From the beginning of its activity in 1999, Convivium Africa has always worked in order to carry out projects in areas of high social impact, in very difficult realities, with special attention to devoloping Countries.

Kibera Project

Convivium Africa’s sensibility for these countries heavy social problems focused its attention on a “twin program”  with the Kibera Primary School of Nairobi.
It was born with the aim of creating a cooperation between guys football teams , offering them  soccer uniforms and sportive implements; in July 2006, during a trip to Kenya, we understood that our action should have been deeper, in order to help these 2,500 children and their families.


THAT IS WHY WE MADE UP OUR MINDS TO FOLLOW THESE GREEDY OBJECTS:

  1. Building of a cooking centre for 2,500 children to allow the  preparation of meals under the respect of the hygienic rules;
  2. Building of bathrooms and lavatories for 2,500 children. At present, the students have no possibility to wash themselves in their huts, and the school is the only place where they can use toilets and  clean water; but the current structures are too old and badly equipped.

AND OTHERS, NOT LESS IMPORTANT BUT MORE EASY TO OBTAIN:

  1. Scholarships for 1 year for the Secondary School: if you let these guys  keep on studying, you avoid them to take the way of robbery, drugs and prostitution.  Annual cost per person: euros 500
  2. Buying complete school uniforms, including shoes:  cost per person euros 40,00.



kibera's friends

 

KaribuKenya

 

 

 

Volunteer Project

 

 

1st VOLUNTEER PROJECT – KENYA 20th July – 8th August 2017


A dream that came true…

 

There's no doubt...DNA is DNA...from the parents we also inherit the so-called "African bug". This pushed our two "small" daughters of 23 and 20 years old to ask us to organize a volunteer program in our "second homeland, Kenya.
For more than 30 years, Nairobi and its inhabitants have been welcoming us. In addition to our business travels (for cooperation or entrepreneurial development projects), there are also those with families of friends supporting our Kibera project (www.kiberasfriends.it). The common desire is to do something useful for children, supporting them since childhood and primary education in the Primary School, which is located in the the slum of Kibera.
Now it's time to leave our daughters going there alone with their friends. They brought at least two suitcases each, one for children in the school, full of clothes, shoes, school supplies and lots of toothpastes and toothbrushes.
The organization of this travel was not so simple, considering that for a common family in Rome giving up the idea of a relaxing beach-holiday for their daughters was pure madness...not to mention the general fear of terroristic attacks, vaccinations and African diseases.
However, once we arrived at the airport on 20th of July, the excitement of this adventure won over everybody.
After several hours of travel and a stopover in Paris, they landed in Nairobi safe and sound (including luggage!). A local woman, Christine, and our close friend and collaborator Leland (with wife and three beautiful girls) greeted them. The girls were taken to Keri Residence and the following day they started their work in Kwetu Home of Peace – Rehabilitation Centre (www.kwetuhome.org).

 

 

Kwuetu Home of Peace - Rehabilitation Centre

Nairobi, Kenya - 21/30 July 2017


This is how our volunteer experience in Kenya began. First day at Kwetu Home of Peace, a rehabilitation centre for street children. Teachers explained us the project: they are humble people who decided to voluntarily spend their life to help these children. Some of them attended this centre when they were children and faced the same problems, that’s why they feel so close to them.

The idea was to spend a whole week with these 19 children, giving them as much fun as possible, and teaching them how to use some board games left dusty on the shelves of the centre, just because no one had any idea how to use them. Monopoli, Chess, and so on. Common games for us, not at all for them. I had the task of teaching them the game of Monopoli, for which some children have literally lost their mind. Even just the idea of playing with money, their Kenyan shelling, excited them.

Everyday they spent hours playing and having fun with us in the classrooms in small groups; outside, in the garden, some of us taught them how to play hide-and-seek. The children were always enthusiastic and entertained, and gradually learned to play alone.
Our goal was just that: to teach them to know how to do everything independently, so that they could have fun even without us. This was undoubtedly the greatest result achieved and the greatest satisfaction.

Days passed and we became more and more close to all of them. There were some children who told us their sad stories, communicating with their eyes the desire to escape, to run away to a happier place, to have a normal family and to go to school, like all the other children in the world.

These children were taken from the streets of Nairobi, after being carefully observed by so-called “social walkers”. The latter follow them for months and identify the most problematic ones who spend a lot of time on the streets of the city and take them, with due permission of their parents, to the Centre of Kwetu (www.kwetuhome.org) . In total the children (from 6 to 12 years old) were 19. They stay in this centre for three months, then they are taken to the centre of Rhoi, together with other eighty children for two years. At the end of this rehabilitation process, the children are reintegrated into their families, who at the same time have undergone a process of re-education.
This is precisely the reason why children flee from their homes: their family. Most of them are beaten or mistreated by their parents, do not receive food or water and do not have a bed to sleep, thus being forced to flee from home and take refuge in the streets of Nairobi. There, they make friends with other children who are in the same condition, and with whom they will probably find themselves eating and sleeping shortly afterwards in the centre of Kwuetu.

