Hi familia, Hi friends, Dear Blisce, Dear EPIC, Dear partners,
This year, thanks to EPIC foundation, the adventure keeps going for the third consecutive year with a 3-week mission to Kenya at Carolina for Kibera, an exceptional NGO located in the heart of one of Nairobi’s largest slums. I am delighted because Marine, my sister will be part of the adventure!
Carolina for Kibera ‘s mission is to bring out the next generation of local leaders and reduce poverty in Kibera neighborhoods through a sustainable and holistic approach. This approach is divided into 4 programs: Health, Youth, Entrepreneurship and Sport. Marine will be responsible for reorganizing the inventory & patient journey within the hospital.
For my part, I will be in charge of a qualitative impact study through interviews that I will carry out by going on the ground to meet the beneficiaries.
Every evening, we plan to meet local leaders & decision-makers. If you know successfull entrepreneurs, changemakers (@Cyrielle, thanks for the expression :-)), local leaders, ambassadors and social organizations, we would love to meet them! Do not hesitate to give us some complementary intros 🙂
We will keep you in the loop about this adventure in the coming weeks!
Thank you all and enjoy your holidays!
Marine & Roman
Ps: I had fun mapping the different nationalities of each of you. This short newsletter will be sent to 18 different countries and 5 continents! 🙂
Hi Familia, Friends, Blisce, EPIC and Partners,
We arrived at 6:20 am in Nairobi last Monday after a stopover in Dubai. We headed to the Siteki family’s place (our host family) for a quick shower and few minutes to leave our bags.
Then, direction Carolina for Kibera for the beginning of an exciting mission! Warm welcome from all CFK staff who started with a tour of the facilities such as the clinic, the nutrition center and the care center. I guarantee you that it is a total immersion! 🙂
#Qualitative impact assessment
In order to showcase their impact, Carolina for Kibera wants to set up a panel of supports to develop and strengthen their engagement & interactions with their donors and sponsors. To do that, they charged me to meet their beneficiaries on the ground and to collect their testimonials.
This week, we moved to schools, clinics and to people’s homes to conduct our first interviews in the slum of Kibera!
We quickly went to the most remote corners of Kibera accompanied by CFK and local leaders. Without them, I would have been lost 15X! 🙂 Kibera is one of the largest slums in Africa, located in the south of Nairobi. It is 1.2 million people from 42 different tribes distributed in 14 villages.
The health program is an important pillar of CFK. They created an affordable clinic in the middle of the slum.
There is a real desire to provide a qualitative health service close to people. It’s amazing how the entire healthcare team is involved to support the locals with very limited supplies! Their activities varies from vaccination, malnutrition, HIV treatment, breast cancer screening, first aid …
Marine is spending most of her time at the pharmacy, working on stock optimizations. One of their major challenges is the treatment of HIV patients and TB. This will be the next discussion next week! To be continued… 🙂
#Siteki Host Family
We have been welcomed as kings by the Siteki family located the heart of Kibera. 🙂 Tabitha, our host, serial entrepreneur and mother of 5, welcomed us as her children. Her career is captivating! Having lost her husband 20 years ago with 5 children and a mortgage, she set up 4 businesses in the retail and catering industry that allowed her to send two of her children to the US. If she does not see us coming back at night, she is the first one to worry! 🙂 Although the electricity cuts and the shower looks like a big faucet, we eat like princes. Great atmosphere, a lot of fun with her children who have a few more years and long intercultural exchanges at night!
#Operation of Kenyan schools
The operation of schools is interesting because there are 3 types of school:
- + Informal Private schools: they do not meet the criteria for receiving public school grants, teaching quality is low and equipments are almost non-existent. These are the cheapest (around $ 30 for the year) and they often include a meal for children
- ++ Public schools: the level of education is rather good, the state subsidizes a part of the school budget but the families must still buy books, equipment, meals, uniforms … by themselves. High barrier to entry for low income families
- +++ Registered Private school: Elite school, these are obviously those that cost the most and are reserved for the high class Kenyan society
=> It is quite surprising to note that private education covers the two extremes: the poorest and the richest. We talk a lot about equal opportunities, here in Kenya it’s very concrete. All students pass the same exams. For example, during a practical physic exam requiring the use of measuring equipment. Almost all students from informal schools will use it for the first time on the day of the exam! 🙂 Obvious barrier to entry!
#The heart touching testimony of Faith 17 years old – student and mother
Last Thursday, departure with Marine at 5:30 in the morning, to meet Faith. After a 20-minute walk between the barracks, Faith welcomed us into a 12m2 tiny house made of metal sheets in which her family was crammed. With confidence, Faith described her pregnancy discovered after 7 months, the refusal of the father, the rejection of her family and friends, the death of one of the 2 twin babies and her desire to commit suicide.
