Millions of people in the world today live in slums. What is slum life like? Is there hope there? Hear the wonderful story of a partnership between some young Australians and an initiative giving hope to the poor in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. A positive and uplifting story.
Susan Ojuki. Sue is based in Nairobi, Kenya and is the deputy director of Spur Afrika, a not-for-profit organisation that works to provide education, health and life skills for children and youth living in the poverty-stricken Kibera slums.
Rosalie Lui. Rosalie is from Melbourne and works as an Occupational Therapist at the Victorian Rehabilitation Centre. She also volunteers as the Australian Managing director of Spur Afrika raising funds to enable the work of Spur in Kenya.
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Bigger Questions asked in the conversation
Now Sue, welcome to Australia, this is your first visit to Australia. How has your time in Australia been?
What are some of the big differences between Nairobi and Australia?
Rosalie, you’re pretty used to drinking from a tap here in Melbourne?
Our smaller questions to you are about how much you know about “slums of the world’.
Origin of Spur
So Sue - those numbers are staggering, so many people living in slums. So what is slum life like?
Now it was in response to the challenges of slum life that meant you started Spur. So take us back to the start - what made you start helping those in the slums of Nairobi, Africa’s biggest urban slum?
Sue meets Rosalie
So Rosalie - how did you get involved?
What was your reaction to the slums?
The question of global poverty is such a big one - so how does what you do provide hope for those in the slums of Nairobi?
With the growth of urban slums projected to continue growing, do you think that you will "solve" poverty?
Motivation for this work
So what motivates you to do this?
Biblical motivation - spur to love
You’ve mentioned that the Christian faith has provided motivation for you, and there is a Bible verse which actually contains the word ‘spur’ in it, from the New Testament book of Hebrews, at Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds
How did this shape the vision and action of Spur Afrika?
It talks about ‘spurring’ one another on to love and good deeds - so in what way has this been a spur to you?
How do you see that what you do is love?
Has this Bible verse and reminder to ‘spur’ one another on, helped you when times have been hard?
The verse immediately preceding this one says,
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
This is speaking about the Christian hope being the motivation for love and action - so Rosalie what is the Christian hope?
The Big Question
So Rosalie and Sue, how do we find hope in the slums of Nairobi?