In his latest podcast, Idris Ibrahim talks to Kenya's first Olympic archer Shehzana Anwar, who was also chosen as her nation's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Click below to listen:
Born and bred in Nairobi, Kizito Gamba first developed a taste for writing news articles when he joined his high school’s Journalism Club in 2008.
Two years later, Kizito was among a special group that was selected to represent his school in a two-week exchange program in Sweden. It was during this program that he gained his first exposure to the art of visual storytelling.
After high school, Kizito completed a six months training course at K-Youth Media. “With a scholarship from Be Kids Australia Inc, I was able to further my tertiary education at Jamuhuri Film and Television, currently known as the Africa Digital Media Institute.”
As part of the Give Back Project and accessing a BKA grant, Kizito took charge of teaching remedial classes at Ngunyumu Primary School in Korogocho and also served as a mentor in a leadership project with iLead group.
It didn't take long for his dedicated work as a photographer to achieve recognition. “I have been involved in major projects for Safaricom Jazz and Al Jazeera Television doing documentary photography.”
In March, Kizito was awarded the title of Emerging Community Champion at a ceremony held at the United Nations Office in Gigiri, Nairobi. He was selected from over 350 nominees from diverse backgrounds and sectors.
Kizito was recognised for his influence as a photographer, especially to the children at iLead and through his photography classes at KHub.
“In future, I see myself as a skilled cinematographer-producer, telling my stories to a global audience.”
“Inspired by my community, my dream and ambition is to work with communities in Nairobi to promote social change through camera and other forms of storytelling.”
See you in September, Kizito!
This month, podcast host Idris Ibrahim discusses the difficult subject of female genital mutilation, a traditional practice that still exists in parts of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya.
Click below to listen:
During his recent stay in Korogocho, Ben Wandei accompanied a group of Ufanisi children on an excursion to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. For many of the kids, this was the first time they had come face to face with creatures from the wild.
Matching the right name to the animal produced some hilarious responses. When an Ufanisi teacher, Triza Anyango, pointed at a crested crane and asked: “What is the name of this?” one of the students proudly shouted “Squirrel!”
To see photos of the day’s events, click on the links below:
Together with our good friends at Enactus, Be Kids hosted the Australian Ambassador to the Kenya High Commission Isaiya Kabira at the UWA Business School in September.
His Excellency pledged his support for the ReShoe project and invited BKA to look out for other initiatives designed to take advantage of Kenyan products in Perth. "We need to get behind these type of projects because they are vital in creating jobs for young people."
Also in attendance at the gathering was the Dean of Business School Professor Phillip Dolan, the Deputy Dean of Business School Professor Alison Preston, John Boxall of BKA/Rotary Western Endeavour and other members of the Enactus executive.
The word is out. Community leader James Maina is calling on all residents in Korogocho to attend the launch of a refurbished study centre in Grogan (formerly located in Highbridge).
While preparing for the launch, a couple of budding street artists from the Talking Wall Initiative - Esen Sammy and Kerosh Kiruri - decided to brighten the public walls with eye-catching murals. The result is simply stunning.
According to the founder of the Talking Wall Initiative Daniel Onyango, the study centre represents a place where young people can develop their learning skills and mature age students can improve on their knowledge base.
If you haven't heard Raphael's story before, it deserves repeating. As someone who grew up in the sprawling Korogocho slum, Raphael knows first-hand the debilitating effects of poverty on young lives.
As a boy, Raphael lived in a single room with the rest of his family. His father worked as a cook at one of the public universities while his mother was a casual factory worker. Despite their best efforts, the combined pay wasn't enough to feed their nine hungry children.
Forced to study under the dim light of a tin lamp, Raphael understood at an early age the importance of getting an education. His exam marks were high enough to gain acceptance into a national high school but his parents couldn't afford the fees. Only after his father took out a loan, combined with funds raised at a local congregation, was Raphael able to attend Dagoretti High School in Nairobi.
After being invited to enrol in a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Nairobi, Raphael never looked back. Today he is the external advisor of UN Habitat's Youth Advisory Board and Africa's representative in the World Bank's Global Co-ordination Board on Youth and Anti-Corruption.
