Building infrastructure for opportunity
Human Needs Project has built our pilot project — the Town Center — to provide infrastructure for opportunity in Kibera (Nairobi, Kenya), one of the largest slums in Africa.
This Town Center provides basic services (water, toilets, showers, laundry) and empowerment services (business skills training, micro-credit, WiFi cafe, health kiosk, green marketplace.) These integrated services provide a holistic solution to the challenges of living in a slum. Together, they can help people with a road map to creating a better life. At the heart of the Town Center is: innovation, community, and sustainability.
The Town Center is a self-contained, clean tech, infrastructure facility with its own clean source of water and power and a recycle/re-use system for its wastewater.
Community ownership is critical if any project is going to thrive. From the beginning, the town center was built at the request of the community, and community members were trained to build it, to manage it, and to maintain it. After the Town Center is fully operational, the local community will also be the owners, as the Town Center will be managed and owned by its users through a Co-Op. HNP has also focused on capacity building so the community ownership can be transformative and empowering.
HNP’s community engagement extends to the wider community in Nairobi, in Kenya, and worldwide, with our global network of academic, corporate and institutional collaborators.
HNP is about self-sustainability: Environmental, Financial, Technical.
Legend: HNPs Impact Evaluation & Data collection program is supported by the 3Cs and the Town Center Management team.
HNP's impact evaluation and measurement team is collecting and analyzing a range of qualitative and quantitative data, including that preexisting to HNP's project, to illustrate impact of the center on its customers as well as ensure technical and management sustainability. Another innovation is that HNP has trained the community to collect and provide high level of quality control of the data onsite.
The Town Center's high tech facility is an excellent platform for community engagement for institutions, government agencies, other nonprofits, universities and corporations.
Through the Town Center, HNP's collaborating partners can undertake community outreach, strategic public health initiatives, research, CSR and market creation. This engagement benefits both partners and community residents, for the residents gain access to the networks of major institutions, universities and corporations, their expertise, technology, products, higher education road maps and career opportunities.