Before I departed Nairobi, I spend 2 hours in Kibera, Africa’s largest urban slum. While I was there, it was raining pretty hard. The streets, for lack of another name, flowed with mud and garbage. The smell is something I’ll never forget. It’s hard to believe that more than 2 million people live in these conditions. I hope my images will bring just a bit more exposure to the human tragedy that exists in Kibera. For me, it drives home just how blessed I am to be born in America and no matter how difficult life gets, it is nothing compared to what these people face day in and day out.
As described by Wikipedia, “Most of Kibera slum residents live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.00 per day. Unemployment rates are high. Persons living with HIV in the slum are many, as are AIDS cases. Cases of assault and rape are common. There are few schools, and most people cannot afford an education for their children. Clean water is scarce and therefore diseases caused by related poor hygiene are prevalent. A great majority of people living in the slum lack access to medical care.”
But, in spite of all that, in the short time I was there, I witnessed the human spirit. Children at the SEED school welcoming my wife and me to break bread. Many people having the entrepreneurial spirit to survive. I was reminded, in many ways, of Havana. Another place where people have close to nothing but manage to survive with great spirit and energy. I was deeply moved and saddened at the same time. Please share my images with as many people as you can. Perhaps, in some small way, they will give a bit more exposure to Kibera and, in turn, bring some much needed help and humanity to its people.