His knowledge and experience in public policy also extends to the field of human rights. While in Perth he spoke at a meeting organised by the local Kenyan community, paying special tribute to the 148 people who were recently killed at a Kenyan University. Only by building closer ties with young people, argues Raphael, can we avoid the serious threat of radicalisation.
On a lighter note, Raphael found time in his busy schedule to attend the Western Derby at Domain Stadium. By all accounts, he fully embraced the atmosphere of the big occasion although, judging by the photo above, it is unclear which team he was actually cheering for.
Be Kids representative Ben Wandei recently visited the Australian Ambassador to the Kenya High Commission Isaiya Kabira to discuss our ongoing work in Kenya. Top of the list was the planned launch of the reSHOE Project, which Be Kids is co-ordinating with the hard-working students at Enactus (UWA).
The aim of reSHOE is to collect 14,000 pairs of secondhand shoes and ship them by container to Nairobi, where they will be transported to Korogocho for distribution as part of a micro-financing initiative.
The Ambassador applauded the efforts of Be Kids members and pledged his support for the reSHOE project. He assured Ben his office would do everything in its power to safeguard the journey of the container to its rightful destination.
As part of our women empowerment program, Be Kids proudly supports DIAMOND CEREALS, a retail store located in Kisumu Ndogo village in Korogocho. The store provides income for five members - Lina (the team leader), Jenifer, Elizabeth, Justin and Rosemary.
Rosemary Awuor told us "BKA has helped us a lot by assisting us to start this business and for this reason we cannot sleep hungry anymore."
Every week two members of the group are rostered to work at the store. They take turns selling the cereals - which include ground nuts, yellow beans and rose coco - as well as venturing out into the local community, knocking on doors, and marketing their product to new customers.
One of our sponsored students and K-Hub regulars, Idris Muktar, was recently invited back to Eastleigh Secondary School to offer some advice to over 800 students.
Idris was naturally honoured to speak at his former high school.
And also a little nervous.
We could describe the occasion in words but thanks to the reporting work of K-Hub TV, you can watch the full news story by clicking below:
A familiar face around K-Youth Media is the gifted cinematographer and camera operator Elisha Ojiambo who has worked on many film and radio productions.
But his extraordinary talents don't stop there.
When Elisha's not looking through the viewfinder, you might find him down at Mziki Safi Studios where he explores his other great love: music.
K-Hub TV managed to catch up with Elisha as he recorded a new song in the studio. During a break in the recording, he spoke candidly about his chosen career path and how it doesn't always sit well with his family's expectations.
Check out this amazing rapper below:
Before commencing their first year at college/university, our four sponsored graduates - Denis Munderu, Benjamin Okelo, Daisy Auma and Ian Amoshe - volunteered their time and services to the Ufanisi Centre in Korogocho. For six weeks, our high school graduates worked as teachers' aides and assisted with meal preparation and sporting activities.
At the end of their program, the volunteers accompanied the children and staff on a one day excursion to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. Since 1963, this public wildlife facility has hosted a collection of orphaned, injured and abandoned animals which have been rescued from all over Kenya.
In the seventh edition of the Kengele Magazine, Samira Hassan wrote about her day's experience at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage.
Here is an excerpt from her article:
"In the distance we spotted a herd of gazelles, gem-like from afar. They were etched out against the dry savannah grass, swishing their tails lazily to ward off the flies and occasionally, cocking ears with their nostril flaring, as if to study the air for the scent of an enemy.
Suddenly they broke into a melee, kicking a cloud of dust and galloping some distance before stopping to assess the situation. It was then that we learnt they had spotted a hyena.
Just as we were giving up hope of seeing the big five, we chanced upon a herd of buffaloes. They stood on our path and did not seem to mind our presence. One big bull tossed his head menacingly. Those who had cameras fervently clicked away. Another buffalo came close to where we were and nobody dared disturb it. All seemed to have a grudging respect for any animal in the jungle kingdom."
To carry on the great work of Outreach, Be Kids have recommended two past beneficiaries - Winnie Makasi and Suji Grace - to work with kids at Our Lady of Grace Children's Home in Marimba.
Both girls will be be supervised by Rita during their stay from 5 May to 1 June 2014. The orphanage currently provides care to over 187 children.
We believe Winnie will make an excellent mentor. Last year she completed her KCSE with an A- score of 79. Her dream is to pursue medicine and surgery at the University of Nairobi.
