Slum Rising explores innovations in tomorrow’s megacities

One sixth of the world’s population lives in slums, but there’s a lot more going on there than poverty. You can support Slum Rising, a new series by The Seattle Globalist uncovering what’s really going on in the world’s slums, today on Kickstarter

Emily works with female youth groups in the community she grew up in. She is a poet and loves using her passion to help young girls put words to the trials and successes of growing up female.

Like all of the girls she works with, she was born and raised in Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum.

Emily teaches poetry to young women in Kibera, Kenya. (Photo by Abby Higgins)
Emily teaches poetry to young women in Kibera, Kenya. (Photo by Abby Higgins)

We talked one afternoon about her experiences of telling people she lived in a slum.

“You see their face change immediately,” Emily tells me of when people find out that she lives in Kibera. Emily says that often she feels the gaze of people in Nairobi, people throughout the world, “looking at you like your life is not worth living.”

As we talked, Emily asked “Why do they talk about people in Kibera like they’re not normal?” she paused, not necessarily waiting for an answer. “Kibera is also a place, there is air here too, just like everywhere else,” she said.

Over a billion people in the world live in slums like Kibera. Emily is one of a billion stories yet to be told.

Slum Rising is a three-part series that will be published on The Seattle Globalist in March. The stories will challenge the stereotypes and unwrap what’s really going on in slums like Kibera.

You can support the series by backing Slum Rising on Kickstarter. Earn some really cool rewards for your donation, and add your name to producers who fund independent journalism.