- Posted August 13, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
Visiting Nairobi's Toughest Slum
Mathare may not be Nairobi's largest slum, but it's certainly the toughest according to locals who work and live there. A recent visit there with a non-profit organization (OneLifeAfrica.org) that funds education for many of the slum's children proved to be eye-opening and life changing.
"Flying toilets" (bags of human feces thrown through the air without discretion) are just one of the many lasting images such a visit provides. Raw sewage flowing through the streets, smells of urine and trash, combined with the sour aroma of hooch being produced by a slum gang out of jet fuel and embalming fluid, are just facts of life in the slums.
But despite the unconscionable living conditions, there are people there like Stephanie and Andrew Onguka (founders of OneLife) who are a bright light, working tireslessly to help fund childrens' educations so that many will go on to private high schools and even universities.
Most striking are the children themselves, whose enthusiasm for learning and appreciation for having a safe place to study and learn during daylight hours is not only palpable but humbling, gut-wrenching and heartwarming at the same time. While some are indeed finding a way out, others are making their way back so they can provide opportunity to those in their community. The true circle of life doesn't just exist on safari. It's happening in the slums of Nairobi with immeasurable positive consequences.
Books, paper, pencils, and chalk are welcome donations, as is money -- it costs $1000 to fund a Mathare child's education for the year.