Suji recently graduated as a photographer-videographer from K-Youth Media in Kariobangi, Nairobi. One day she hopes to channel her talents into directing and producing videos. While at Marimba, Suji will assist the kids in various media including video, photography and creative writing for the Kengele magazine.
To hear Winnie and Grace talk about their hopes and expectations, click on these mini-profiles produced by Eunice Akinyi:
A new magazine will soon be available online. For the first issue, Amina Dima is collecting and editing articles submitted by Kengele children. She has been assisted in the design layout by Aziz Abdi, a former BKA scholar alumni.
Once the template is approved, the magazine will be launched online as a platform for creative young minds to tell their stories. Amina is very grateful to the support of our team members who have helped her develop important editing and Photoshop skills.
Since arriving in Pokot, our two mentors - Eunice Akinyi and Kizito Gamba - have been busy talking to the local villagers. They are following in the footsteps of other K-Youth Media alumni by sharing their knowledge and helping to produce three profiles (see below).
First on their list was our dear friend Simeon - the boy in the wheelchair who started attending boarding school last year. To interview him, the mentors travelled from Chepareria to his school in Mt Elgon.
"During the lunchbreak Simeon even took photos of his friends. Then we visited his home at Kosulol village and conducted more interviews with his family and relatives to hear their thoughts on his move to a boarding school."
Next on the list was Lydia.
The mentors interviewed both Lydia and her mother and then accompanied her on her daily chores. After washing clothes in the Senetwo River, Lydia walked 16 kilometres to Dira to fetch firewood.
Finally Eunice and Kizito visited the home of Elvis in Chelombai village, where they were welcomed by his grandmother.
Thanks to the Babra family, both Lydia and Elvis received scholarships to Greenfields School. This means they can keep each other company as they make the transition from remote village to one of the finest boarding schools in Kenya.
To view the three profiles produced by Eunice and Kizito, click on the names below:
After a 10-hour bus ride over bumpy dirt tracks, Eunice Akinyi and Kizito Gamba have arrived safely in Pokot to participate in a four-week exchange program sponsored by Be Kids Australia.
Eunice and Kizito are both K-Youth Media graduates who have volunteered to teach the children basic skills in documentary filmmaking and still photography. They also plan to produce three scholarship profiles - one featuring the amazing story of Simeon who, despite his disabilities, has managed to continue his schooling at Eldoret.
"I would like to learn the Pokot culture, how they live, what they eat, their beliefs among other things," said Eunice.
Our two mentors, Eunice and Kizito, were selected as part of the Kengele-Chepareria Outreach Program, which was set up to foster cultural ties between Kenya's urban centres and remote rural communities.
Of course, the cultural exchange works both ways. For Eunice, who grew up in the big city, it's something of a challenge to live in a house without electricity or access to running water.
Instead, Eunice must travel long distances by foot just to fetch water. "I believe going to Pokot will make me appreciate the things that I have always taken for granted here in Nairobi.”
Kizito is looking forward to hearing the children's stories. "It is a great opportunity to learn their way of life and be part of their community."
Earlier this year, Kizito made this stirring short documentary about the future of his homeland:
As part of their one-month stay, Eunice and Kizito will also be collecting articles from the children to be published in the next edition of Kengele Magazine.
We look forward to updating you with more of their reports in the weeks ahead.
Be Kids congratulates Victor Ochieng whose film Born Champion was selected to appear at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.
Victor's film was screened four times to packed audiences at the festival. "I had the opportunity to attend film workshops organised by ZIFF and also to interact with professional filmmakers like Mira Nair (director of The Reluctant Fundamentalist)," said Victor.
Victor is a graduate of K-Youth Media, a non-profit making youth organisation whose goal is to equip young people with skills on media and communication for their personal and community development.
After the screening of Born Champion, Victor was invited to participate in a Q&A with the audience.
When asked what inspired him to make the film, Victor replied: "This film tries to highlight the different capabilities we all have as human beings and my inspiration came from encouraging people to strengthen their capabilities no matter what situation they are in."
The hotel proprietor where the film was screened said: "Kijana mdogo, kazi safi sana umefanya kongole" which translates "Young boy, you have done good work, congratulations."
