home to mountain iew,loresho and one of the areas wherr fatmers are sippliers of produce we find in out supermarkets

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World Aids Day 2011
by: Anthony Richard Hulula

St. Joseph Uzima program in collaboration with DASCO Westlands, Lea Toto and LVCT traversed the streets to create awareness on HIV/AIDS and for two days did a door to door campaign that has seen good results after the exercise. This was a good gesture that we hope can continue in order to bring services closer to the people. During this exercise, I realized that majority of Kangemi residents have no glue to where they can go for assistance and/or some make very risky assuption still at this era on time. It was an opportunity to bring the information in the houses and much more communicate to the residents that services are available within the community. The road show using the carravan was the climax that saw individual testimonies and public speeches touching in HIV/AIDS.
Kangemi has and continue attracting good health services that the residents can be supported therefore, awareness for the already available service is in the public domain and available for everyone. The assumption that services are expensive leaves many scared and therefore, not access what is most essential to them. As service providers, we might need to rethink our strategies, given that most of us get money from donors to provide these same service Kangemi people are looking for. Who do we serve then? if the majority still find our services expensive and/or the information that we are providing the services- is not in community domain!
Most facilities are under utilized while the greater population remain unaware that services are available for free at some point. The network will provide alot to the community; we can plan together, work towards the plans together to achieve the common goals of rightfully serving the community. The collaboration with Lea Toto and LVCT was comentable. More linkages will move Kangemi to the next level.

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We do much better
by: Anthony R. Hulula

Evryone with the intention to help should help genuinely. What you have received as a gift give it as a gift however, we cannot miss a few individuals with a different distorted view in the society. I know most of the CBO, FBO,NGO and individual raising money to help the Kangemi residents; the only thing is that if all these resources are channelled in the right intentions with control measures and monitoring systems we can move a step. There is anything fulfiling than help a life and change a life. We might thing otherwise but i see good people who work with very little to support the poor within, some give free housing to these poor people and for example St. Joseph the worker Catholic church has a program where christians contribute towards the poor in kangemi every 1st sunday of the months during the second collection. I see this as a good gueture and way to involve the community not only in realizing that they have the poor among them but building a sense of service to doing something about it. Yes, we can even do more if we realize the strengths and opportunities in existance in addition to the best practices already experienced.
We should not allow those with wrong intentions to use the poor for the own ends.

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Reality Check!
by: Musungu Mark

Its amazing how the government of Kenya perceives it citizens. You take a walk around Kangemi, for sure churches of kinds are visible with all biblical names to look religious. It has come to my understanding that most organizations (NGOs)around the slum get funding meant to uplift the well being of slum dwellers in kangemi but who cares! People who think they will endlessly use Slum dwellers as there source of revenue then your days are numbered. Once an Information Resource Center is put in place, then people will be able to tell who is who in the society.

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We share the little salt
by: Anthony Hulula

The experience to live a life of loughert and at peace with your neighbour brings a sense of wholeness; the fact that i do not warry about my child going next door, that a neighbour can taking my clothes off the line when the raing is coming, pick up my child from school and stay with her/him till i come home: it is a real life in Kaangemi. It is a life of living by day and tomorrow fixes itself. It is a life of eating what is available and sharing it with the one who do not have when he/she comes at the door.
We appreciate it and move together with a spirit to embrece it even tighter.

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REAL LIFE IN KANGEMI
by: Emro Matano

I am overwhelmed to hear how Kangemians are positive towards life. This is so because most of them come from the western part of Kenya. A reagion where people embrace togetherness always concern about each other. To me personaly this is where real life exists. Aplace you can get salt from a neighbour, or leave your kids with them and lough with every one rich or poor, young and old. That is Kangemi.

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REAL LIFE IN KANGEMI
by: Emro Matano

I am overwhelmed to hear how Kangemians are positive towards life. This is so because most of them come from the western part of Kenya. A reagion where people embrace togetherness always concern about each other. To me personaly this is where real life exists. Aplace you can get salt from a neighbour, or leave your kids with them and lough with every one rich or poor, young and old. That is Kangemi.

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Kangemi Residence
by: Anthony Richard Hulula

Friends i am amazing about your sharing about us. We live in Kangemi and Work in Kangemi. Kangemi is a place with life: you meet people who are very concerned about each other and supportive at the same time. People who will stop and say hello, ask how you are doing.. who laugh genuinely with each other and socialize endless. What does life mean in essence if not being with people and sharing the pains and happines tother day in day out.

We are very welcoming; take pictures as much as you can. We might not know and understand your intention but for sure God does know. It is very rear to find the a person form our midst will be violent to the vistor.. It is not in our kangemi culture to violent to the person you even do not know.
We appreciate you visit. You are welcome and feel free to exprience to life of the Kangemi people.



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Going on a slum tour is an appalling thing to do!
by: Sabrina

Hi,

While I understand the good intention behind it - refusing to turn a blind eye to the reality - I think that going on a slum tour is an appalling thing to do.

Although some inhabitants might show you a friendly face, don't be mistaken, most of them are offended by your taking pictures and/or going to visit them as if you were on a safari, on a tour to the zoo of human poverty. And the only reason why they take it is the hope to get at least some money out of it. But at the end of the day, it does not help them sustainably and what remains is just an attack on their dignity. How would you feel if you lived in such conditions and people would come to you just... out of curiosity?

Unless they intend to do something about it, should it be even through the smallest contribution to help these communities in a way or another, I think that people should refrain from going on such tours.

Personnally, it's what I have done. I visited Kenya some years ago. I did witness the slums from a distance, was clearly concerned and informed myself about them, listening to what people had to say about it; but it is only now that I live in Nairobi and that I have found a promising organisation to support that I am actually going to Kibera, the 2nd largest slum in Africa.

I must say that when I was first offered to go on a slum tour in Kangemi, it really struck me as being ethically wrong, yet I did not reject the idea at once because I could also see the good intention in it. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Regards

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Thank you!
by: Rebecca

Thank you for your post! I'm going to Kenya for the first time in May, and I will definitely contact Daniel and arrange for a Kangemi Slum Tour. I've found their website and am going to book with them!

I didn't know that slum tours existed, and I'm very happy I stumbled upon this website or else I probably never would have known. Keep spreading the word!

Thank you once again!

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"Changed my view of life"
by: John Lambert

Hi Iris,

Thank you for your post. I think many people who visit Kenya Can do what you did and visit some of the places that are off the 'beaten track'.

Visiting Kenya can be an educational and life changing experience. Many people visit with pre-planned trips and sometimes with preconceived notions.

I am glad you felt safe ('hats off' to Daniel).

So you took "the road less traveled".

Regards and Thanks for sharing.
John

www.exploringkenya.com

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