Map Kibera Trust on a map distribution drive in Kibera Slums

by: December 3rd, 2012 comments: 0

Having been the first organization to put the entire Kibera slums on the world map, Map Kibera Trust; an organization that seeks to be a hub where access to open information contributes to positive community transformation was on the road again to ensure that the maps that were produced reached the community which in-turn would put them to use.

To achieve this, the program coordinators met for the preparation of distributing the maps; there intention of meeting was to bring the attention of the three programs on how they will be working together towards achieving the objective of the exercise and to come up with relevant locations for maps distribution. It was there that they agreed that members from the 3 programs; Mapping, Voice of Kibera and Kibera News Network were to go to the field to distribute the maps which had been developed based on themes. Maps on Education, Security and Health are the themes that were distributed.


The aim of the exercise was to give back to the community through the high quality printed maps that contain the informational that came from them during the first phase of the mapping exercise.

Villages covered.

For the 2 days that we were in the field, we were able to cover all the 13 villages; Gatwikera, Raila, Olympic, Soweto west&east, Kianda, Kambi muru, Kisumu ndogo, Lindi, Mashimoni, Makina, Silanga, and Laini Saba.   

Positive Feedback From the Field.

As we visited different places, we collected feedback from the people we found so that we could ascertain how the maps will be put to good used.

  1. The local administration appreciated our work and accepted to be interviewed i.e. Sarang’ombe and Laina Saba ward chiefs.
  2. Most of the institutions accepted to use the map for positive transfiguration most of the institution wanted more than one map so they can use it for informational purposes as well as Education especially the Schools we visited.
  3. We even had a chance to meet with D.O 1 (District Commissioner) who had a compliment for us saying that our map was outstanding compared to the one they had before.
  4. For those who were not able to access our maps online were able to access them on hard-copy something that was important for us since it was now realized.
  5. We ensured equal distribution of maps in at least all villages in Kibera.

Some of the Challenges.

Though most of the places we went to were very receptive, we experienced some hostility in a few areas where we were thought to be a different group out to just take advantage of the situations in Kibera by walking around to talk to people as we take photos to go and sell. After a few minutes of sharing our intentions with them, they understood us and we gave out the maps, something they congratulated us for showing a good example to organizations by sharing the findings of the work done with the community. We also found some schools that were to get maps already closed for holiday which means we will have to give them the maps when they resume school.


In general, the exercise was a success only for the schools that had already closed. Going forward, we need to print big and more visible maps a suggestion that came from one of the places we visited.

We hope that the maps distributed will not only be put to good use but also help Map Kibera Trust bond more with the community so that even as we get ready to cover the vents before, during and after the elections, we can work together to achieve optimum results and that Kibera and the other slums we are currently working with (Mathare and Mukuru) will never be the same again.

and if you’re curious, a little more detailed Report

and a video documentary by KNN

Meet the Voice of Kibera Editorial Board!

by: July 18th, 2010 comments: 0

The Voice of Kibera Editorial Team (left to right) Jamie Lundine, Josphat Keya, Erica Hagen, Melissa Tully, Sande Wycliffe, Fredrick Bary, Jeremy Omondi, (front) Douglas Nmale

The Voice of Kibera Editorial Board Team (left to right) Jamie Lundine, Josphat Keya, Erica Hagen, Melissa Tully, Sande Wycliffe, Fredrick Bary, Jeremy Omondi, (front) Douglas Namale

In April 2010, we held the first Voice of Kibera workshop. The overall goal was to introduce the Voice of Kibera platform to community members. We wanted to understand how the website and SMS reporting tool could benefit the local community. We also hoped to recruit some local talent to participate in the effort to create online content by and for the residents of Kibera.

We met our goal! The workshop was a success! One of the most fabulous ideas to come out of the workshop was the suggestion of creating an Editorial Board that would be responsible for site administration, including verifying incoming messages. The Board members would also act as SMS reporters within their community, sending in messages to let Kibera and the world know what’s happening around them.

So, since May 2010, Erica, Melissa and I (the Voice of Kibera technical advisers) have been working closely with the Voice of Kibera Editorial Board.

Douglas Namale - photo credit Josh Goldstein

Douglas Namale

Douglas is a journalist, an editor at the Kibera Journal and a mapper with Map Kibera. He is interested in information communication technology (ICT) and is an advocate for ICT literacy, particularly among the youth. Douglas first heard about the Voice of Kibera project through his involvement with Map Kibera. Douglas says he was immediately supportive of the idea, as ” it was simply fulfilling my aspiration of being a voice of the community through citizen journalism. This is particularly important to Douglas because he says he wants “the community [to] tell their story themselves [rather] than waiting for the main stream media to talk about it, which in some cases is biased or exaggerated.” As a pioneer of community journalism in Kibera, Douglas saw Voice of Kibera as a project “worth participating in” – specifically to increase awareness of the ICT tools and citizen journal to more people in his community. When not working hard on his many community activities, Douglas enjoys adventures. He tells us that his favourite food is matoke (a traditional Kenyan dish of boiled plantain).