A teacher in the audience stood up and remarked: "I thank you so much for the screening - I would love to get a copy for my daughter who really loves to view encouraging films like this one."
Victor is already eager to begin work on new documentary projects. "I learnt that telling stories from the local area is the best way to go."
Click here to watch Victor's short film:
On 9th February, K-Youth Media held its second graduation and also celebrated its first anniversary. Twelve graduates were issued with certificates after completing six months basic training in photography, creative writing, video shooting and video editing.
The event was attended by several eminent speakers, including Mildred Ngesa (veteran journalist and executive director, Peace Pen Communications), James Smart (news anchor for KTN) and Tony Mwite (renowned content producer and CEO of Black and Hampton Distribution).
Be Kids interviewed the short-listed candidates for the new class at K-Youth Media. After lengthy deliberation, fourteen candidates were selected to start training in February 2013.
While visiting the staff in charge at the media centre, Be Kids donated three redhead camera lights and numerous still and DVD cameras.
Be Kids is sponsoring 18 secondary school students and two at Tertiary level from Nairobi's Korogocho slum and Pokot in northern Kenya.
For these kids education is a "priceless thing", "it takes us from darkness into light... to help parents and relatives" and "it attains our dreams".
You can hear more of their words in this video produced by the team at K-Youth Media, an initiative of Be Kids:
The generous students at St Stephen's school in Duncraig have donated a Yamaha Arius YDP-C71 electric piano for the children of the Korogocho settlements.
However, as we are unable to transport it to Kenya, we are converting this beautiful piano into funds for a media scholarship.
Please PM offers to Joan Peters. Any amount over the purchase price of $1,600 is tax deductible and the current standing offer is $3,000.
We are thrilled to announce that Ralia Mohammed, a Child Rights Activist and TV Presenter, has been awarded a Be Kids Scholarship.
The 17-year-old Ralia was raised by a single mother in the Korogocho settlements and is currently the Head Girl at Dr Mwenje Secondary School.
Ralia is one of the lucky few who attends school in Korogocho . She loves playing volleyball, football and is also an active member of the school’s drama club.
Ralia appears on the three-hour show Teens Live which airs on Koch FM every Saturday.
According to Ralia, the biggest challenge facing children today is the responsibilities they must assume at a very young age. Ralia herself was the first born of five children and spent much of her childhood helping her mother raise younger siblings. This is not uncommon for many girls living in the Korogocho settlements.
As we like to say, these children are denied the basic right to "be kids".
Last month at K-Hub the focus turned to video editing.
Course directors Dan Oluoch and Stephen Onyango Edger divided the class into two groups - three students were introduced to Adobe Premiere Pro while the other five worked on Final Cut Pro.
If you look around the industry, more and more editors are embracing these two software programs to make their music videos, viral ads, indie shorts and Hollywood movies.
We can't wait to see where these young graduates will be in the next five years.
After a long and courageous battle with cancer, K-Youth Media alumni Aziz Abdi passed away earlier this year. He was buried near Nairobi on 19 February 2017.
Aziz will always be remembered for his big heart, creative soul and stirring wit in the face of adversity.
He left his mark on us all.
It's official. Be Kids Australia has been registered with a Charity Tick by the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission.
This means that BKA is recognised as a fully compliant registered charity. We also have DGR status which allows our donors to be eligible for a tax deduction for donations over $2.
The following article was written by Emily Onyango on behalf of Be Kids.
The beginning of April meant a lot to different communities in Kariobangi who gathered as early as 7am to prepare for the sports day organised by UN-HABITAT in cooperation with CHRISC Kenya, Simama Africa, SWAGA and SOPA. One of the main objectives of the day was to recognise and reward all committed teams, groups and individuals who dedicated their time to promote community development and Sustainable Development Goals through sports.
And as one of the testimonies suggests, the anticipation for the day was overwhelming. “This is one of the biggest days that I have been waiting for. I brought my team of football players to participate in the Community Sport Day activities. The different types of games like rope skipping, dodge ball or tug of war are perfect for them to learn something new, something different,” said Steven Oduor, one of the youth leaders from Kariobangi.
The event, organised as a celebration of April 6th, the International Day of Sports for Development, was coordinated by UN-HABITAT’s interns, Yunhee and Suheon, who also spent four months prior to the event teaching young people how to improve their health and well-being.
