Who We Are

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, CFK Africa is a non-governmental organization dedicated to its mission of improving public health and economic prosperity in informal settlements through community-led change.

Local
leadership

Driven by informal settlement communities, for the communities.

Building
trust

Including community input at all stages of program development, implementation, and evaluation.

Strengthening partnerships

Building partnerships for better outcomes.

Initiating
expansion

Improving our programs and extending our reach to informal settlements in eight counties.

Our History

  • CFK Africa was co-founded by Tabitha Festo (a Kenyan nurse living in Kibera), Salim Mohamed (a Kenyan community organizer), and Rye Barcott (a UNC student) as “Carolina for Kibera.”

  • Girls Empowerment Program was launched under the name of Binti Pamoja (Daughters United). Began creating safe spaces for girls and young women to discuss reproductive health issues and to fight gender discrimination.

  • CFK Africa’s first 24/7 medical clinic opened.

  • In an effort to promote healthy practices and to deliver a broader continuum of care, we expanded our health program to include home health visits and health education. Our Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and Youth Peer Providers (YPPs) are essential to the delivery of community wellness initiatives.

  • CFK Africa brings together male and female youth of different ethnicities to promote community cooperation and development through sports.

  • CFK Africa referees and coaches help enforce the CFK Youth Fair Play Code, which governs CFK member behavior both on and off the playing fields.

  • Established Kibera’s first all-girls’ soccer league.

  • Broke ground in March 2007 for construction of new clinic.

  • Introduced a continuing medical education program and capacity building training programs and hired auxiliary doctors and nurses to be “on-call” for the clinic in emergencies.

  • The United Nations recognized CFK Africa’s Binti Pamoja program as one of the world’s premiere programs addressing the unique challenges and needs of adolescent girls.

  • CFK Africa expanded and relocated the clinic to the center of Kibera, renaming it the Tabitha Medical Clinic. In its first full year providing healthcare services in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tabitha Clinic served more than 35,000 patient visits, averaging about 140 residents daily.

  • Lishe Bora Nutrition Centre opened, and 1,566 children were screened for malnutrition.

  • The new 3-story Binti Pamoja Centre opened housing CFK Africa operations and program meetings.

  • Young Health and Wellness Centre opened.

  • Launched Tabitha Maternity Home and first baby born.

Our Roots

CFK Africa (CFK) was co-founded as “Carolina for Kibera” by Tabitha Festo, a Kenyan nurse based in Kibera, Salim Mohamed, a Kenyan community organizer, and Rye Barcott, a visiting US marine and student at the University of North Carolina, in 2001. The organization was inspired by a combination of kindness Barcott received from individuals like Tabitha, who aided in his recovery from malaria while he was studying in Kibera, and passion in locally led change from those like Salim who had already co-founded and run nationally acknowledged youth development programs.

At its inception, CFK was a soccer program — designed to promote leadership development in young people and reduce ethnic violence in the community. Guided by the principles of participatory development, the program engaged community members to help assess needs and solutions within Kibera, one of the largest informal settlements in Africa. Rye and Salim set off to empower the local young people of Kibera when they ran into Tabitha Festo. With only $26, Tabitha single handedly built a business and used her earnings to open a community health clinic. The clinic was attached to Tabitha’s home, because as she said, people don’t stop getting sick at night. The purpose of the clinic was to provide necessary healthcare services to all who were in need, no one would be turned away. Since the initial vision of CFK was to promote a comprehensive version of wellness, incorporating Tabitha’s clinic as a foundational piece of the organization was a no brainer.

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