Walk Against Crime came to fruition in August 2013 when 10 teenage dancers from Mathare Slum in Nairobi, Kenya visited us here in England.
LIFE IN MATHARE…
With a crime rate of 80% until recently, Mathare, which is Nairobi’s second largest slum, has no work for adults, or schooling for youngsters. With nothing to do except hang around street corners, most young people get involved in theft, drugs and prostitution, usually around the age of 13 or 14.
Murder is common and HIV/AIDS is rampant. It can be a scary place.
THE PROJECT IN NAIROBI…
However, a fantastic project has been set up by local people to change all this. Its aim is to engage the youth in activities, provide work and train them to earn for themselves, rehabilitate drug users, prostitutes and criminals and encourage young people to take a full part in society.
Already, with community policing by ex-gangsters, they claim to have reduced the crime rate from 80% to just 5%.
A jewellery workshop employs about 20 teenagers and young adults, and in a local field, football training takes place every day.
Nearby, dance sessions and training in acrobatics are held daily in a community centre. Many other activities are planned.
The dancing is technically imperfect – but the teenagers are so full of enthusiasm that they are absolutely enthralling.
These kids had never travelled, but their lives had already been massively changed by having something positive to do.
When Jeremy Piercy (Shared Earth UK) and Kathleen Hanlon (The Zuri Foundation) promised to organise a tour of Britain for them in summer 2013, they could not believe it.
To raise funds for this tour, Jeremy and Kathleen took time off work to “walk the walk” from Southport, Merseyside to Hornsea on the East coast.
Enthusiastic walkers completed the 230 miles in August 2012 raising cash to fund this initiative in the process.
Hence the Walk Against Crime.
CAN YOU HELP?
The organisers are looking for people from every section of society to help and support things along.
Get in touch if you’d like to support The Zuri Foundation.
We’re also looking for people who are in the media and people with marketing skills. We want to ensure the visit by the dancers in August 2013 has an ongoing legacy. We’re looking for more articles and interviews in the local media.
Can you help promote us?
NEWS UPDATE – the amount pledged so far has risen to £13,500 (July 2012).
Thanks to everyone. Funding is being managed by a small charity called The Zuri Foundation.
You can find out how to donate via The Zuri Foundation’s JustGiving page.
STOP PRESS – read further developments in this Walk Against Crime Blog post.
“And we would love to read your thoughts on this initiative – please leave your comments below” – Paul