“I have been attending Saturday classes about hygiene and biomechanics. It was extremely interesting as I’ve learned a lot of new things. I know now the structure of my body, different types of bones I have, how much water I should be drinking on a daily basis and also different exercises that will help me to stay fit,” said Carole Jones from Tarumbeta dancers.
Over 200 children and young people attended the celebration. They played, they sang, they danced all day and were rewarded with different gifts at the end of the day. Some got books, some pens and some caps. Most importantly, no one went home empty-handed.
The event was a huge success. Everyone involved on either side, participants and organisers alike, were very happy with the result and are hoping to organise a similar event next year. Once again, we could have witnessed how sport is a powerful tool for community transformation and peaceful coexistence among different communities.
There's a new voice on the streets of Korogocho.
James Mbulo, who works as a radio presenter at Koch FM, prides himself on being the first person to inform listeners about important events happening ln their neighbourhood.
Ever since graduating from Kampala International University, James has felt a strong commitment to give back to his community. “My prayer to God is to develop a school for those interested in journalism.”
When he's not working as a journalist, James enjoys playing football. In fact, it was his love for the “beautiful game” that inspired James to become a reporter.
Click on the link below to view a short film about James, directed by Victor Ochieng:
Earlier this year, Be Kids representative Ben Wandei returned to Korogocho to monitor the good work of Diamond Cereals, KHub and the Ufanisi Education Centre. It has been seven years since Ben last set foot in his old stomping ground.
"Walking down the main road felt both strange and familiar all at the same time. Familiar food stalls were lined up the alley way - buns, boiled beans, cut kales, fried meat."
"Familiar were the sounds of music blaring from shops, people talking animatedly to each other. Motorbikes weaved in and out expertly between pedestrians and other traffic."
"I was also lured by the murals on some of the Korogocho streets. The murals improved the aesthetic of these streets and also provide proof of the talents that abound in Korogocho."
Esteemed UN Advisor and co-founder of K-Youth Media Raphael Obonyo rolled into town this month, conquering hearts and minds wherever he preached his message of empowerment for Kenyan youth.
During his whirlwind tour, Raphael spoke to various Rotary groups, the students at Balga Senior High School and Belmont Youth Centre, the Uniting Church in Floreat as well as Development Studies students at Murdoch University. Thanks to all the organisers who helped co-ordinate these events.
Be Kids members were treated to an inspirational talk at the UWA Business School, where Raphael encouraged the continuing support of the reSHOE project (which we jointly sponsor with Enactus). "Sometimes you need to think beyond basic education," he said.
The Women's Together group at the Edmund Rice Centre in Mirrabooka have come up with a novel way to help out their sisters in Kenya - brassieres!
For many working women, the comfort and support of a good bra can never be over-estimated. Already the group have distributed a large selection of secondhand bras to young refugee women living in Perth.
In September this year, ERC Staff members plan to deliver the remainder of the bras to the biggest refugee camp in Kenya.
Now that's what we call an uplifting story!
Our K-Hub champions Kizito Gamba and Victor Ochieng just returned from Zanzibar where they filmed a hotel advertisement - great work, guys!
And that's not all. We are also pleased to announce that Victor has been awarded a scholarship under the Campus Work Opportunity Program at the United Stated International University.
As well as gaining valuable work experience, Victor will be able to pay off a significant part of his university fees.
It's official - the 8th edition of the Kengele Magazine has hit the newstands!
Published with the support of Be Kids, the Kengele Magazine is an online platform that allows children of all ages to express their views on a range of different topics.
While the presentation is vibrant and colourful, the writers don't shy away from important social issues. This latest edition includes stories about agriculture, corruption and child labour.
There's even a horrifying tale about an evil woman who ate her three children - not exactly the kind of thing you want to read as a bedtime story.
Find out what all the fuss is about by clicking on the magazine icon below:
The art exhibition held at Ufanisi in December proved a big hit with the people of Korogocho, according to our resident teacher Joseph Mbogua.
Assisting the children with their creative efforts was Benjamin Okello, who is one of our dedicated university beneficiaries.
The exhibition is just one way we encourage past sponsors to give back to the local community.
Our resident art teacher Joseph Mbogua reports that all 47 children at Ufanisi participated in art classes last semester.
