Slums are all the rage these days, though for the millions living in them, the reality is less about entertainment than survival. But as part of a youth group based in Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya, several ex-cons have started the region’s first organic farm.
With an estimated one million people living in an area smaller than Central Park, Kibera makes headlines more often for things like flying toilets—people using plastic bags, and sometimes throwing them out the window, when latrines are unavailable—than for the availability of fresh produce.
But in the midst of the instability following the election in Kenya last year, Victor Matioli and his 36-member Youth Reform Group met with Su Kahumbu from Green Dreams, an organic produce company, to discuss the possibility of starting a farm in the slum.
In order to avoid putting pesticides and other additional chemicals into the soil, Kahumbu decided to teach the group organic, rather than conventional, farming methods.