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Living and Scouting in Kibera

1st Jan 2010

Rowallan’s closest neighbour, Kibera, is the second largest slum in Africa, only exceeded by Soweto in South Africa.

To outsiders it is perceived as a dangerous place but Grishon Onyango and Ralph Musindi, two Kibera rover Scouts, give me a different picture of their home estate. To them Kibera is home. It’s safe and they have many friends and the feeling of community is strong.

Grishon, Alex, Emmah, Hannah and myself went to Kibera to interview the residents. On arrival we were greeted with both Habari (Hello) and Mzungu (white). I think they were as interested in us as we were in them.

Danson Kinyanjui, a roasted maize seller, tells us about his three children who wanted to become Scouts after they had watched the opening ceremony on TV. He believes Scouting is good for young people. This seems to be the overall impression of Scouting in Kibera.

Samuel Muthama, father of two, wants his children to be Scouts. He says it will prepare them for a good life.

Grishon and Ralph both enjoy being scouts in Kibera. They promote Scouting by talking about it in schools and invite children to Rowallan Camp. They are also here, at Rowallan camp, selling hand made bookmarks and gift bags. Be sure to stop by and have a look. And maybe buy a gift bag to fill with useful or useless gadgets and souvenirs to give your loved ones when you come home.

Kibera Scout Unit is sponsored by East Sussex Scout Unit in the United Kingdom.

Story: Aza Rydberg, Sweden
Photographe: Alex Njenje, Kenya

Image: © Alex Njenje