Wounds: a project about Kenya by Gianluca Uda

The social situation of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi,  is not easy, especially in the suburbs and in the shanty towns which experience an intense discomfort.

Forty percent of the people living in Kenya ‘s slums are HIV-positive, families are virtually absent and many children live on the streets. The sanitary conditions in the barracks often lead to diseases such as tuberculosis. Alcoholism is widespread there and men turn away from their family duties. Prostitution is often considered by women as the only alternative to support their children.

The strong corruption of the country’s governing bodies does not help the development of these areas. There are many people who, as a form of rebellion, turn to the most orthodox Islam. Humanitarian associations from all over the world try to support the hard discomfort the people of the barracks live in, but often their help is not enough.

Kenya is an important world tourist spot, but the travel agencies themselves hide the dark sides of this great African country. Children are the first victims of this system, and public schools, as well as health care, don’t meet their needs. A high level of illiteracy and the difficult access to culture undermines the education and training of the majority of children born in the slums. Many of these children are born HIV-positive, in broken and poor families. All this drives these children out of the slums, living by their wits. The use of inhalants, such as shoemaker glue, is considered a way both to escape and to face street life. Many of these children die before they are thirteen as drugs and poor nutrition undermine their already weak bodies.

The police do not look favorably on those who live on the streets and often use their position to carry out injustice and abuse by extorting money or by making violent and brutal acts. Living in a shantytown means not having a sewage system, not having continuity in water and electricity. These places become limbs where the inhabitants are ready to do anything they can to get out of it.

About the author:

Gianluca Uda was born in Rome in 1982, and graduated from the school for surveyors in Viterbo. He has been working with humanitarian associations for many years, being active in human rights. He lived in many different countries, including Bangladesh, Kenya and Ecuador. At the moment he lives in Brazil and works with a humanitarian association that takes care of  Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. Gianluca uses photography as a means of social denunciation and combines it with active social employment  through his work.

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