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Culture in slums is empowerment - building the Kibera Creative Arts Center

A project from Creative Connection for Communities e.V.
in Nairobi, Kenya

Kibera is more than poverty, but also talent, kindness, solidarity – and huge potential. Help us nourish it and bring together more young people in the new "Kibera Creative Arts Center" building, united in the the joy of music, arts, and creativity.

Monika Herold
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About this project

KIBERA is one of the world's largest slums in Nairobi, Kenya. People here live with immediate existential hardships which often lead to personal vicious circles of hopelessness and struggle.

THE COMMUNITY BASED ORGANISATION "KIBERA CREATIVE ARTS" (KiCA www.kiberacreativearts.org) provides a platform for children, adolescents and young adults, to 
  • develop their talents in arts and crafts, poetry, music, painting, dance, drama and comedy
  • gain self-confidence
  • learn self-expression as a fulfilling strategy in opposition to crime and drug abuse, and even 
  • develop a source of income, e.g. selling self-designed bracelets as an alternative to prostitution for food
Some of the talents have become successful professionals, not least because of the possibilities of a recording studio, provided by dedicated Spanish donors. Here, artists change the slum's narrative into one of love, creativity, talent – and huge potential!

THE NEED. Demand is constantly growing, while the existing rented spaces (rehearsal hall, office, studio - in different places) and schedules with their multifunctional occupancies are bursting at the seams (studio: productions + lessons + indiv. practise : never enough time : only one room hardly containing a whole band / rehearsal hall: space for too few participants, scheduling conflicts with other tenants, rel. high rent). Many young talents cannot benefit from the support of the very dedicated mentors and have to be sent away disappointed. To sustain their non-profit themselves, the organizers have founded the business enterprise "Made in Kibera". Nevertheless, exacerbated even more by the corona pandemic, this income is still insufficient to cover all the costs of KiCA's charitable work and allow the much-needed expansion. 

Therefore, KiCA and Germany-based "CREATIVE CONNECTION FOR COMMUNITIES e.V." (Crecoco.org) would like TO BUILD THE „KIBERA CREATIVE ARTS CENTER“ to 
  • unite all activities of KiCA under one roof, 
  • have more space and time for the needs of a growing community, undisturbed artistic work and for
  • opening up artistic income sources for more people. Furthermore to 
  • save rent and spent the money saved on the actual charitable work and thus become self-sustainable.
THIS CROWDFUNDING IS THE FIRST OF 2 PHASES. We are now collecting to purchase about 20 huts which will be the space to build on. In informal settlements like Kibera, relocation for new buildings is common and necessary. KiCA, too, has already had to relocate. The current residents will be given enough time to move out. We will then set up another crowdfunding (phase 2) for the actual building, the amount of which will depend on the donations gathered in the meantime, the income received by the local people on site and the then current prices of our construction partners (currently two are on the shortlist).