If you have a few hours to spare in Nairobi, step outside the tourist 'bubble' and see how over 1 million people live in Kibera, the world's second largest slum. Also the location for the film the Constant Gardener, Kibera is a thriving and dynamic community that the Kenyan government refuses to put on the map. This isn't an exercise in voyeurism; there are many charities that are keen for visitors to 'learn by seeing'.
Before I went to Kenya I couldn't find Kibera in the usual travel guides but did read that it is 'a dangerous place'. However, research also found some very positive reports and I was encouraged to visit.
My 15 year old son and I visited the Kibera Community Youth Programme (KCYP), in return for $25 contributions to the programme we were given a guided tour of Kibera. We were made to feel very welcome, learned a lot about the community, the challenges faced by young people and the great work that is going into skills development.
Kibera is to the south west of Nairobi, a taxi ride from the city centre. You should arrange your visit in advance. More info and contact details at www.kcyp.kabissa.org. If you plan on going, check in advance if there is anything useful you can take with you, such as books or sports equipment.
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