One of the most well known slums in the world, Kibera in Nairobi appeared only as a blank on online maps until 2009, despite being home to more than 250,000 people. By training young people to use GPS mapping devices, Map Kibera was able to create the first-ever online map of the area with user-generated content. Map Kibera Trust exists to coordinate the mapping work, as well as supporting the work of several other interconnected information projects around Kenya. The Trust provides young people with skills relevant to the job market and gives them an opportunity to ‘document, share and discuss’ the realities of everyday life in their neighbourhoods. That’s why we’re delighted to be awarding the Map Kibera Trust a grant of £11,320.32. This will be match funded by the African Technology and Transparency Initiative, which was set up by Omidyar Network and Hivos. It will also complement Map Kibera’s fundraising efforts in the Global Giving August challenge to raise $4,000 to Turn Maps in Action in Kibera.
Part of the money will be used to increase the Trust’s community outreach work. This work ‘will ensure that information generated by the young people at Map Kibera Trust will be shared with important stakeholders (chiefs, elders, city council officials, NGO and CBO representatives, local administration, private sector, legal institutions etc)’. It also enables their work to reach community members who are unable to get online and will include producing murals and paper versions of their online map. The Trust will act as an important link between the community and key stakeholders, ensuring that the voice of Kibera is heard. Forums, murals and word of mouth will be used to spread knowledge of the Trust’s work throughout the community to gain ‘a critical mass of people to support a culture of dialogue and information sharing around community issues’.
The remainder of the grant will be used to improve the impact of the web tools, primarily through the redevelopment of the Voice of Kibera website. Featuring an organizational directory and events listings, the site will act as an important community resource. Everyone at Indigo would like to wish the Map Kibera team the best of luck as they seek to expand their work.