Visit to Senegal

After the turbulent time since our last visit and application for funds, finally came the change to meet the old partners and explore what happened and how we should move forward. We made a tour through Dakar with Pap Marie and discussed the possibilities. He as ideas for a slightly smaller, but still impactful project.

Loss of a partner

We received notice that the NGO Undugu Vriendenkring Nederland, that has supported the Undugu Society of Kenya for decades, was disincorporated earlier this month:

“Although our target organization Undugu Society of Kenya still exists and continues its activities for the underprivileged in the slums of Kenya under the leadership of a new director Eric Mukoya, we saw no opportunity to provide meaningful support to it as an association any longer. However, informal contacts will remain. I regret that the project in Mathare Valley Nairobi that we talked about never went ahead. Looking back, the cause was the difficult turbulent period of our cooperation partner Undugu Society of Kenya. The Slumfighters plan seemed to give us an opening for a new effective approach to renovation plans. It wasn’t supposed to be that way.”

Flash floods in Dakar

Our local contact in Djida Thiaroy Kaw, Pap Marie, is helping his community to evacuate from their homes that suffered from the recent flash floods. As the whole neighborhood is situated in the lowlands at the outskirts of Dakar, the climate reslience against (heavy) rainfall is low. Although the government has been working on improving the infrastructure, floods are recurring on a yearly basis. Local inhabitants are sheltered in the community school, that sits on higher ground.

Corona response Paraisopolis in Dutch national newspaper

Our local guide and contact in the favela Paraisopolis in Sao Paulo, Acacio Reis, gave samba lessons in Utrecht two years ago. Still Acacio manages to enlighten the days with good grooves, taking proper safety measures. These times, the concern is about the challenges arising from the global corona pandemic. The government offers hardly any help, especially in these neighbourhoods, but the Paraisopolis community is close-knit and takes matters into its own hands, thanks to a good friend of Acacio: Gilson Rogrigues

(Organized) crime is never far away in the favelas. Still the story of Paraisópolis is not that of drug traffickers who enforced the quarantine. At the end of March, gangs in Rio de Janeiro made a good impression in the media with their corona approach in the poor neighborhoods. But in São Paulo, the inhabitants took care of themselves. “We decided not to wait for outside help,” says Rodrigues. “The state did not respond to the massacre, they did nothing. That made us realize: if covid hits us, we’re on our own.”

for the entire article (in Dutch and behind paywall): De Volkskrant, 12 augustus 2020

Royal dinner

Last month Kria was invited to a gala dinner at the Royal Palace at the Dam in Amsterdam was exceptional and impressive! No pictures allowed inside, but he filmed his approach to the palace with people waiting to see all the VIPs making their entrance.

We were all personally and warmly welcomed by the King and Queen. The dinner was in the opulent ‘Burgerzaal’ (picture from an article by Beau Monde) under the scrutiny of huge statue of Atlas carrying the world, under which a chamber orchestra was playing soothing violin music.

A great chance to meet with the corps diplomatique and other representatives from the Dutch & international arts and culture sector! Kria rekindled with the ambassador of Rwanda and was even seated next to the ambassador of Peru!

New director Undugu Society of Kenya

This week we got notice that the USK has a new director and he was directly inquired about the Undugu Oasis project by de Undugu Vriendenkring. His response was positive!

The Idea to improve the Mathare hall at the Mathare Valley site is highly welcome. The Hall is still dilapidated and any effort towards renovations would help USK utilize this facility as an income generating activity and eventually the cash would help sustain some children in the UBEU School in view of phasing out of KNH support.

Application for funds from Nuffic

After the research done by Chloe Charreton and the visit by Kria to Djida Thiaroye Kaw in Dakar past year, Slumfighters tried to apply for funds for a Tailor Made Training by Nuffic. Because Slumfighters just attained the ANBI status and was still starting up, a partnership with another Dutch NGO was forged.

Unfortunately the application was not accepted, as the other NGO had solvability issues that were unknown before.

Undugu Oasis delayed

One of the local partners for the Undugu Oasis project experiences some struggles that will cause delay of the project. We received word from the interim director:

“Sorry for not getting back you earlier with regard to our application.  I would like to suggest that we push this to next year if that is okay to enable us deal with some internal reorganization. It will be much clearer then the direction Undugu will take with regard to UBEU Mathare. Please note that we are still committed to this project which we believe will greatly add value to Undugu’s work.”