Scouting is a voluntary, non-governmental, non-political movement, open to young people without discrimination of age, gender, or race, in accordance with the principles and methods as conceived by Robert Baden Powell.
Who are Kibra scouts Open Troop?
Kibra scouts Open Troop is a group founded in 2013, to help young scouts around Kibera who lack access to regular scouting training in their schools. The group gathers the patron of scouting from different schools on Saturdays, and train them so that they can train fellow scouts in their schools.
What you do?
Our focus is on life on land, climate action, Zero hunger and quality education, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Life on Land- we inform the scouts on the danger of plastics in the environment, encourage them to collect plastic bottles and polythene bags (milk packets). We then pick the plastic and take them to our station. The plastic bottles are used in setting up the green house, preparing seedbeds, as water storage to irrigate plants, and growing the young trees. We then transfer the tree seedlings to schools where the bottles were collected.The project started over a year ago, with help from Nairobi county but most came from our screw-Kibera Scout Open Troop (KSOT).
Other activities that we engage in includes a garden project, in a piece of land we have been able to secure, and a feeding program to support the scouts.
What are some of your achievement so far?
We have planted over a thousand trees since the project started three months ago and over 500 trees in our county offices where our offices are located too. In May we managed to plant 300 trees, mostly of Gloveria species, blue gum, and Cypress.
We did a survey on the ground and realized that the locals were facing a challenge- in access to food. According to Sdg 2 that aims to ensure zero hunger, we decided that we have the resources to counteract this, and we hence started planting kales, spinach and horticulture like coriander, and tomatoes on a small plot where we have set up the greenhouse.
In Kibera, people say that people don’t attain the highest level of education. In our program, we not only train the scouts in scouting but also in their studies. By being role models, we have graduates in our midst whom the kids can look into.
As scouts we offer services without expecting something in return. We go out there and create awareness on the need of a clean environment so as to eradicate diseases.
Tell us about the scouting law on sustainability
According to scouts law 9, “a scout makes good use of time, money and any other resource that he or she has”. As scouts we are advocating for proper use of the resources that we have, so that they can also be available for use by future generations.
Researchers say that if drastic measures are not taken to curb plastics, we will have more plastics in the ocean than fish come 2045. These plastics come from the land and as scouts, we are trying to collect the plastics before they get to the ocean, and coming up with creative and innovative ways of managing the waste without burning which adds on the pollution effect. The whole idea of SDGs is sustainability.
How have you benefited?
We are able to sell, the produce from the greenhouse. This gives us an opportunity to earn something and also support our activities.