At the edge of Kibera, Nairobi’s (and Africa’s) largest slum, sits the Little Rock Inclusive Early Childhood Development Centre, a haven for children and students like these, who have been given a chance to learn and grow in a nurturing environment. Founded in 2003 by native Kenyan, Lilly Oyare, the school has quickly grown from 5 students, to serving more than 200 children in its nursery school program alone. The center also provides services to other groups of children in Kibera including: orphans, those infected and affected by HIV, special needs children, and after school care for primary school children. According to Kibera Law Centre, the Kibera slum houses nearly one million people on a plot of land not quite the size of Central Park. Families of 8 to 10 people cram into tiny tin huts sleeping side by side on uneven dirt floors. With little or no access to clean water, health, sanitation, nor security each day becomes a struggle to survive. It is particularly difficult for women and girls who traditionally have not been given the opportunity to go to school. As many as 66% of girls in Kibera routinely trade sex for food by the age of 16, and many begin at age 6; young women in Kibera contact HIV at a rate 5 times that of their male counterparts. Children like Marta, (below) are among the lucky ones, who have been able to attend Little Rock and primary school. This year she will graduate from the 8th grade. Armed with greater knowledge, but without financial support, her future is uncertain. The image below was made in her home in Kibera, as she discussed her life, and options after graduation.
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If you live in New Mexico or happen to be passing through the weekend of May 3rd and 4th, I hope to see you at the Corrales Art Studio Tour! This year there will be 75 artists representing a variety of mediums, including original paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, jewelry, carvings, furniture, glass, ceramics, fine crafts and more. Work representing each participating artist will be on display in the Preview Gallery,Friday May 2, 1:00pm – 2:00pm at the historic Villa Acequia,4829 Corrales Road.
Amritsar, Sikhism, and the Golden Temple
Amritsar, located in Punjab, is home to the Golden Temple, center of the Sikh religion in India. Sikhism is the fifth largest religion with upwards of 30 million members worldwide.
Before entering the temple everyone must removes shoes, cover their head, and walk through a channel of water (supposedly to cleanse feet). Once through the main entrance, a striking complex unfolds, including several large Victorian looking buildings, a giant pool of water and temple itself. Thousands of pilgrims enter the temple everyday, some to visit and some to volunteer their services. All Sikhs are expected to volunteer at the temple at some point in their lives.
Everyday more than 40,000 meals are prepared in huge kitchens and offered for free to the pilgrims. Sikhs use the term Langar which means free food for everyone no matter what race, color, or religion.
Sikhs believe in equality for all, and follow the words written in the book called the Guru Granth Shib.
Thank you for visiting my new blog. I will be posting notes from my travels, photographs, comments, and insights I glean along the way. I hope you will come back often, and share your own thoughts!