Megan Orr

Megan Orr (Kakenya Center for Excellence - KCE): Between 2006 and 2009, Megan studied graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), where she studied Sociology, Film & Digital Media. Megan also worked as the Program Coordinator at the UCSC Women’s Center, where she organized Lunafest, a national traveling film festival of films by, for, and about women. Megan then worked as an Associate Video Editor for 'the Muse,' an online video periodical, and a freelance Videographer for AOL's national news website, Patch.com. After her fellowship Megan wrote: “I learned a tremendous amount about Maasai culture, politics, and education. It taught me about cross-cultural communication and patience. By working with the facilitators I was able to absorb a huge amount of information about FGM, leadership, self-defense and rape prevention."



A Snapshot of Nairobi and the Second Largest Slum in Africa, Kibera

23 Feb

Habari! (Hello, how are you? in Kiswahili). It has been two weeks since my arrival in Kenya. My first week was spent in Nairobi. I was very fortunate to have been hosted by Kakenya and her family. I became well acquainted with Kakenya and her two adorable sons, Nathan, 4 years old and Liam of 8 months. Right away my name changed to Auntie Megan.

The city of Nairobi is bustling! There is no shortage of street vendors, shops, noise, air pollution, people and taxis. A matatu (bus) ride is like a rollercoaster ride. Squished like sardines everyone copes. Drivers tend to be ruthless and money collectors hang from a bar just inside of the entrance/exit of the matatu, coaxing people to load and unload. Their diligence is impressive.

Road conditions are like one speed bump after another, a smooth ride without potholes is unlikely. One must be very cautious when crossing the street as proven by random matatu anti-reckless driving stickers. Literally no one follows traffic laws in Nairobi. Sidewalks and some roads are made of red earth. Sidewalk dust is consistently kicked up into the atmosphere, leaving cars, plants, animals and people colored in a red tint.

I accompanied Kakenya to multiple meetings all over downtown Nairobi, that enabled me to experience the capital in a very unique way. We went to The Republic of Kenya Parliament, the Nairobi Club, and many more. Each meeting was very informative and fruitful, one of which made quite an impression on me.

In need of guidance and mentorship to expand KCE’s work and mission to empower girls through education, Kakenya and I met with Hillary Omala, Interim Executive Director of the NGO Carolina for Kibera (CFK). CFK is stationed in the heart of the second largest slum in Africa just outside of Nairobi. CFK was founded by a North Carolina University graduate.

 Kakenya and Mr. Omala chat outside of CFK headquarters

The city of Kibera is home to hundreds and thousands of people. CFK’s mission is to promote economic independence, social growth, ethnic and gender equality and health for  youth in Kibera.

A snapshot of life in Kibera

CFK accomplishes this through housing a girl’s center, a health clinic, a sports program that emphasizes leadership, empowerment and entrepreneurship as well a Trash for Cash program. Trash for Cash is a micro-credit program that teaches youth business and financial literacy by recycling waste into products for sale.

Burning trash is not an uncommon site in Kibera

Mr. Omala provided us with invaluable insight and a brief tour of CFK facilities and its neighboorhood.

This experience left me with a great sense that anything is possible if a vision is clear in the eyes of people whose hearts are invested in its growth.

 

 

 

Posted By Megan Orr

Posted Feb 23rd, 2012

2 Comments

  • Wallace

    February 23, 2012

     

    Your Kenyan immersion begins! I gather from your entry what a sensory overload Nairobi is, how exciting, well written, thank you!

  • Coeleen Kiebert

    February 23, 2012

     

    BLESSINGS and love from Coeleen
    What a beautiful message.

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