For 15 years, Nafsi Africa has been working to give youngsters in Nairobi’s slums self-confidence and artistic skills, and it is now a recognised, experienced cultural organization. Nafsi was founded by a group of adult acrobats. From their own lives they had learned that acrobatics gave them substance in their daily lives and opportunities for the future, and they wanted to pass on this experience to new generations.
Today, Nafsi consists of a group of artists who train children and young people in Nairobi’s slums, and who tour professionally – often in other countries. Nafsi also consists of many children and young people from several of Nairobi’s slums, as well as their parents. They see Nafsi as an opportunity to avoid the pitfalls of the slums, to maintain the schooling of the youngsters and to create belief in a future.
Nafsi’s members have plenty of great ideas, but very limited financial means. So in 2016, Spor Media and Nafsi launched a collaboration that would enable Nafsi to manage projects with external funding. The project was called “Combining theory and practice: How to implement cultural projects for children and young people in Kenya’s slums” and lasted for seven months (LINK for project application).
The plan is to follow up with a new project which creates new activities, especially for Nafsi’s girls.
The School Fund
In collaboration with Spor Media, Nafsi has set up a school and education fund to help children and young people from Nafsi, whose parents cannot afford to pay their tuition fees. The fund is managed by Spor Media in Denmark, and in Kenya Nafsi has a small team that follows up on the development of each of the beneficiaries. Some Danish families make regular contributions to the fund in order to pay the tuition fees for ‘their’ Nafsi youngster.
A lot of Nafsi youngsters are unable to pay their tuition fees, so the school fund is always open for new donations.
Nafsi is also a socio-cultural organization which targets the poorest children and young people. Approximately every other week, the organization provides food for some of Nairobi’s many street children, and in addition to a full stomach, the kids get entertained and enjoy a positive experience.
Watch a video from a day with Nafsi and street children in Mlango Kubwa, Nairobi: