Young People Take Up a Challenge in a Kenyan Slum
“You shall not pollute the land in which you live…” (Numbers 35:33).
An environmental cleanup campaign is underway in a Kenyan slum—and it’s being led by young people! Thanks to a challenge from a dynamic community leader, the youth of Korogocho slum in Nairobi have taken responsibility for improving their community’s hygiene and sanitization. The leader who challenged them, Faustina, attended a Community Health Evangelism (CHE) training by World Poverty Solutions last August. There Faustina learned how an unclean environment leads to diseases. After the training, she determined to rally her neighbors to make their community cleaner and healthier for both children and adults.
Faustina approached the community’s chief with what she learned. She envisioned a regular cleanup practice that would improve everyone’s health. And if the young people were involved, it might keep them from crime. The chief liked the idea and held a community meeting where Faustina spoke. He provided spades and wheelbarrows and mobilized the youth; Faustina helped organize them into the environmental cleaning group.
The cleaning is done twice a week, with youth cleaning trenches and collecting garbage and household waste. Every household pays a small fee to the youth group to facilitate the work. The results have been overwhelmingly positive: Community members appreciate their cleaner, healthier environment. And a few criminally inclined youth have changed since they began earning wages from their work. The cleanup group also passes along information about trainings for jobs and business development.
Faustina says, “World Poverty Solutions’ training imparted to me knowledge and skills I have used to help many within my community.” Meanwhile, the story of the young people of Korogocho shines as an example of how life in any slum can be transformed through the blessing of simple practices and God’s wise use of his creation.