Sande Wycliffe photo by Erica Hagen

Sande Wycliffe

“I am a go getter! If you stand in my way, I don’t worry because you will never ever deny me the opportunity to get what I want.”

Sande is a community leader who is motivated to see “a more positively transformed Kibera [in terms] of, infrastructure, information and knowledge exchange and above all unity of purpose for [the] people [of Kibera].” Sande hopes that he can work together with other community leaders to achieve change. His involvement in Voice of Kibera began after he attended a presentation on the project at a Global Giving workshop earlier this year. Sande says he was eagar to learn more about the Ushahidi platform – upon which the Voice of Kibera site is built -  to use it, made me have a feel of getting involved for In the back of his mind, Sande says “I saw it to be a super nice platform for information dissemination – it acts as an online media tool for Kibera and its people.” Sande notes that the project is already beginning to provide the world with tangible proof of what happens in Kibera, as opposed to media propaganda that the people of Kibera have always seen.

Fredrick Bary photo by Erica HagenFredrick Bary

Fredrick  is a member of a community youth group and is involved in environmental issues, such as tree planting, community clean ups.  He is also a peer HIV/AIDS educator, which includes encouraging youth to be more creative in how they spend their time; he spreads the message “invest in [your] time and [don’t just] spend it.”  Fredrick hopes that his peers will get involved in youth programmes as a way of empowering themselves through engaging in differen activities that allow them to affect positive change within the community – just as Fredrick has done himself.  Fredrick’s involvement with Voice of Kibera began when he learned about the project through a friend. When asked why he’s involved in the project, Fredrick says “more often people associate Kibera [with] violence and all sorts of negativity, giving the world at large a negative mentality toward Kibera. [I’m thankful for] the Voice of Kibera because it gives out the true image of Kibera, highlighting [the community’s] grievances as well as their views in all areas of life; it’s through Voice of Kibera that one gets precise, reliable and up to date happenings within Kibera without exaggeration as some media houses do. I feel great when I give out the truth regarding Kibera.”

Josphat Keya photo by Erica HagenJosphat Keya

Josphat is currently the Program Coordinator at the Hot Sun Foundation, a charitable trust based in Kibera. As Program Coordinator, Josphat plans events and coordinates the day to day operations at Hot Sun, an organisation that empowers youth through media and arts. He is also involved in collecting community stories through Kibera TV, which is how he heard of the Voice of Kibera project. Josphat states however that his involvement with the project is more than just as a representative of Hot Sun Foundation. He says he is also “representing the voice of some youths in my community.” He goes on to say that “As the name states, Voice of Kibera is literally…a voice for the people of Kibera – a voice [through] which they can tell what it is happening around them.” He says “I feel privileged to be part of this initiative.” Outside of his work, Josphat loves doing research. He says “I love going deep into issues that people tend to shy away from, not to just know what it is that is making them to shy away but to understand the reasons behind it – you never know maybe I can help.” But the thing Josphat loves doing the most is “interacting with people, socializing or simply making new friends. I see this as a powerful tool in bringing people together and learning what you had not known before about a particular people; in doing this you end up appreciating the people you meet.”

Jeremy Omondi photo by Erica HagenGerry Omondi

Gerry has training in Community Based Project Planning & Management and is the deputy administrator with a women’s organisation called Mchanganyiko. His responsibilities with the group include planning and managing the expansion the group’s programmes and resources. He is also involved in strategizing on how the community can benefit from Mchanganyiko’s activities. As part of the organization’s policy, Gerry ensures that the networks Mchanganyiko builds benefit not only the organization, but also the community at large. Gerry says he enjoys the challenging work. He is a coordinator of TEDx Kibera. During a TEDx Kibera presentation, Gerry learned about Map Kibera – the digital mapping project in his community. Gerry says he “ immediately grasped its importance.” Since that time, Gerry says “Map Kibera has steadily emerg[ed] as a powerful tool for not just locating place, but also for influencing the social, political & economic spheres in Kibera and beyond.” Gerry was intrigued by the project and felt that that it was his “call is to be a development ambassador [which is] something I find in common with the rest of the Voice of Kibera team.” He says “connectivity is the overriding fuel [behind my work] and this revolutionary platform is where to be!” Gerry takes his work seriously, but is a compassionate person who understands that empathy, rather than sympathy will allow him to engage with others in his community. Gerry admits he’s a night owl and can often be found watching his favourite football team – Arsenal FC.

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