KARIKA is an acronym of Kenyan Aged people Require Information, Knowledge & Advancement. This is a registered community based organization CBO, under the ministry of culture and social services in the year 2003, located in Dagoretti South Riruta location next to police station. the land in which we are located belong to the government of Kenya and we were located here by the Authority of the local leaders after we had been forcefully evicted by the landlords we used to rent their house next to K-REP BANK when they had a family land dispute in the year 2013.
Karika started as a self help group at an open air site under a tree. They used to meet twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In the past they have generated income through activities such as making jewellery, soap making and sewing. The group used to provide food for orphaned or vulnerable children on Saturdays but due to funding issues this is becoming more difficult. They used to rent a room less than a hundred meters from where they started which consisted of a corrugated iron building 8ft by 10ft. This was their home for over 10 years. They carried out their activities in a small room. In 2013 the Kairka room was torn down and the group were left homeless. Thankfully due to community support they recieved a small plot on which they built a very small community centre once again made of corrugated iron. The community recognised the importance of the older people in the community to which Karika is very grateful. The group continues to be run by Elijah Mwega who is assisted by Violet Kagai Akama. They give their time on a voluntary basis.
Karika is located in the slum known as Riruta, bordering Kawangware, located in the Dagoretti division of Nairobi. 65,958 people live in this area in very basic accommodation. Most homes consists of ‘shanty like’ corrugated iron structures no more than 9 sq ft. There is no running water, no electricity and no sanitation. There is a high increase of one or two parent orphans in the area of Riruta due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Ageing people are being called upon to assist with their grandchildren. The elderly people have no way of earning an income and have no pension, therefore they are under huge financial strain.