She followed up on her meeting with the CFK team, who gave her confidence, allowed her to return to school by supporting her with the tuition fees and, most important, she learned to say NO. What struck me was that she took me aside before leaving and she asked if I could help her to get sanitary towels. As a class delegate, this was a recurring issue. Her only request was not even for her but for her classmates …
This weekend, we are relaxing on the beaches of Diana and Mombasa! Important to enjoy the beautiful Kenyan landscapes! 🙂
Have a great day and enjoy your holidays,
See you soon!
Marine and Romain
Hi la Familia, Friends, Blisce, EPIC and Partners,
Here are some fresh news! Our missions are progressing well, Marine spends most of her time at the clinic. The team is always so friendly and dedicated 🙂 The project on the stock optimization is moving forward. The supply of medicines is now reorganized and stocks of antiretroviral drugs are being improved from paper to electronics. The tool will also track expiration dates and inventory status in real time. That is great !
For my part, I spent most of the week on the ground finalizing the collection of impact stories from young CFK beneficiaries. From a 1st football league club, to construction sites, to Webdesign …, we met many young people full of dreams and hope with a point in common: give back to their community once they will have succeeded.
A nice relationship with Kennedy, program coordinator and protector 🙂 , developed itself. No worries about safety during our multiple trips. He knows everyone! 🙂 Exciting, intense and full of discoveries!
Following the challenge launched by Nicola on Kibera’s organization, here is an overview of the 3 main questions we asked ourselves once there:
How is the Kibera slum organized?
As Kibera is considered a sensitive area, the government is closely following it. The Ministry of Interior has commissioned district officers who are responsible for insuring security and representing the government. Every day at 5pm, they report about the situation to the government. Military cap screwed on the head and a khaki uniform, we obtained a meeting with one of Kibera’s DO. Responsible for an area of 500k people, everything passes through him whether it’s a passport application, a university loan, a rape, a theft… In order to be closer to the inhabitants, committees of 10-15 local leaders are organized on major themes such as peace, security, and development. In order to gather a maximum, selection criteria such as tribal affiliation, sex and reputation are defined even if everyone tends to favor his own tribe over another.
Why few large-scale actions tend to offer an alternative to the Kibera slum?
The 43 tribes present in Kenya keep their importance especially during the elections. The political class emphasizes this feeling of belonging in order to build a solid base of voters. Many promises are made and few are kept … Nevertheless, the previous prime minister from the Luo tribe pushed an initiative to provide decent and affordable housing to the people of Kibera (Luo dominance). The initiative has quickly fallen into oblivion … The slum of Kibera is a juicy business! The 1.2 million inhabitants live for the majority of small businesses paying taxes at the rate of $ 0.2 per working day. In addition, businessmen grabbed the land a few dozen years ago and rent it to the inhabitants of Kibera. Some have even made a deal with the political class to stay with impunity. No interest in changing habits that pay! 🙂
Why do people spend time greeting each other?
Located in Kibera, our everyday challenge is to order taxis. Most taxis do not want to pick us up or are almost more stressed than we are to drop us off in the evening. Many stories of ambush … In contrast, when we walk in the slum of Kibera with our host family or the staff of Carolina for Kibera, we meet warm people smiling all the time. After many exchanges, we understood that security is a shared responsibility. Everyone watches over each other. Your level of security is strongly correlated with your level of integration and your acquaintances. This is one of the reasons why people spend so much time greeting each other. It is the law of the street, a thief has more chances to stay alive if he is getting caught by the police. A few months ago, a young guy died because of a car radio theft.
Every day, we organized a meeting with a local leader to better understand the Kenyan culture and its stakes. Between successful entrepreneurs, real estate magnates, automotive manufacturers, famous fashion designers, NGOs …, one of the most striking was our meeting with Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, the most important private company in the country. As part of his fight against corruption that plagues the country, we discussed about the importance of transparency. In order to empower the new generations, Bob is one of the few Kenyan CEOs to publish his income and net assets.
A preview video of Immaculate! Inhabited since she was a little girl in Kibera, she was able to benefit from the CFK program that allowed her to get a full time job as a Webdesigner.
What emerges from all these interviews is the importance of mentorship, which must go hand in hand with a financial boost. Many young people need examples, success stories and to understand that they can succeed too!
Nice coincidence, we are in the middle of the migration season between Kenya and Tanzania at the Masai Mara Park. Exceptional safari, we were surrounded by hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra! Unforgettable!