The most touching moment, in my opinion, was the meeting with the psychologist. Once a week, children meet with a psychologist who helps them healing their traumas. Everything is done as a game, trying to put the children at ease. The game works like this: the psychologist gives an example of any bad experience that could have been lived by these children while they were at home, and anyone who has undergone any of these experiences must cross a line. This helps them bringing out sufferings and traumas they have experienced and share them with all the other children in the centre. At the end of this activity, they are asked to draw on a paper the memory of a good and bad experience they had at home with their family. In our case, everyone drew a bad memory.

When children tell you "I tried drugs when I was 6", you realize how much help they need...
When teachers tell you "every day providing them food is a nightmare", you realize that it would be enough even just 50 euros per month to allow them to have a real meal every day, and not just rice and beans, when it’s availble.

At the end of this experience, which lasted only one week, we learned a lot. Children taught us how important is smiling in all life circumstances. Children taught us appreciating little things you have. Teachers taught us how beautiful it is being able to read and write, learn and study.
I would recommend this experience to everyone and I would do it again, because it is never too late to learn something new and to give these children a small space in the heart of all of us.

 

African bug is not a legend!

 

by Agnese Ippolito

 

 

 

Maximum Security Prison - Naivasha

 

On 22nd July 2017 in Nairobi we were unexpectedly given the opportunity to visit the maximum security prison in Naivasha with a group of young people from the University of Strathmore.
It was undoubtedly a great opportunity, because nobody can visit this prison. We had the opportunity to spend a unique day full of emotions.
About three hours from the Kenyan capital there is the poor village of Naivasha, famous for the Safari in search of hippos and crocodiles. In Naivasha there is the male maximum security prison.
None of us had ever visited a prison... we were all very excited and at the same time curious, but also a little bit scared.
Once we arrived at the prison, the project coordinators explained to us what we could do and what we absolutely could not: no photos, telephones, backpacks, watches. Nothing. "The mood of prisoners can be extremely dangerous”, they told us.
Once we entered the prison, we saw hundreds of men in blue and white striped uniforms around us. Prisoners are about 8.0000 ... some with handcuffs, others lying on the lawn reading a book or talking, others carrying heavy loads. Everyone was looking at us.
After visiting the outside of the cells, we went to the prison library, where we were explained the program of rehabilitation of prisoners. The idea is to make them continue studying through different exams. Some of them, during their normal life outside the bars, were teachers and therefore they should continue to do it also inside the prison. None of them should lose what they worked or studied for in their past life.
After hearing various testimonies, we met some of them, all very polite and apparently quiet. Of course, none of us had ever talked with a murderer or a prisoner, but sometimes life puts you in front of new experiences.
There were those who told us that they had killed their wife "by mistake" and those who regretted what they had done with sad eyes. First of all, they are people and before committing any crime for any reason whatsoever they spent a normal life. But then justice has done its duty.
A day full of emotions, tears, fears and amazement. Charged with this new experience, we returned to Nairobi aware that we had experienced something unique, which even in Italy would be difficult to achieve: visiting a maximum security prison and meeting prisoners.

 

Gallery

 

 

The Strathmore Prison Education Program

 

The University established the Community Service Centre (CSC) to help achieve its mission of being of service to society.

Through the CSC office, Strathmore has supported various educational and social projects in different parts of Kenya. With the education and empowerment of the youth as a primary focus, CSC has been successfully involved projects involving Secondary Schools especially Community Schools. These projects have been carried out in partnership with local companies, foreign NGOs and schools in Europe.

Through a private individual donation, we have been able to establish the Prisons Education Fund that has helped to build a partnership between the University and the Prison Community. Over the last 12 years, Strathmore has been training prisoners in accountancy in order to improve correctional education opportunities with the larger goal of reintegrating prisoners into the society. Below is an update of the Prisons Educational Program.

 

Naivasha Prison

We have been working with them for the past 12 years and we have managed to create a lasting relationship. Every year, Naivasha registers at least 8 students to sit for CPA exams (Certified Public Accountant). In conjunction with our Distance Learning Centre, we have been able to provide learning material for the inmates at Naivasha Prison.

 

The KS Bhari Cup

Established in 2012, the Bhari Cup has become a tradition in all our visits to Naivasha Maximum Prison. This a football tournament that is held every year in August. In 2014, we increased the number of participating teams to 4. The teams are now as follows:

  • Prisons Team
  • Naivasha Staff Team
  • CSC- Strathmore Football Team
  • Ex-Convicts Football Team

 

Thus far, the Prisons team has won the tournament for two successive seasons. The intensity and passion related to the tournament resulted in us purchasing balls for Naivasha Prison. We managed to purchase 7 foot balls, 2 hand balls and 2 volley balls. This followed a request from other inmates who took up other sports such as volleyball and handball.

 

Donation of Computers

In 2014 we managed to get a donation of 17 computers from the university, which we donated to the Prisons Computer room. We bought Random Access Memories for the computers, so that they could be used. This has greatly increased the opportunity for inmates to improve on their computer skills.

 

Working with other prisons

In 2014 we expanded the program to Nairobi West Prison and Langata Women’s Prison. Nairobi West Prison were more excited about the program we ended up registering 3 (2 inmates and 1 warden) to start studying CPA. The enrolled students successfully sat for their exams in June 2014 and passed all their papers.

 

 

Kong 'Otik Village - Bomet County

 

 

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