Wale Wale Kenya was founded in January 2015, driven by young people from Kibera. The project however, started in October 2012 under a different organisation. Conflicting views and experiences on development convinced 40 youths to leave.
We are not like any other NGO. Wale Wale Kenya wants to stand out with a different approach to development work and vouch for democracy and transparency. Through experience, we have learned a lot. For instance, for a project to have long-term effects, it is crucial to have the beneficiaries partake in every aspect of the activities.
We come from Kibera. We know first-hand the feeling of boredom and the feeling of having nothing meaningful to do. Idleness often is an enemy as threatening as poverty itself. Notwithstanding, Kibera is a vibrant, creative and lively area with strong and friendly communities. Rather the problem, especially for young people, is the lacking of tools, space and appropriate guidance to develop their creative interests. This reflects a general need for skill-developing and confidence-building, concerning education on other levels than merely the academic.
We want youths to join. Wale Wale Kenya runs a Youth Center where different activities take place ranging from dance, theatre, music and video production, photography, art, football training to academic support. First of all, this is an easy way to sidestep destructive activities like criminality and substance abuse and secondly, it enhances the opportunities for youths to realize their potential.
We know it is challenging. We also know it is possible. Wale Wale Kenya sees participation and ownership as fundamentals of community-driven development. We are well aware that we’re not the only organisation based on these ideals. Sadly enough though, and according to our own experience, few organisations in Kibera and Nairobi actually manage to implement these ideals in reality. Wale Wale Kenya is built upon the involvement of the youths, playing important roles both in everyday work and projects as well as in the overall managing of the organisation.