A community center is something that we have been thinking about for a long time and we hope in the next few months that it will become a reality.
From our website:
"The Uweza Community Center will provide an office, meeting and storage space for our current programs and will be a launching point for new community-run initiatives. The center will give Kibera residents, especially youth, a safe space to exchange ideas, explore talents and interests, and develop income generating activities that they enjoy.
Youth in Kibera very rarely have the opportunity to develop creatively.There is a lot of pressure for youth to perform well academically and school curriculum is largely focused around memorization and repitition. Talents and interest in the arts, theater, sports, and other activities may go untapped for the entirety of their lifetime because they lacked an avenue to explore these areas. The community center will allow youth to flourish in ways that will build self-esteem and enrich their lives.
Our Kenyan staff have continuously requested opportunities for income generation, observing that many youth are not able to finish school or turn to a life of drugs, crime, early pregnancy and marriage, and continue a cycle of poverty that has persisted for generations. The Community Center will allow a space for business and finance training, skills building, business mentorship, and small-business development.
Uweza is Swahili for "power, opportunity and capability" and we hope that the community center will encapsulate all of these words. We believe that what will truly fight poverty and empower the residents of Kibera is allowing them to find solutions and inspiration within themselves."
We are hoping to get the center up and running by April of this year but need a huge fundraising push to reach our goal.
Please check out www.uweza.org/communitycenter.html and make a donation. There is a donation tracking tool on the site and every little bit helps. As an added bonus, every person that donates online (even $1.00) to support the Uweza Community Center between now and March 15, 2011 will enter a random drawing to name one of the rooms in the center!
If you can't donate, share the site with family and friends and help us spread the word! Thank you!