Years ago I let my imagination run wild and drew a meeting center like I could imagine on the property of our partner school KYS: an open meeting room that leads into the courtyard/garden with a kitchen in the back, group rooms for young people and a few single rooms for international visitors who want to be actively involved and enjoy life here in the Kangemi Slum. Open days, a cafe with artistic events, cooking classes and much more would gradually transform this place into an IN-location that you “must” visit, where you go on the weekend to celebrate life with people of all kinds inspired and encouraged, a new and open community lives.

And now this dream could come true, although not on the KYS but on our own small plot of land in the Kangemi Slum, which is made available to us by the Kangemi Neighborhood Association (KANN). What a surprise. Please read below how this came about.

Over Easter, five Nyendo students from Prien visited Kangemi Slum and, in consultation with their student company, decided to use the proceeds saved to build a mini youth hostel at KYS. Two expanded containers, showers and toilets would cost around €25,000.

Through me they met – and fell in love with – Jerusa Muthoni, Maggie for short, who organized a 4-day safari to the Masai with them. How fortunate that we were able to win her over as “Nyendo Partnership Coordinator” for the further planning and implementation of the hostel project.

Together with Diana, Maggie – see blog post with her portrait – now runs our Nyendo Office Nairobi, well connected with our partner NairoBits, whose CEO, Magdalena Mwanjugu, visited our young people in Germany and at our retreat in February this year. As expected, she was enthusiastic about us and our work. She hired Maggie for us through NairoBits in order to be able to support her and the project better. One thing fits into the other in a wonderful way and our Nyendo partnership becomes more competent and powerful. What a blessing.

After the construction of the hostel at KYS was not possible, Maggie found a solution on her own initiative through the area chief Mr. Rufus Mwangi in Kangemi. To everyone’s surprise, we are given ¼ acre of land in the slum – free of charge. It is easily accessible and completely safe due to its proximity to the Chiefs Office and the police station and there are even large trees on the property – how nice! What is sobering, however, is that development costs amount to around €8,000. Our lawyer is still checking the legal circumstances.

A Nyendo Hub in Kangemi Slum – too good to be true? Who would have thought something like this was possible when I was the first white person in this slum in 2005 and visited the KYS.

Irmgard Wutte