Tuesday, June 9, 2009

“Dignity refers to carrying humanity with respect and honour” Anonymous, Kenya


Irene Khan visits Kibera and launches e-action


A member of the Soweto Forum in door to door campaign explains the SMS action to a Peter, a slum dweller ©Amnesty International

em>Evangelia Papada is in Kenya

We left the hotel at 8am and headed for the high-rise project, one of the entry points to Kibera, the biggest slum in Kenya and perhaps in the entire continent.

It has been a very exciting day from the start. Immediately after we arrived, we met with the ISSA community project in Laini Saba, one of Kibera’s most active neighbourhoods. We have planned to march through Kibera and raise support and interest for our action with a street theatre act.

Eventually, we arrived in the neighbourhood of Soweto and met with Amnesty International Secretary General, Irene Khan, and a team of colleagues and journalists. In an atmosphere of traditional dancing and celebration, Irene Khan addressed the crowd and urged everybody to speak out, to tell the Kenyan government what it means for them to live with dignity. It was a very special event, one of joy and people participation.

The response has been very positive. Some of the texts we have received from Kibera are truly inspiring. I would like to share some with you:

For me, living with dignity means “setting principles to your ways and standard of living and be true to them.” Anonymous, Kenya

“Dignity is having three meals a day. Clean water. shelter. Good roads. justice for all but not for the few corrupt” Peter, Kenya

“Dignity refers to carrying humanity with respect and honour” Anonymous, Kenya

Map of Nairobi indicating Kibera in red

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