According to the Ufanisi Program Director Isaiah Luyara, the artworks produced from these classes will be included in an exhibition planned for December.
Some of our university scholarship students will assist Ufanisi run this exhibition during the school holidays as part of their Give Back Project.
As we reach the end of another semester, we check in on our sponsored scholars to see how they are progressing with their studies.
Through our Give Back Project, BKA currently supports eleven students in various universities and colleges around Kenya, including one student in Perth, Western Australia.
Three members of the group are studying at the United States International University (USIU). They are Victor Ouma and Amina Dima, who are working hard to achieve a Bachelor of Journalism degree, and Idris Muktar, who is studying for a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.
Both Victor and Idris continue to give back to the community through their valuable involvement at K-Hub TV and Koch-FM Radio while Amina oversees the publication of the Kengele Children magazine.
In a change of pace from the usual news story, the K-Hub TV crew went on location this week to snap some publicity photos for the group Eidalla Band. This exciting young trio consists of vocalists Sharon Ong'ayo, Tess Omollo and guitarist Moses Otienao.
The results of the photoshoot can be viewed in this short video directed by Victor Ochieng. K-Hub TV is a thriving media organisation that acknowledges the vital assistance of Be Kids and the Nacka-Nairobi Initiative.
Be Kids continues to build on the success and goodwill of our Outreach program (first started in July-September 2012) by sending two graduates to travel to the far reaches of northern Kenya.
This year Francis Kimani and Richard Omondi set forth on the long bus trip to Chepareria in West Pokot, where they were greeted after midnight by their host Thomas Patei.
As our mentors quickly discovered, Chepareria is so remote that it is impossible to establish an internet connection.
Early next morning, Francis and Richard took a brief tour of the region before introducing the kids to media equipment and library books. Over the course of the weekend, they conducted lessons in art, photography and writing magazine articles.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the trip was meeting the parents, who are hugely supportive of the Outreach program. It is their hope the initiative will continue so that more children in the region can benefit from the lessons.
Their biggest concerns related to the project's future. Be Kids responded to their questions with the following feedback:
1. How are these lessons going to help their children in future?
BKA sees this project as enhancing the ability of children to communicate effectively with their families and the community. The project seeks to empower children with media skills so that they can define their problems, devise solutions and present these to their community. Another objective is to increase national cohesion through interaction with other young people from Nairobi.
2. What does the future of the project hold for this children and the community?
What does the community want the future to hold for this project? It is up to the community to define how it will progress and invite BKA and other organisations as partner to achieve this vision.
Four former students of Our Lady of Fatima Secondary School are currently involved in a Give Back Project at the Ufanisi centre in Korogocho, Nairobi.
For six weeks, Denis, Benjamin, Daisy and Ian have offered to teach, train and cook for the 47 children at the centre.
According to the school director Mr Isaiah Luyara, the students have been "so cooperative and very disciplined."
Our hard-working co-ordinator at KHub, Eunice Akinyi, recently completed videos of our four BKA beneficiaries. Click below to hear their stories:
As part of the Be Kids Give Back Project, Susan Litonde mentors students on a range of media programs relating to photography, online publishing and news-radio.
Her dedicated team include: Susan Wanjiru, a student at Taylors College in Perth; Kizito Gamba, a student at the Jamuhuri Film and Television Training Academy (JFTA) in Nairobi; and Victor Ouma, Idris Muktar, and Amina Dima, who are students at the United States International University (USIU) in Nairobi.
It was Susan's responsibility to ensure all the BKA scholars submitted their reports. "Every fortnight I skype with the university scholars. These sessions are an opportunity for the students to raise any concerns they have and for us to discuss any emerging issues."
As well as liaising with the group, Susan has been hard at work on her own studies.
"At Taylors Collee I have learnt a lot regarding Australia’s history through the two English units I studied. I have also gained first hand knowledge on how to research for academic references when writing my essays; this has given me a platform to improve my English skills."
Feel free to check out each student's semester grades in Susan's Scholars Report. (see top right)
We are delighted to report that Aziz Abdi has been discharged from hospital after a second operation to amputate his whole leg.
Aziz plans to make the most of his second chance. He has already moved to Nairobi where he is working as a manager for a photographic company.
"My friends really worked hard to help me in my medical bills and treatment. I love you all."
