Some years ago, when I started my Masters program at UNC Chapel Hill, I came across this amazing nonprofit called Carolina for Kibera.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of its founders, Rye Barcott, through a wonderful professor and Co-Director of the Duke/UNC Rotary Peace Center, Jim Peacock.

There are many interesting things about Carolina for Kibera, but the one that most moves me is the story behind its creation.

In the summer of 2000, Rye went to Kibera when he was still a UNC undergrad, and met Tabitha Festo and Salim Mohamed. They became friends.

Before Rye returned to UNC, Tabitha, a jobless nurse and a widow, asked him for 2,000 KSh (US $ 26) to start selling vegetables. He gave it to her. She then transformed that into US 130 and made her dreams come true: she started a medical clinic in Kibera.

Together, these three friends started Carolina for Kibera, a non-profit organization that inspires and betters the life conditions of thousands of people in Kenya.

The motto behind this nonprofit is: “Talent is universal, opportunity is not”, something I believe to be true. Based on it, they work to support and develop local leaders, alleviate poverty in Kibera and become a positive influence.

An unemployed nurse, an undergrad and a community organizer. Don’t you love stories in which the “underdogs” win?


If you would like to read more about it, please go to: Carolina for Kibera

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