Seeing Kenya Through Local Eyes

This summer I decided to take my high school volunteer work to the next level by taking my community service global and volunteering in one of the largest slums in the world.
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Many high school students are involved with some sort of community service to better their communities. This summer I decided to take that to the next level by taking my community service global and volunteering in one of the largest slums in the world.

Kibera, Kenya was recently torn apart by the Kenyan post-election violence. Despite this, there is still a stronger sense of community and bonding than you will find in most suburban communities around the globe.

While not every community member feels an obligation to improve the trash-drenched slum, many do. And I saw that the impact of a few residents of Kibera can be significant. Carolina for Kibera is a program that enables locals to provoke change in the community by giving them the resources that they lack to enable growth and awareness and positive change in the community. CFK has slowly grown over the past decade to include a clinic, a women's support program, a sports program, and a sexual reproductive health program, as well as other educational outlets.

Carolina For Kibera is creating awareness within the community about the problems the slum faces and how to overcome them. I took on a project within the organizations that had a public awareness message. Having visited the slum two years ago, I knew something about what was going on in Kibera. However, most people around the world are blind to the sufferings of approximately a million people in this community. I felt that the best means to depict the story of Kibera would be through video. In fact, the only footage that ever makes it out of Kibera is that which is taken by foreigners.

So, with the help of Pure Digital and Apple I was able to bring 10 flip video cameras and two 24-inch iMacs to Kibera. With these tools I set to work with a team of four locals on telling the story of Kibera through their eyes. I then set-up a YouTube channel for them to make their posts. My goal was for the world to be able to see Kibera through the eyes of its citizens.

To fully understand the hardships of the slum life, I lived in the slum with an employee of the organization. I gained an infinitely new perspective on how life is for the least fortunate -- and found a new appreciation for my lifestyle in the States.

I am grateful for my experience with CFK and the residents of Kibera. However, I request that you look at my YouTube channel because words truly can't describe the state of living. My hope is that through awareness, more individuals will be encouraged to make changes, not only in their own communities, but around the world.

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