Youth in the Sarang’ombe area of Kibera are subject to violence and idleness at a very young age. Many of them become involved with substance abuse, gender-based violence, theft, and armed robbery, and are used by local politicians to cause chaos within the communities.
Impatient with community development and the hard work that comes with it, they have become relief oriented—robbing themselves of self-worth and dignity—resulting in having no hope or purpose for their life. Living a perpetual life of violence and abuse, and seen as outcasts and troublemakers, they are eventually rejected by society.
We partnered with 30 local churches in Kibera for a duration of about 5 years empowering them in Wholistic Development—equipping them to identify sustainable solutions and engage their communities to bring about long-term transformation. During the exit phase of our work in Kibera, 7 out of the 30 churches emerged as champions-of-change by engaging their community in several sustainable development initiatives while identifying 5 other local churches with a focus on the youth.
Led by appointed church coordinator Pastor Michael, the five churches in Sarang’ombe—with a heart for the youth—finished the TOT training and became the pioneers of youth-focused interventions. Given a platform by the churches, the youth have identified talents among themselves through various programs.
Talent shows including singing, dancing, and sports–along with life skills through economic empowerment initiatives such as shoe making, bead work and tailoring have become their way to engage their community and to also provide for themselves.
This is where the idea of the Integrated School Health Project was birthed. Being new agents of change, the youth have decided to reach out to the younger generation through three school institutions—helping them identify their life purpose, gifts, and talents using life skills training, health education, debate forums, green health activities, Pastoral Program of Instruction (PPI), sports for evangelism/development, and many more. Through this process, many students have received salvation and are now becoming agents-of-change themselves.
The beauty of the Integrated School Health Project is a direct effect of church partnership, local leadership, and community ownership—resulting in sustainable community transformation. We dare say that if we had not phased out of the Kibera community and not have allowed the churches to be the agents-of-change to their own—we would not be witnessing these church-led, community-owned initiatives that are having an impact on multiple generations within the Kibera community.
It is only by the Lord’s grace that this work continues and is the assurance to us that He is the sustainer and provider for His people and we are to serve alongside Him as He gives life abundantly.