It’s Saturday midday walking along Korogocho slum’s street, sound after sound inside the clubs and barbershops popular known as (Kinyozi in Swahili), people are busy with their own business in a slum estimated about to 300,000 residents, here is where I meet Samuel Wachira. Wachira was a street boy who dropped out of school and joined a local gang as a thief. But skate- boarding changed his life. The sport gave him confidence. He has gone back to school.
Nairobi roller-skating initiative for children is helping to make neighbourhoods safer.
When I first raced, I was number one and then won three medals. That is when I realized skating could transform my life and help my parents,” said Samuel while listening to Elephant Man, one of the big hit ragga stars, he is a member of Hope Raisers skating club. The Hope Raisers Initiatives is a community sports project structured to offer mentor ship and out reach programs to children and young people living in Korogocho using roller skating and other forms of urban arts expression. It keeps them fit and off the streets. The group nurtures creative talent and uses sports as a tool for violence prevention. More than 40 youth from Korogocho whose ages range from six to 21 years are involved weekly.
The founders were in-sired by their own upbringing in the slum. “Hope Raisers skating club is a place where young people come to act out their dreams. Skating is easy to learn, keeps them fit and keeps them off the street,” says Daniel Onyango the founder of the group. “It also creates a road map for success and makes it happen through interacting with others, sharing life experience, learning roller skating skills for positive social transformation,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter if you are from the slum, if you are determined and hardworking you can actually make it in life.