Interview with Ben, the founder of Amani Kibera

With the support of the non-profit association "Aviation Stands Together" we have introduced a 1+1 principle for our sustainable fabric masks. For every sustainable mask sold online, we donate another mask to Kibera in Kenya. There they are distributed to the community by the organization Amani Kibera. We talked to Ben Ooko, the founder of Amani Kibera.

Ben is a long-serving human rights champion and a re-known community leader who has over 20 years’ experience in working with especially the vulnurable women, youth and children in Kibera’s informal settlements of Nairobi in Countering Violence Extremism, Peace Building, and Positive Youth Development related projects.

Goodgive: Hello Ben. First of all thank you for the great work you do. Please tell us why you founded Amani Kibera at that time.

Ben: I started Amani Kibera to help build cohesion in my community by creating opportunities for the Vulnerable people especially, the youth, women and children through value based sports, education and girls child empowerment. For example, we have established a free community library or a program to train young women as fashion designers.

Ben nimmt die Spende entgegen

Goodgive: How does the Corona crisis affect life in Kibera? How is Amani Kibera trying to support the community in this situation?

Ben: Just like elsewhere in the world, corona has disrupted the social lifestyles of the people here in Kibera, who are highly interactive. People have lost jobs, it has brought about food insecurity and the traditional small scale businesses are collapsing owing to low purchasing power. Children, especially teenagers have been exposed to increased cases of sexual gender based violence and Teenage parenting is on the increase. Their is also increased cases mental health issues. With the dense population, social distancing is a challenge. All these put together, provides a good breeding environment for Covid 19. To meet the challenges, we have:

-Established handwashing stations for sensitization on hygienic rules
- - started production and provision of face reusable cotton masks especially for the children who have been left out of the campaign.
- we encourage our communities to undertake physical activities by providing them with prepared lifeskill sessions
- -we also run a book lending program amongst the school going age in a program dubbed 'My Home, My Library"
- to counter increased teenage parenting, We have hold regular teen talks with the teenagers

Goodgive: You have already received the first donation of 500 sustainable fabric masks from our customers. What are you doing with the masks and how can they help?

Ben: These masks will help us reach 500 people, especially the children, people living with disability and youth who do not have purchasing power to buy masks for themselves. This will help us in the fight against Corona by preventing the spread from one person to the other.
When giving out the masks, we will take the opportunity to discuss with the teenagers on Teenage parenting awareness and prevention. Sexual gender based violence, reproductive health, crime prevention and drugs and substance abuse prevention. We will also teach them on proper hygiene measures when washing hands and proper usage of masks.

Der richtige Gebrauch der Stoffmasken wird kommuniziert

Goodgive: If you look 5-10 years ahead. What changes do you want to see in Kibera?

Ben: We foresee that with the teen talks and the regular mentorship program, we will have a future generation that makes informed choices and that values and appreciate each other hence a peaceful and cohesive Kibera Community. We also foresee that our design school will impart skills to the youth who will create sustainability by creating jobs for other young people especially the women. We also forsee an empowered youth who will use the library to gain knowledge and open up their world.

Goodgive: You know we're using a 1+1 system. For every mask we sell, we donate one mask to your organization. What would you like to tell our customers, who are basically your donors?

Ben: We thank Goodgive for the partnership and all customers for their support. For every mask that you donate, we get an opportunity to speak to one young person on measures to protect themselves from Corona and also discuss other essential social topics that affects their lives

Goodgive: Thank you for the conversation and the great work you do on site.

Junge Menschen in Kibera mit Stoffmasken

If you want to donate directly to Amani Kibera, you can do so at church in action.


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