Every Saturday and Sunday Afternoon, if you live around Kariobangi and Korogocho slums, probably you have met a group of young, dedicated and highly spirited youths aged between 6 – 20 years. These are youths whom despite of the difficult background have a different view of their lives. Dedicated to scouting and highly motivated to work hard and improve their living hood. They are Huipalas Koch Open Troop.
The group was formed in the early days of 2011. Following a good relationship that some youths from Korogocho gad established with the Italian scouts (AGESCI). One of this youth having undergone his childhood as a scout in Korogocho he suggested that scouting can be used as an alternative activity for slum youths.
Huipalas Koch Open troop registers a member almost every week. Currently in the Kenya Scout Association drive to register 1million scouts, Huipalas had registered 110 scouts by 22nd February. Guided by the three principles of scouting, Duty to God, Duty to Others and Duty to oneself, The group has come up with its objectives and goals to ensure their lives and that of their community has been improved greatly.
The objectives are guided by four Pillars:
1. Education and Empowerment
In this, the group believes that education is one way to create social change. Korogocho being a kilometer square land, with a population of about 120 000, finding space or even resources might be a bigger challenge, but with this pillar, we believe education can break the cycle of poverty, and can lead to a highly empowered society. With this the group seeks to provide opportunities for education through the little support we get from Huipalas Kenya. We also provide an opportunity for mentorship and guidance from experienced people.
2. Community participation and awareness
This appreciates the fact that we are not alone, we do not exist in a void. We embrace the concept of Ubuntu. I am because you are. With this we learn from our community, we improve our community with the knowledge and the skills we have acquired and at any moment we are called to participate in any community agenda we embrace it fully.
3. Leisure, talent and personal development
We appreciate the fact that our group is made up of individuals, we have different upbringing, different talents and different way of thinking including the ethnic, religious and social differences. This are the strong points of our group, we complement our abilities by encouraging all to express themselves in their own way. In art, music, storytelling, dances and many more. With this we are able to build a happy and healthy group where individuals are not afraid to grow or to express themselves.
4. Scouting and Sustainability
We keenly observe the ways of boys’ scouts as instructed by the lord Baden Powel. We also try to remain relevant to the changes in technology, way of life and to find sustainable is the humanity in this. We want to ensure that we sustain ourselves, our activities, our environment and all mankind in general. We envision an environment that is self – sustained.
Since 2011, we have participated in different activities with regards to this four pillars and we have been able to achieve a lot. The activities include community clean-up, candles of peace campaign before elections, scouts competitions among many other activities.
We welcome other people and groups to share with us our lifestyles. Contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org or on our facebook page Huipalas Kenya.