Looking forward to 2022
For us, like so many, 2021 has brought its challenges but in reflecting on the past twelve months, there are some significant things to celebrate and be thankful for too. As always, our initiatives are dependent on our amazing energetic clever partners in the local community in Kibera without whom, none of our projects would have progressed. We remain incredibly grateful for their love and dedication towards improving the lives of people in their community.
The Umoja team (a self-help group of local traders) has distributed food parcels to some of the neediest and most hard-to-reach people in the slum every week without fail. Buying food in bulk, transporting it to (often) remote parts of the slum, and organising distribution is no small task, and each week around 90 families have been reached including those who have suffered loss as a result of two separate fires and a flood. That's over 4,500 families.
At the end of 2020, we were able to purchase a piece of land in the slum to build a much-needed public washroom (showers and latrines). Over the past year, despite the challenges of the pandemic and some local opposition work on the building has progressed at a steady pace and is now nearing completion. Driven by our local Micro Business Development committee and our excellent foreman and project manager, we're anticipating opening the washrooms very early in 2022.
In response to the Covid pandemic, our Micro Business Development committee paused the recovery of micro-enterprise loans given to small businesses in 2020, until the local economy began to pick up again. Over the past year, loan repayments have begun again and 80% of the funds have been paid back with 50% of beneficiaries having now completely repaid their loans.
Emerging from the Kibera Saints football club, our drug awareness and restoration team have continued to operate a twelve-step narcotics recovery programme over the past year for small groups of young people some of which consider it the only family they have. In addition to this, the team has gained the respect of a number of local state schools, who have invited them to lead lessons as a part of their curriculum. As 2021 comes to a close, they have been delivering lessons on a weekly basis in five local high schools, where drug abuse amongst teenagers is disturbingly high.
As 2022 approaches so the need continues. As we learn to live in a Covid world, our aim is to continue to support sustainable projects that will go some way to improve the lives of the Kibera community. We will continue to provide food relief as far as we can to those in greatest need, we will encourage and support small businesses to help people improve their standards of living. Our washroom will be open to improve access to sanitation, where there is little or none, and we will develop a daycare service for babies and toddlers that will enable their parents to work to earn a living. We will continue to address the issues of drug abuse amongst young people through mentoring, addiction restoration programmes and schools work.
We are so grateful to our UK supporters and we will continue to support, resource, and encourage our local Kenyan volunteer partners, without all of whom, none of this would be remotely possible.