It was busy month as the Voice of Kibera team tried to come up with reports and blogs as usual. We were able to come up with 8 blogs and 32 reports in our search for news and stories in Kibera.
The month was full of activities ranging from Gender Based violence, world disabled day/aids day, TB treatment, protests from the Upper Toi demolistions, exams and sports.The stories which can be the center of focus the most was the one about the youths who were turning bones into cash. We have decided to highlight it here below for you:-
After slaughtering the cow,what next with the bones,you dump them away? That has been the case over a long period of time,and still exists in other areas.Initially,one would come across bones lying okwardly on the ground not knowing that it would be turned to a source of income.
Thanks to victorious youth group that turns the bones to more unique products that generate income. Victorious Self Help Group are collecting bones and using them to make world class ornaments.
This has also opened doors for employment opportunities in the slum as most of the youth are in the market.The commonly used bones are from cows, goat and camel as their basic material in the industry.
The project was initiated in 2006 after realizing the potential in the industry and are making a living out of it. They recruit youth to the industry when they get orders to produce large number of products and are paid based on the sales per day.
So far the group has more than thirty people who have been employed and earn weekly wages for their labor in the industry.
Their source of market is through the slum tours done by different tour organizations in kibera.They also use middlemen to sale their products.
Jackson,one of the team says that,they face many challenges in the industry as it’s not easy to meet all the market requirements for their products and thus making them incompetent.
Even though they make high quality products their health is also at a greater risk. Frequent inhalation of the bone dust affects their respiratory systems. they cannot afford to have the high quality dust masks to use during the working period. The low quality and worn out devices used are not effective enough.
The working environment is also not reliable at some point for their work as its not efficient in terms of transportation of products and nearness to the raw material. Most of the work is manual,hence lots of energy used.The use of manual machines means constant breakdown,hence waste of time, during repairs,meaning they cant reach their set target as per the given time.
As they train and empower youth with different skills in bone curving,they appeal to the Government to help in small loans to boast their business.The group has received a major boost from donors and tourists who have visited the slum, they also market their products.
There is also an on-going medical camp for children which is taking place at Makina clinic and it is scheduled to continue into other areas, which are Mashimoni where they will take their aid and later move on to Matasia and Embakasi.
They usually come annual to support the underpriviledged in the community. They are supported and funded by Missionary from the USA called the Medical Missinaries Worldwide. With the recent Doctor strike which has hit the nation at the moment they will be of a lot of help for their services to the community and the citizen of Kenya atlarge.