Diverse group of international leaders and local volunteers will help organization improve and expand services in informal settlements
[CHAPEL HILL, NC | NAIROBI, KENYA]– Carolina for Kibera (CFK), an international nonprofit based in Kibera, Kenya, has convened a new Advisory Council to guide the organization as it enters a new decade of service. The Council includes former U.S. government and agency leaders, including 64th U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, a former head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American and Kenyan university professors, private-sector global executives, and former CFK student volunteers. This group of diverse international leaders will support CFK in addressing the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and assist the organization in fulfilling its mission of developing local leaders, catalyzing positive change, and alleviating poverty in the informal settlement of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya.
CFK is comprised of Kenyan volunteers, coaches, health workers, community activists, and youth, who provide primary health care, holistic education programs, and youth empowerment initiatives in the community. Over the past 19 years, the organization has built a research and community development platform in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), the CDC, and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).
“It is a pleasure to join the CFK inaugural Advisory Council in advance of CFK’s 20th anniversary,” said Albright. “For nearly two decades, CFK has invested in Kibera’s youth, helping them grow and chart their own futures while also building a public health platform with the CDC. CFK has not only built local capacity but also created valuable knowledge for other informal settlements around the world. It is a model of effective participatory development.”
“CFK is a model of soft power and the right way to do development,” said Dr. Joseph Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor. “It’s evident in the organization’s trust and longevity within the community.”
The creation of the Advisory Council is especially pertinent as CFK addresses growing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a community where poverty and overcrowding make it difficult to achieve desired levels of social distancing and sanitation, the guidance of an Advisory Council that is both locally rooted and well-versed in health care challenges facing the community will allow CFK to continue providing critical health programs while expanding its services to include additional testing and contact tracing for COVID-19.
“Carolina for Kibera is the one organization that I know that has both earned and kept the trust of the community and truly made a transformative impact,” said Dr. Stellah Bosire, a member of the Advisory Council, former CEO of the Kenya Medical Association, and native of Kibera. “Tabitha Clinic is currently one of the few medical facilities in Kibera sampling for COVID-19.”
CFK’s partnerships with the CDC, KEMRI, and UNC built the foundation for a mitigation pandemic response, which they are now implementing and that can also be modeled in other informal settlements.
“Carolina for Kibera embodies UNC’s commitment to public service, both in the U.S. and globally. I am especially impressed by the 12-year partnership CFK built with the CDC, KEMRI, and UNC’s School of Public Health to help build local health capacity, early detection, and resilience to infectious disease in Kibera while generating important knowledge that benefits informal settlements around the world,” said Dr. Bill Roper, Advisory Council member, former Director of the CDC in the George H.W. Bush and Clinton Administrations, and Interim President of the University of North Carolina system.
Combining local roots with the new guidance of an accomplished and dedicated group of advisors, CFK will have the ability to improve and expand its services while effectively responding to the current and future challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In Kibera, you can often hear the Swahili saying haba na haba hujaza kibaba,” said Rye Barcott, CFK Co-Founder and Board Chair. “This translates to ‘step by step we reach the goal.’ It’s a reminder in this time of tremendous adversity and uncertainty across the world that we need to persist, to keep moving forward. Over the past 19 years, Kibera and CFK have taught me that change starts with small groups of people with integrity who are relentlessly persistent to a common goal rooted in service. The formation of our Advisory Council is one more step toward our goal of fighting extreme poverty through exceptional youth leadership development and innovative public health that creates knowledge for other informal settlements around the world. There are many more steps ahead. Haba na haba.”
Advisory Council Members
64th U.S. Secretary of State
Senior Associate, Population Council
Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State
Co-Executive Director, UHAI: East African Sexual Health & Rights Initiative
Emory University Professor; Former Director, CDC Global Disease Detection Division in Kenya
Founder and CEO, Second Front; Former CFK Peacock Fellow
Professor, Harvard Business School; former CEO, Medtronic
President, Robert Morris University
Partner, Riverstone; Professor of Practice, Imperial Business School in London
Demographer, University of Nairobi
Executive, DTB Africa
Group CEO and Managing Director, The Standard Group Pl
Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University Center for the Environment, Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Interim President, UNC System; Former Director, US CDC
Board Member, Sall Family Foundation; Adjunct Professor, UNC School of Public Health
About Carolina for Kibera
Carolina for Kibera (CFK) is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Nairobi, Kenya and affiliated entity of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. CFK’s mission is to develop local leaders, catalyze positive change, and alleviate poverty in the informal settlement of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. To achieve this, CFK provides holistic healthcare services, education programs, and girls empowerment initiatives. The organization combines service with responsible research to inform and assist participatory development in Kibera and other informal settlements globally.
If you would like to schedule an interview or obtain more information about Carolina for Kibera, the Advisory Council, or our work in Kibera, please contact Beth-Ann Kutchma by phone at 919.599.6504 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A list of Advisory Council members can be viewed on CFK’s website.