Haba na Haba is a new Kenyan youth initiative that inspires and skills young people for a positive future. Thanks to funds raised by Palms Australia supporters in 2017, volunteer Heather Henderson has been working to help this grass-roots organisation build a positive future for rural youth in Kenya. Heather has shared an update on their progress from their headquarters in Mukuru kwa Ruben, Nairobi.
Haba na Haba (Little by Little) really has been the case as I have endeavoured to getting this group established in an office and letting the real work begin.
Nothing happens quickly in Kenya. Not even the elections. On the 28th of November 2017, President Uhuru finally had his inauguration. Very sadly, leading up to this moment, many lives were lost, people were hurt and businesses were destroyed, all in the name of Tribalism. The story behind this election is multi-layered and complicated, yet in some ways simple, depending on where you are viewing it from. The 2017 election has had a huge impact on every Kenyan and also the progress of Haba na Haba. I am happy to say that today we paint the office and begin decorating to make it the shared home of Haba na Haba and Land Mawe. So, how did we get here?
In October, we were displaying Re-usable Sanitary Towels, Handmade Shoes and some locally made Jewellery at a function in Mukuru kwa Ruben (a slum district in Nairobi). At the end of the day, two young men approached us with amazement at our display, showing great interest in our projects. They were from Mukuru Kyaba, another informal settlement within the Mukuru community. It came to pass that they understood that Haba na Haba were looking for an office. They welcomed us with open arms – to their community and to share their office – free of charge. The request was for us to share the knowledge we have of our projects and help them build capacity in their community.
So, today is the day where we lay the paint and seal the deal. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been discussed and is in the process of being written for signatures all round. On Saturday we will be sharing mbuzu (goat meat) to formalise our partnership.
When a Kenyan welcomes you, you become a part of their family, community, organisation; whatever it may be. Haba na Haba is very happy to have found a home in an amazing community and with a very welcoming family. We are now ready to get down to the serious business of establishing the Governance and learning about Community Development.
The facilities in Kyaba are amazing and are under-utilised. The Land Mawe team have looked up to the Ruben Centre and what has been achieved there. I am pleased that I can be a connection there and, through Haba na Haba, help to build such programmes in this community. This way the facilities will be used and expanded. We look forward to a great partnership with the Land Mawe group as they welcome us into their community and we support and learn from each other.