The Office aims at building the capacity of community members, partners and staff.
The trainig focuses on:
- Organizing and facilitating meetings, creating awareness and holding seminars with the aim of educating parishioners and other key stakeholders in Kibera and those living in the informal settlements.
- Providing legal representation for deserbing clients and where necessary, referring these clients to volunteer advocates or NGO's who are able to respond to their legal problems.
- The Office of Human Rights also aims at seeking out experiences for staff members to further develop their skills. Internal and external training will allow staff to participate in professional dialogues to share their work and learn from others.
Campaign against chang'aa in Kibera
Every morning between 5.00 and 6.00 vehicles bring jerricans filled with chang'aa into Kibera. While chang'aa is illegal, it is manufactured and sold in large quantities in the slum areas of Nairobi. The local drink is highly toxic and often laced with poisonous substances to increase its potency. Chang'aa is the favoured brew for the poor because it is cheap, available and leads to immediate intoxication, People drink chang'aa out of despair and hopelessness. Not surprisingly, chang'aa is the source of many of our problems in Kibera.
This illegal brew has caused an increase in HIV/AIDS, poverty, unemployment, crime, domestic violence, loss of dignity, illness and even death.
In May of 2003, parishioners at Christ the King Catholic Church - Kibera, launched a campaign against chang'aa called "Kibera United Against Chang'aa, Kibera United for life." The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the dangers of chang'aa and to ask the government to enforce the laws that prohibit the manufacture and sale of chang'aa.
In November of that year, the parish sponsored a talent show in which over 50 Kibera musicians performed original songs that addressed the theme of chang'aa. ]he judges, internationally recognized musicians Eric Wainaina, Suzzana Owiyo and Rufftone, selected the top 7 performers. The following month, these artists along with Kayamba Africa and Bakulutu joined the talent show winners and put on the first ever live musical concert in Kibera. This album, RHYTHMS OF LIFE, is a compilation of the winning songs and contributions from each musician who participated.
RHYTHMS OF LIFE is not a traditional album. Many of these songs are gritty and raw. They tell a story most of us don't want to hear, a story of pain and loss. But listen closely because these voices are also charged with a message of hope and a call to find a better way. This album offers an insight into the complexity of life in Nairobi's largest slum - the frustration, despair, joy and vitality - that are the essence of Kibera.
It is our hope that all of the people of Kenya will join us in this campaign to rid Kibera and other slum areas of chang'aa. Join us in celebrating the RHYTHMS OF LIFE.
I want to give my personal thanks to all of those who have contributed so generously to this album Eric, Suzzana, Rufftone, Kayamba and Bakulutu - thank you for sharing your talents and your solidarity with the people of Kibera. Thank you to the inspiring Kibera musicians who persevered to make this album. I thank each of you for sharing your light. I have no words to thank Kerubo Okioga, Brian Okutoyi and Leonard Mbuya who were the head, heart and soul of this project from start to end. I especially thank Maurice Oyando of Next Level Productions and his team. Thank you, Maurice, for believing in this dream and for making it come true. I also am grateful to the Bodewes family especially Teddy for their support. Finally, for inspiration and heart, I thank Sr. Denis McCorthy, mm and my Telluride sisters in arms.
Christine Bodewes, June 2005, Nairobi, Kenya.
Korogocho, St. John Parish, Justice and Peace
The Korogocho Justice and Peace group has been very active in the Debt Campaigns of 2005 and 2006. They organized seminars to create awareness among the people of Korogocho, on the impact of the Public Debt in their daily lifes. They organized sports competition on the debt issue, and participated very actively in all the demonstrations and events around the Debt Campaign.
The youth group made songs on the problem of the debt. One of them G8, G8 became quite popular among those working towards the cancellation of the Public Kenyan Debt. The drama group made a drama on the impact of the Public debt in the daily life of the poor, and the accrobats and dancers provided entertainment during the Public events on the Debt.