Emergency Remedy to Save Youth Centre & Library in Nairobi Slum to Relocate
I have known Ben Ooko, the co-founder of Amani Kibera in the slum Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya since 2015. He himself is from Kibera and says soccer saved him from a life of crime and drugs to rise above the challenges of slum life and abject poverty.
Ben founded Amani Kibera, a community non profit for the youth of Kibera after the post election violence in Kenya. The aim was a peace initiative to ensure that tribalism and hatred would never erupt into such violence again and that people would learn to live and work side by side. Since then Amani Kibera has evolved into a pillar of the community for youth with nowhere else to go. Amani Kibera offers one of the largest free libraries, a youth study centre with computers , skill training, mentoring, an annual soccer tournament, fashion event and more.
Ben works tirelessly with little reward on all projects. I know because I have stood by his side and also mentored the youth in leadership skills at the Mr and Mrs Kibera festival.
Now the Kenyan Road Authorities have said Amani Kibera must demolish the center and library at their own expense and leave. This has been an ongoing court battle. The Road Works authority are building a bypass and all “illegal” settlements re to be ousted. Although Amani Kibera with its library and daycare and skills enter have a certificate which originally ensured them the right to stay they now have lost the battle and must be out by July 16th.
The larger problem is not that they must move but
1 ) they must themselves demolish their lifework and the offices, library, skill centre or the city will come and tear it down and charge them
2) they are not being offered any compensation to help salvage the supplies, furniture or help move or pay rent at another location
Since they are constantly struggling with funding to stay afloat, they now do not have the means to move or pay the city to demolish.
About 3 weeks ago, around 400 people were displaced and thrown out of their shacks because they had nowhere to go. The estimate of people being displaced this time round when the Road Authorities come is around 3000. This in an already vulnerable climate where the average person is lucky if he has a dollar a day.
Kibera is East Africas largest slum and it is hard to describe the abject poverty and living conditions.
I told Ben I would try to help. My aim is to raise 1000 USD to help Amani Kibera find a place where they can move all the items to, the library, books, sewing machines, daycare beds, etc and cover rent at least for a few months in the immediate future. We have nine days.
The rent is about 150 USD plus 40 dollars for electricity per month. I am hoping we can clear 800 USD after bank fees and go fund charges for Amani Kibera to move and pay rent in a new location while seeking long term solutions.
I will of course document the transferring of any donations to the Amani Kibera account for transparency so that you know the money will go to them and not land somewhere else or in my pocket. The only reason I have to put this campaign under my PayPal account is because Kenya is currently not a country with access to gofundme.
Any more specific questions I would refer you to Ben directly.