TujengeKibera owes its provenance to Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI). KDI is a non-profit design and community development organization, which physically transforms ‘underserved’ communities. Kounkuey Design Initiative, partners with communities and other organizations to improve environmental, economic, and social quality of life. Furthermore, one of their areas of reach is in Kenya’s largest informal settlement, Kibera, Nairobi. Their project here is called #TujengeKibera, translating to ‘Let’s build Kibera’.
#TujengeKibera, is an online social media campaign and competition initiated by KDI. Over the years there have been many stories written about Kibera and its residents often portraying the settlement in a negative light. Consequently, KDI’s experience of working with the communities tells another story. It is aimed at highlighting stories of positive change in Kibera, shifting perceptions, and investing in initiatives with potential in the settlement. Moreover, these are stories about residents who take responsibility for their environment and try to be the change they want to see, building and operating projects that positively impact their communities. Finally, some of these stories include of people with mentorship programs for children through arts and sports. Stories geared at changing the narrative and stories of entrepreneurs and artisans.
How the Narrative Has Changed: TujengeKibera
#TujengeKibera launched in 2015 with a fun filled day and a call to social action encouraging Kibera residents to get involved and contribute their stories to the campaign, culminating in a competition. Residents sent in their own proposals for transforming the community and the winner announced in March this year, won a 100,000 Ksh cash prize and investment in their project. This year, Sun King will join KDI in hosting the event. In the solar tent they’ll be sharing success stories of customers from around the world, promoting access to solar energy through their EasyBuy technology and product range. SunKing hopes to that they will not only bring light to the houses and businesses of Kibera, but also shed light on the changing narrative of this community that is transformative and inclusive in a sustainable way.