Silanga Sport Field
In 2007, Kilimanjaro Initiative embarked on the upgrading of a sports field in Silanga, Kibera. The objective was to engage disenfranchised youth living in the area, and to encourage the community to use the field for sporting and cultural activities.
Prior to KI’s intervention, the field was known as a hot spot for criminal activity, including muggings, rape, and murder. One community leader told us “One would not think about walking across the field and talk on their mobile phone. It was quite certain you would not reach the other side with it.”
In consultation with the community, KI has to date sponsored and facilitated 3 separate upgrades/stages of development:
Some innovative solutions were implemented during the upgrading phases. As a radical example, during the 2009 upgrade, KI members of staff (many living in the area) came up with the idea of approaching the gang that carried out many of the crimes on the field and suggested they be hired as part of the work force. They agreed. Felix Oduor, KI Project Supervisor and Kibera resident, said “They were somewhat shocked by the fact that someone cared about their well being. During the upgrade, not a tool went missing.” The gang soon-after reformed into a ‘youth group’ and have gone on to set up a vegetable growing plot next to the field, as a way to generate income.
KI puts emphasis on community involvement and participation - at all stages - seeing this as paramount to the successful implementation of the Silanga Sport Field Project.