The wisdom of slum kids


These Kenyan kids from the slums of Nairobi’s Mathare Valley have put together a pretty cool video on using bicycles as an economical, non-polluting means of transport.
Called Wafalme, Swahili for “The Kings,” the kids entered an online film competition, 1 Minute to Save the World.
Their hip-hop film, “Me and My Bike,” was the 2010 contest winner. Says one line in the film: “It’s good for my health, because I need to exercise. It doesn’t need any gas, just my feet and my eyes.”

The film competition is supported by a wide range of environmental organizations, media companies and international organizations such as UNICEF, Sony, Greenpeace, the British Council and the World Wildlife Fund. It encourages people from all over the world to submit films of no more than a minute in length about climate change.
“Me and My Bike” was shot mostly in Mathare Valley, where some 500,000 people live in ramshackle dwellings made of cardboard, tarps and corrugated metal. The sprawling slum, which lacks sanitary services, is criss-crossed by a maze of dusty roads full of potholes and mud puddles. Flowing through the slum are foul-smelling streams mixed with garbage and urine, where children play and meat and vegetables are sold.
“The Kings” are also known for creating a video called “Trash is Cash,” which promotes recycling in Mathare Valley, which lacks municipal trash collection. (See below.)
“Most of us just sit and wait for the governments to take action about climate change,” said one of the makers of “Me and My Bike,” Dickson Oyugi. “Wafalme instead think that together we can, with small actions in our daily life, make a difference. The most simple and innovative solution is coming from a group of kids in the slums of Nairobi: using bicycles instead of cars!”
One person who viewed the video on YouTube commented: “Why aren’t? these kids running things in this world? I think they’d make a pretty good job of it.”

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Filed under Cool stuff, Environment, Travels, Urban cycling

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