Giacomogiacomo operates in some areas of the suburbs of Nairobi, Kenya.

We all meet together for lunch and dinner. The activities take place between these two
moments, with a period of break between 1 PM and 2 PM. The period of the camp is about right
after Christmas, until Epiphany holidays (when schools reopen), while in Kenya there is a break
for summer holidays. The maximum number of participants is 30.

Once arrived in Nairobi, you can choose between two groups, which operate in two areas on the
outskirts of Nairobi. Here is explained more in detail the activity of the two sub-groups that, at
the end of the day, meet again in the Giacomo hall (the refectory) to share their own day.

FIRST GROUP

The first group carries out three types of activities in Ongata Rongai, a fraction of the suburbs of the capital Nairobi.
The area in which the activities are concentrated is called Slum in particular Bangladesh, Gataka and Kware:

Animation of children
The slums of Nairobi are composed of a high percentage of children given that the period in which the camp takes place in Nairobi coincides with summer vacations for schools. The animation consists mainly of playing and involving all children with games and BAN (animated dances), previously prepared and organized by the volunteers through materials collected in Italy.

Construction of barracks
The team of volunteers chosen for this activity, assisted by local carpenters, will take care of the restructuring and/or reconstruction of some barracks in the slums. Local social workers will indicate our team which barracks need more intervention based on priority.

Home visits
Home visits will take place in groups of 4 people accompained by a social worker and will be attended by all the participants in the camp (even those who belong to the other group).
Families will host us in their home to share their life experiences with us. A real cultural exchange will take place through a dialogue (where the social worker will act as interpreter). Not only will the families tell us about their lives but they will also be glad to hear stories from us, ​ therefore it will be a two-way sharing experience. In this way, you will come into contact with the true meaning of living in the slums, and you will be able to understand concretely the daily life situation of the families that will welcome us. This is a compulsory activity, which we recommend to everyone because it puts us emotionally at stake facing a culture that is so far from ours.

SECOND GROUP

The second carries out activities in the district of Saint Martin, inside Korogocho, a Slum in the suburbs of Nairobi. Counting about 180,000 inhabitants (per square kilometer), it is the fourth most populous slum in the country. The name "Korogocho", in kikuyu (Kenya's ethnic majority), means "confusion". Korococho has been witnessing for years a serious environmental crisis due to the presence, near the inhabited center, of a landfill called Dandora. The activities for this group are:

Sisters of Mother Teresa In the morning we operate in a Halfway House which is run by the nun of Mother Teresa. The center collects single mothers with children and people with disabilities. These are mainly children who have been abandoned in front of the compound’s gate, and then raised and looked after by the nuns until adulthood. The giacomogiacomo volunteers of assist the nuns and their assistants in anything necessary, making themselves available at their best.

Animation of children In the afternoon the activity takes place in the open space near the school of Saint Martin that giacomogiacomo has helped to build. It will be a moment to spend time with the children from the slum doing BAN and games. Unlike Bangladesh, children in Saint Martin will be much more numerous. The activity of the animation is organized in advance.  

A very important collective moment is the mass on the first of January, which is celebrated by
the whole group in the parish of Kariobangi, in the heart of the alum, close to where the second
group volunteers work. It is a Mass in Swahili, the official language of Kenya, celebrated by the
Comboni priests who host the parish. Once the mass is over, we have lunch all together, and we
leave for a leisure trip. This is because, in addition to the volunteering service, we still are in
another country and it is important to visit places and cultures.

Entering someone's home in Africa means much more than it means on our side of the world. You enter on your tiptoe. The meetings are intense moments and hands that tighten, words not spoken and eyes that speak. I find myself sharing the nothing that these people materially possess, but you do not often  meet such rich souls. I feel privileged.
Margherita – 25 y/o

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)