Crime and violence in the informal settlements of Kenya for so many years has become the norm. High levels of poverty have pushed large populations from these areas to engage in these activities for sustenance. This kind of life is passed on from one generation to the other at a very tender age. The young ones start out with petty crimes using small weapons as they keep on to “graduating” to high level. Ethnicity as in every part of Kenya is prevalent in the slums they are hotbeds of political instigated violence and tribalism.
Youths living in these settings have taken upon themselves to restore sanity an example is an initiative by a group of about 70 former gang members, volunteering to transform the people’s park in Korogocho a place that was famous for garbage, mugging and violence to an eco–friendly safe place for community use. The crime and violence in these areas has resulted to loss of loved ones, health and adverse economic impacts. Pain inflicted on the survivors of such has led them to becoming activists campaigning against the vices this has played a great role in rehabilitating the communities.
“I was inspired by the hole in the wall project where a computer with internet connection was put in a Delhi slum. When the slum was revisited after a month the children of that slum had learnt to use the worldwide web.” Sugata Mitra. These communities need all the support they could get to transform slums to safety. There is very limited recognition as well as support of these efforts from the government and relevant state agencies explaining why most of these activities are funded by non – governmental agencies or are based on volunteerism consequently their low lifespan.
“Slums are not always a problem slums can sometimes really be a solution.” Eduardo Poes.