Sep 29, 2011

A story of social entrepreneurship and love in Kibera, Kenya

Kennedy had become outraged at the abuse of women, partly because his 16-year-old sister had been raped and become pregnant. So his soccer club began to hold street theater performances to denounce sexual violence.
Jessica Posner, a Wesleyan University student interested in theater, heard about the performances and decided to spend a junior year abroad helping the group. She arrived in Nairobi — and then insisted on living inside the Kibera slum itself.
Jessica, now 25, showed me around — chattering with local people in the Swahili and Luo languages. It’s staggering what she and Kennedy have created. The Kibera School for Girls now has 64 students in pre-kindergarten through second grade, adding one grade a year. Almost 500 children competed for the 19 slots in the current pre-kindergarten.
Still, obstacles are enormous. This broke my heart: At least 20 percent of the girls have been raped, the teachers say. Rapes have left two of the kindergarten girls with fistulas, internal injuries causing them to leak wastes.

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