Fundraiser: A 10km fun run in Luxembourg City on Sunday will help expand a library in one of Nairobi’s most deprived neighbourhoods.
Photo: LaLa La Photo
Most people who hear the word Korogocho have no idea what it means. If you ask someone if they’ve heard of it before you will likely get a confused, albeit polite look. Korogocho is actually a place that most people have never heard of or if they have, it’s been removed from their common memory: a 1.5 square kilometre slum northeast of Nairobi’s city centre, home to 150,000 inhabitants living in extreme poverty and neighbouring Kenya’s biggest dump.
But luckily for Korogocho’s inhabitants some people have not forgotten about it and are fighting to offer its people better living conditions. North-South Cooperation (Coopération Nord-Sud ASBL), an NGO accredited by the Luxembourg’s ministry of foreign affairs and active since 2011, is one such group. It works to provide help and support to Korogocho’s citizens and other disadvantaged populations across Africa.
10km fundraising run
On Sunday Luxembourg residents could see first hand North-South Cooperation’s efforts with its organization of the “Korogocho Run”. The 10km run took place on the banks of the Alzette--where the river flows by Hamm and Pulvermuhl--creating beautiful sceneries for a wonderful cause: the extension of an existing library in Korogocho.
The first edition of the race was attended by approximately 100 runners of all ages and levels, some of them accompanied by their pets, some others choosing to cover the assigned distance by Nordic walking or simply by having a stroll.
Many participants--most of them members of Luxembourg’s expat community or coming from neighbouring countries--said the non-competitive nature of the challenge seemed to give a chance to discover the beautiful surroundings and meet new people while making an important contribution to Korogocho.
The library was previously built in cooperation with St. John’s Community Centre and the Comboni Mission to Nairobi. The new structure will be expanded to not only foster education--its new ICT centre and web services, 4,000 new textbooks and six classrooms that will serve 150 children--there will also be room for business: the NGO is already working on an internet-based business mentoring program in Uganda to help locals develop their own companies, and a similar project will soon be launched in Korogocho.
“The extension of the library is an important contribution to the education and the well-being of people in Korogocho”, said Roberto Marta, the association’s chairman, “as it is meant to be a space for students of all ages, to study and work on their skills in a protected environment”.
The library’s work is not only receiving respect from locals (even those who do not share the administrators’ religious and cultural beliefs), but also from institutions and sponsors here: Luxembourg’s ministry of foreign affairs will finance two-thirds of the costs of the new library, and numerous local businesses (including Monoprix, Grosbusch, Hwa Rang Do Club Luxembourg and Atelier del Gusto, among others) have supported the initiative by sponsoring the run.
There will be more races and events in support of the Korogocho library starting in June 2016. More information can be found on the North-South Cooperation and Korogocho Run Facebook pages.