Have a great day,
Marine & Roman
Hi Familia, Friends, Blisce, EPIC, K35 and Partners,
Time is flying! 🙂 This week was particularly intense with: Marine finalizing her inventory tracking tool while ensuring that the team of pharmacists could use the tool by their own. On my side, I focused on editing and finalizing the videos as part of the qualitative impact study. Teamwork in a friendly atmosphere and full of humor. 🙂
#Mission 1: Qualitative Impact Assessment – Impact Stories
Nowadays, donors and sponsors are no longer just signing checks, they are more and more looking to interact, to understand the reality on the ground and to measure the impact of their donations. My mission was to make 6 videos which represented each of their programs. Like a journalist for a period of 3 weeks :-), we set up an agenda which was particularly intense with one video captured, edited and finalized every two days. Exciting and complete experience going through early morning awakenings for specific video shots, the settings of exposure levels, the sound recordings … To take control of the software and its multiple setting options, the Youtube tutorials were my best friends the 1st week. 🙂
Now, CFK has 6 videos highlighting their work. We find the story of:
Faith, a 14-year-old teenage mother who was left alone with her baby and was able to return to school thanks to CFK’s Girls Empowerment program
Peter, a young man without dreams or hope, who will now become a civil engineer thanks to CFK’s Youth Empowerment program and who wishes to participate in the reconstruction of Kibera
Belinda, a young footballer who was recruited by a national club as a professional after joining in CFK’s women’s football team
Celestine, a pregnant woman who was bleeding during her pregnancy and who could not afford treatments but was supported by CFK’s Primary Helthcare program
Immaculate, a brilliant young student from a large family who became a webdesigner / coder through the Youth Empowerment program
#Mission 2: Tabitah clinic – Stock optimization & Monitoring
Currently, one of the essential advantage of Tabitah Clinic is to be built in the heart of the slum (no access by car or two wheels!). The clinic is thus closer to its patients and their health problems. Although the healthcare services are good and affordable, the inventory management was a main and recurring issue for the pharmacy, given the large flow of patients. Marine has focused on identifying the entire supply of drugs, listing and optimizing the location of each available drug.
On the other hand, HIV being one of the most prevalent pathologies in the country, this disease has been identified as a public health issue. The government funds and provides treatments to the clinic. The challenge for pharmacists is that the monitoring of these treatments is not integrated into the software used by the pharmacy. The monthly reporting requested by the health authorities were requiring up to two days of work per month … To improve this, Marine has created a tool to manage the input / output / balance of the stock in real time, and to follow the expiry dates of the drugs. Pharmacists will now move from two days of work to just a few clicks to print the reports. Here is a small overview!
#Retour of exerience & Farewell
This Friday afternoon, we proceeded to the restitution of our respective missions in front of all the staff of CFK! Successful missions, our deliverables were delivered on time and the staff was delighted! A superb surprise awaited us … We both received a traditional outfit accompanied by a farewell with everybody!
Regarding the internal Ambiance, I let you discover in video the staff of CFK 🙂 (mainly second part of the video)
#Just a though
After 3 weeks in the heart of the Kibera slum, we notice that Kenya is one of the many capitalist countries in which inequality continues to grow. Working in finance, we can ask ourselves the following question: capitalism, the economic model of tomorrow? After reflection, I am convinced that capitalism is a good system but that some of its outlines have been lost over time. The first challenge is that the financial world became more and more sophisticated and complex with the arrival of many products such as options, derivatives, … that have sometimes tended to take away responsabilities and move away shareholders from the realities of a company. While shareholders are supposed to be the guarantors of the durability and long-term vision of the latter, we sometimes find ourselves in incredible situations where shareholders change after 6 months, valuations make the roller coaster on the basis of speculations, CEOs who change every year … The second challenge is the arrival of new generations that Alexander likes to call the Millennials 🙂 who are looking for purpose. The attraction of talents and especially the retention of them is the main concern of any company. I am convinced that future success stories that will mark the next 10 years will be companies, shareholders and management teams that will not only develop disruptive value propositions, but also innovate in the structure itself of their companies in order to recreate an alignment of interests, values, responsibilities shared by shareholders, managers and employees. We could talk about responsible capitalism. The action of EPIC is a great first step that is clearly going into this direction with the implementation of solutions such as the sharing pledge, the gift on payroll or the gift on transactions. Here is more information about these different approaches developed by EPIC: LINK
A big thank you to Alexandre, Nicola, Charles-Henri and Elisa for supporting this experience with Marine!!!
See you soon,
Marine & Romain