First Victor Chieng made headlines when his short film Born Champion was picked up for the Zanzibar Film Festival.
Now our talented young graduates of the K-Youth Photography and Film Training Program have been selected to appear in a prestigious Photo Exhibition in Nairobi.
Entitled Stories Of Our City, the show will be held on the First Floor Gallery at Alliance Française and run from 21 to 28 February 2014.
Be Kids takes this opportunity to congratulate all the teachers and staff at K-Youth Media for helping these creative kids express their artistic vision to the world.
Do you have a passion for the visual arts?
K-Youth Media are inviting young applicants to enrol in their Film and Photography Course. To enter, you must be aged between 18 and 25 and live in the Nairobi informal settlements. The course runs from March to August 2014.
The Manager of Kioo Cafe, Monica Wanja Kirae, reports an increase in sales and profits for the months of October-November 2013.
This has enabled the Cafe to purchase new utensils, table covers and a second-hand refrigeration system that can hold up to eight crates of soda drinks.
Recently they introduced new recipes to the menu in the hope of attracting more local customers.
Future plans include hiring an additional assistant to help out in the kitchen.
It's been a tough year for Aziz Abdi.
In March, he received the grave news that he would have to undergo surgery on his right leg. "I went to a number of doctors who finally told me that the only solution is amputation of my leg because I had bone cancer."
Just when things appeared to be stabilising, Aziz's condition worsened last week and he was taken to Agha Khan hospital for further chest scans. Sadly, it looks like Aziz will require chemotherapy.
Through Facebook appeals and door-to-door fundraising, his young friends have raised enough money to cover the cost of initial tests. A friend at Koch FM has even made a video clip aimed at raising awareness of Aziz's battle with cancer.
If you would like to help Aziz in any way, feel free to contact Joan or donate directly through this website.
For the past year, Aziz has been studying film, animation and graphic art with the assistance of K-Youth Media and Be Kids. If you want a sense of the young man's heart and character, check out this short film:
Hang in there, Aziz! Everyone at Be Kids sends you their love and support.
Be Kids continues to monitor the progress of all our youth who have been awarded scholarships. Some of those who are still living in Korogocho have been invited to talk about their experiences on Koch FM, a radio station hosted by their peers.
In this radio excerpt, you can listen to some of them discuss the subject of education:
On 23 April, two young adults in our Outreach Program - Idris and Amina - travelled to Marimba to teach the children important skills in academic learning, communication, and general life skills.
Be Kids can report that the two have settled in and established good interactions with the children.
After lengthy discussions with the Kenyan National Library, we are delighted to announce that they have agreed to donate over two hundred books to the study centres in Korogocho, Kisumu Ndogo and High Ridge.
While we are grateful for their contribution, we will continue to lobby the Kenyan Institute of Education for more books relevant to the school syllabus curriculum.
In light of the government's recent decision to abolish extra school tuition during the holidays, we are aware of more and more children who are taking advantage of the study centres.
We are pleased to announce that the electric piano donated by the St Stephen's students has been sold for $3000 (twice the actual value of the piano)!
This means Be Kids can now send Simeon to a boarding school for disabled students in Eldoret.
In the past Simeon was restricted to attending school once or twice a week. Thanks to our local students, Simeon won't have to wait anymore for someone to push his wheelchair to school over very bumpy tracks!
Click below to see a day in the life of Simeon in West Pokot Kosulol village:
Dennis Okoth was today awarded a scholarship under the “Wings to Fly” Program through the Equity Group Foundation. He passed Standard 8 with excellent marks, thanks to the tutelage of the Shepherd Primary College in Buruburu, Nairobi.
Dennis has been in the Be Kids Kengele Program for 5 years and we are very proud of him.
29th Feb saw the launch of Kioo Café - a dream come true for the women who have been earning extremely small incomes (about $3 per week). They are now able to earn the same for each day worked at Kioo Café (not taking into account profit which we look forward to).
For the past 18 months, we have been working with the Mama Shujaa (Warrior Women) and SIFE students from University of Western Australia to ensure the cafe operates as a viable business.
Kioo means "Mirror" to indicate cleanliness and reflection of the power of women. With the help of friends and the local community it is now open for service!
Everyone at Be Kids wishes them well in their new venture.