Few things are better than seeing the evidence of good work done by one’s endeavors. When actress Connie Nielsen came to Marker Seven several years ago to build a website for her non-profit Human Needs Project (HNP), the idea was to build facilities in slums that could provide basic services such as drinking water, toilets, hot showers, and laundry. But it was just that, an idea.
Now, a year and a half after launch, the Town Centre in Kibera (KTC), Africa’s largest urban slum, gets over 16,000 visits per month and is a thriving commercial hub offering not just the basics but also job training, computer usage, retail sales and entrepreneurship workshops. In November, the streets of Kibera were packed with spectators to watch finalists of an HNP-sponsored talent search perform in a concert alongside Kenya’s most famous rapper, Juliani.
Knowing what a critical component the website has been in fundraising and executing Nielsen’s vision has been its own reward for this pro-bono project but nothing compares to the holiday picture the KTC staff sends us every year.