The month of September 2011 will always be remembered as important in the history of matharevalley blog. This was the month Map Kibera Trust visited Mathare Valley looking for possible partners to be involved in community mapping. The first organization was Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI), an Italian international NGO working Mathare in the sector of urban development and food security targeting poor neighbourhoods.
Primoz, a Slovenian introduced the concept of community mapping using GPS. The participants were to be trained in use of GPS and computers. Plan Kenya office was to fund the training. The idea was simply to train youth on how they could develop a ‘talking map’.
A team from Kibera was brought down to Mathare and the process started. More than 150 youths from Mathare, Mabatini, Huruma, Kia Maiko and Mathare North expressed interest. Since the programme was purely voluntary, no lunch or transport; with time most youth had dropped out. The best thing that happen was about youth who remained. Ever since the team has continued to map their own community and share information with local leaders and NGOs working in Mathare.
However in December 2010, the Mathare team took a adopted a another approach from Map Kibera Trust. While Map Kibera team preferred using website and Voice of Kibera to tell thei stories, Mathare Team explored other options I started blogging since it does not require funding to run. Hence www.matharevalley.wordpress.com was born in December 2010.
The idea to start to Matharevalley blog was purely decided by people from Mathare me. This was to answer fears that if Plan Kenya pulls out, how will the team continue sharing information about community on continous basis. I thank all readers and organizations who have taken time to read the blog. – Simon