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Gregor commented on A Green Community Centre in Nairobi's Oldest Slum

Dear Chioma,

we are in fact quite optimistic about being able to construct the centre with 1/8th of $800,000: according to our preliminary calculations, materials and transport will amount to not even $30,000 (that's also partly why we opted for these materials) which leaves a healthy margin for professional and unskilled labour, service connections, permits, equipment and the rest. But even if we are coming short, we have in the past reached out to both the City as well as local embassies and corporate foundations, who we are confident would also jump on board to provide co-funding once they see the level of support we are receiving from Amplify. Also, in May, we ran an all-out IndieGogo campaign raising about 4500 USD in total, but most importantly, building up a large base of supporters from all over the world which I am sure we could mobilise for an even more impressive second campaign, since more people would then be convinced that things are moving towards the realisation of the project.

Please do let me know if you have any more questions and Merry Christmas in the meantime :)

Best,
Gregor

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Gregor commented on A Green Community Centre in Nairobi's Oldest Slum

Dear Chioma,

many thanks for this follow-on question. In terms of funding, we obviously want to use it to build the centre, equip it as much as possible and give it the best possible chance of succeeding in the long run. We already have a very clear idea of the material, transport and labour costs involved (the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), for instance, will be providing the bamboo at the necessary diameters and lengths at very competitive prices, in addition to the steel cages for the gabions). Other costs such as for planning permits and service connections are also known. Everything will finally be costed by a professional quantity surveyor who has been involved with the project.

The construction process will also require the on-site participation of an engineer as well as building material specialists able to supervise and train the community members, who we plan to actively integrate in the building process, in the construction techniques and proper long-term maintenance of the materials, which is especially important for bamboo.

The urban context is a complicated one with multiple often antagonistic agendas needing reconciliation from a variety of stakeholders. While we believe to have covered our bases from as many angles as possible, we are obviously not immune to human error or unanticipated circumstances and may still run into issues along the way. We are therefore very much looking forward to benefiting from the experience, design guidance and technical assistance Amplify will be able to provide us and are more than willing to work with the entire team to make sure the centre will be as much of a success as we think it can be.

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Gregor commented on A Green Community Centre in Nairobi's Oldest Slum

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We envision the centre to be governed by a network of Mathare 3A’s existing CBOs to make sure as many people as possible are on-board and have a stake in the project. This network would itself be registered as a CBO with a two-tier organizational structure consisting of an elected seven member Executive Committee and the Centre Management, consisting of a manager and support staff. In addition, our core team members will be part of a Technical Advisory Committee to advise the CBO on organizational, technical, financial, legal, planning and architectural issues without having an actual vote in decision-making. A constitution for this CBO has already been drafted and shared with members of various CBOs currently active which we would be happy to send on to you for further reference. Previous experience in other projects has shown that getting the right people in charge who understand the importance of transparency and reliability especially in terms of financial accountability and maintenance of partnerships is crucial to make sure that the managing organization is perceived as working towards the good of the community both by other organisations as well as the community itself.