Eva Muchiri

Eva Muchiri

Muungano & History documentation team

From: Kosovo, Mathare, Nairobi

Interview date & place: 6 May 2016, Nairobi

Interviewed by: Kate Lines

Original language: English

How did you first get involved in Muungano?

My names are Eva Moira Muchiri. I come from Mathare, eastern region. Mathare Kosovo. I'm a young mother, a documenter, a data collector. And also a trainer – a teacher: at home I can give tuition to any child, and I also teach students about computer skills.

In 2015, we were called up by Skye, Skye Dobson. She told Nancy to find some youth to come for a documentation training. So Nancy called up because I was in the same saving group with her. So I came here for the training, and that's how I got involved... I got myself really involved with Muungano.

How has it been, documenting the history of Muungano?

What I've heard from people is... I know the evictions were stopped. Were stopped by the people who fought for the rights of their land. But not all the slums have acquired the land title deeds. The land has not been returned to the community. So what I've learned from them is that we really need to push the government to return – we as youth – need to push the government to return the land to the community. Also by doing data collection, by knowing the population of the community, you can help your community fight for the rights of the land. Because, your parents will not be there, some years to come, we are the only ones who are going to be left. What are we going to do, if one day they come to tell us, now you can disappear from here. Because our parents are not there to fight for us, so we need to do the same. We need to fight for the land, we need to know our population, we need to know what our population lacks, we need to know what the community lacks. What we need. And also our slums need to be upgraded. Because most of the slums are really horrible. The housing that they have done is just temporary. Any time anything can happen.

What have you learnt?

I learnt from Papa – Evans Papa –, from Felicita. Felicita talked about how enumeration helped. When they went to fight for the land of Mariguini not to be evicted from there, their data proved that there are people who have been living there, and for the rest of their lives they have been there, their land belongs to them. So they need to fight for that land. So their data represented them. From Papa... Papa has really told me how the settlement began, and how they kept on going. Even though they were facing more challenges of evictions, they had to keep on going. Whatever the exchanges they went, what they learnt, how they brought it to the community, how the community grew, how the community changed their perspective, and they started savings and crediting. 

What I can say is that, we as documentation team, we are really impressed and inspired by our peers and by our elders in how they struggled. They have really showed us it was a real journey. It wasn't easy, it was really difficult. But we as youths we need to also be like them. We should not look at our financial status, we should go fight for what is ours. We should fight for our rights. We should defend what is yours. And nobody should tell you anything because you also know the laws and the policies of the land of Kenya.

What are your hopes for Muungano’s next 20 years?

As we are documenting each and every process that is being done by Muungano, in future I would like us… Now, the upgrading of slums: at least, in 20 years, Muungano to have achieved upgrading of, let’s say, over 5 slums. Like Kambi Moto – Kambi Moto is well upgraded.

For the next 20 years I want to see more slums upgraded, I want to see more youths involved in upgrading the slums. I want to see more youths being involved in the data collection, being involved in the documentation. Because, the history that we have today, in 20 years to come we can also have it, because it was documented, it was written somewhere. So we can have a proof. When someone comes and stabs us in the back, we have something to prove and tell them and say 'you, stop it, it's like this, it was like this’. So, we have come to continue with the challenge.