by Jackline Oyugi (ELP 2018) | Technical Administrator, Human Needs Project, Kenya
Can you imagine living in a home for 25 years or more without ever seeing running tap water in your home? Can you imagine walking five kilometers to fetch 10 Jerri cans of water for a family of eight people every day?What is life without a toilet and bathroom within your reach? How do you survive in a community with a public toilet ten minutes away from your house that can only be accessed during the day, with no night usage? My journey to do something for my community started in 2013 when my organization Human Needs Project was on a mission to build toilets and showers and provide clean water inside Kibera. Gatwekera, with a population of 150,000 people, is one of the 13 villages in Kibera. I am happy to be a pioneer of this project because this is what I always visioned, I feared taking my rich friends to see where I stay because we had no toilet and I had to go into my pocket to go buy expensive clean water for them to drink. I knew change starts with me and charity begins at home. We embarked on building a resilient state-of-the-art Kibera town centre to provide Basic , empowerment and transformational service
Why do we have the name “town centre”? We call it “town centre” because it is in the middle of Kibera, This whole story is to save time, energy, and money for a woman in Kibera called Emmy who has a lot of domestic chores; in the midst of her busy life, she lacks the time to empower and transform herself.
Right now many people like me are benefitting from the project through access to free fountain clean drinking water any time. she is able to wake up early in the morning, carry her8kilogram clothes to the washing machine and dryer at KTC, and leave them there to be washed. Meanwhile, she can use the washroom facility, then take a coffee at the state of the art cafeteria, stop by the Wi-Fi café and search for information on the internet or even use the K-hub as her office for taking online courses and doing online jobs, visit the SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization) and save some money or apply for a business and education loan, and end up at the ICT centre for classes for empowerment through education (e.g. Digital Literacy, Adult Education, Digital Marketing, Video and Music Production or even Financial Literacy). On her way to the laundry she can check on the green market and look for lighting and cooking eco-friendly products (e.g. solar lamp stand briquettes made of rice husks and ash) ,solar panels and improved cooking stoves, at the end pick up her dried and ironed clothes. She leave the town centre happy and satisfied because this are the futures centre we need in every city and I call on you to help Human needs project accomplish our vision of replicating this amazing town centre all over the world. Imagine a world with 1000 centre’s like this! How many Emmys life will we change by providing basic needs .water! proper sanitation! Education! Green environment! Every service you need is in a one-stop shop.