First of all, it's a bit ingenuous to say that a shanty town is "excellent" but the experience of spending time in Kibera was amazing and really got me thinking about how incredibly lucky (blessed!) I am (in some ways at least) to be born in the US instead of in Kibera.
I went in with local colleagues and connected with an NGO in Kibera, MMaji ("mobile water" in Swahili) This organization collects information from water sellers, and then gives information to women who must fetch water each day for their families. The sellers feed their water availability and price into a central database. The women then send a (free) text to MMaji designating an area of Kibera where they are located. Immediately, they get back a (free) text with all of the places that have water that day, plus the prices. That saves them a lot of time and frustration. The organization also monitors water purity, offering free testing and remediation if needed.
Together, we walked through the public lanes of Kibera, and along that famous icon, the railroad track, that cuts through the area. It was a very sobering thing to see conditions - yet the people were very nice, waving and smiling as we passed. We were very respectful because it felt like an honor to be allowed to come to this community.
I know there are tours of Kibera as well, that are great for people who don't have local contacts. Do NOT go in without a local accompanying you! They will know where it is safe to go (and where it isn't) and you will have an interpreter who can help you understand things that aren't clear to you.
I've been to "slums" (informal housing, townships, favelas, etc) all over the world and I always find it to be a very important experience. Much of my work involves people in such places, so I've been to a number, but Kibera was a particularly interesting place, given our contact there.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.