Erick Kebeka Omari
My names are Erick Kebeka Omari, I was born on 15th January 1982, in Kibera, My ethnicity is Mkisii from Gucha District, Nyamache Location and Nyoera Sub-location. We are Six in our family and I am the elderest.
My parents passed away on 23rd March 2003, both of them on a Road accident. They used to do some Business, purchasing food stuff from Kisii and transporting them in Nairobi for selling that is when they got the accident while traveling. This left me being responsible for my young brothers and sisters.
Before they got the accident I was a member in one of the youth group (ICYE), International Cultural Youth Exchange), in Nairobi, the organization is based in Westland, and during that time I was supposed to travel to Finland for an exchange programme. We had to contribute for our Traveling expenses and stupidest.
Being that I am from a poor family background, my parents tried all the best to get some money from all sources, including well wishers, but all in vain, My parents promised to contribute the little they could so that I may also participate in the exchange programme, but fate took it’s course and my parents passed away on the Road accident after getting the participation amount which was finally stolen from their dead bodies with policemen, It took two weeks for the police to reveal the body of my parents, so they classified them as unidentified people, which wasn’t true since my mother had all documents, and contacts bearing my relatives address and mine, it was just a scapegoat for policemen, so that they will not be known on what they have done., they were trying to concede themselves.
I started facing life squarely, I was now the sole bread winner of my little siblings, Circumstances forced me to look for a job, (any job), I got a job in a pharmaceutical company (P.M.C), as a casual laborer, I use to work on the basis of two weeks and given off duty of one week, but the one week could be extended depending on the demand of the work, my pay was less than a dollar for eight hours..
During my off-duty I started doing volunteering in various organization, New Life Christian brothers in Kibera, a catholic organization, whereby we used to visit the sick and the prisoners, with one of my friend who is a catholic brother by the name George Dev (Indian).I am volunteering up-to-date. We gave the sick & prisoners hope and purpose of life, this gave me strength and reason of living, and I accepted my situation, we also educated the prisoners on Behavior change. I met also one of my friend on the social field, a Benedictine brother, by the name Augustine who also became my best friend, he used to give me some support in every aspect of life, He is ministering in the social science field in Nanyuki at the moment whereby we network with him, he is also teaching African bible on the ground, which covers a five hectare, with traditional hats (houses) elaborating different values of African teaching, in Christianity.
When I was free (not working in P.M.C) I could team up with him, for various activities, in one of the organization called Ruben Centre in Mukuru Slum, indeed he also gave me some light on the reality of life. I could assist him in coming up with youths activities such as, songs, poems, Theater for development , discuss proposals and writing, work plan, write social cases and Proposal Budget and at the end of the day he could be generous enough to give me something for my upkeep.
These activities inspired me very much, and gave me courage to face people infected and affected in HIV/Aids pandemic, orphans, whereby I am one of them. We could make visits to home ridden patients and offer them some moral support and clean ups, visit to children homes, like St Thomas Banardoes. And do volunteering services.
Most of the Youths in Kibera slum are jobless, and do all evil activities, immoralities, drug abuse, rape, robbery with or without violence, among others. The children are being misused and mistreated, a lot of child labor, child abuse and neglect, child abandoned is paramount in the slum.
I thought deeply on what I can do to curb the situation, there is a lot of potential in the people of the slum what they lack is opportunities, exposure, information and chances, that is when I thought about ALFA, I came up with few individuals whom we had common goals including that Benedictine Friend of mine. So we came up with the name ALFA NETWORK, which stands for A better Life For All. Indeed people need a better life especially in Kibera Slum.
I am educating the children on their rights in the slum, I have been assisted some teaching materials with ANPPCAN KENYA. (AFRICAN NETWORK FOR THE PREVENTION AND PROTECTION AGAINST CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT), the information as been very handy and useful to me. Usually what I am doing I am not paid for, it is out of good will and sharing experience on what I have undergone., as the saying goes “Indeed whoever who assist now may need to be assisted tomorrow”, who knows! The kids I am dealing with now may be prominent people tomorrow, assist them willingly, for there is blessings in giving than receiving. Thanks.
I have an award in behavior change course from Riara Health projects, Project leadership from (KARDS) Koinonia Advisory Research and Development services.