The Kilimani project began as a garden conversation by a few individuals who live, work and play in Kilimani in the middle of 2012. The original set of questions we asked were: What makes Kilimani unique? Why is it a community of choice for the 43,000 people that live or work here? With massive private investment, where is the community heading? Over 2012, the Kilimani Project has organized an online and physical photographic exhibition entitled Kilimani speaks: Jana and Leo (November) 2 and the first Kilimani Festival and two public Kilimani Cares community talks on issues of topical interest (December) In 2013, we developed the Kilimani Voters Guide and held conversations with County and Parliamentary aspirants (February).
Over May and June, we convened several community conversations to chart a new vision for Kilimani (May and June) and co-hosted Nelson Mandela Day with the Kilimani Primary School and the South Africa High Commission (July). This event generated funding, voluntary action and new relationships committed to renovating this public school. We co-organised the very first Police Open Day with the office of the OCPD. Over 200 people attended the community dialogue, played 7 side football with police officers and discussed community policing strategies (October).
Over 2014, the Foundation partnered with twenty organisations among them local businesses, NGOs, local public schools and the Nairobi County Government to organise six events. The events included consultations on the County of Nairobi draft Master Plan for Nairobi (January), clean ups in schools (June) and along Argwings Kodhek street (March), a medical camp for the public (May), the renovation of the Kilimani Primary School canteen (January) and the poetry performance “Silence is a Woman” by Sitawa Namwalie (March).
These activities were only possible with the contribution of tens of residents across Nairobi offering their time and expertise to serve the community. In addition, over fifty businesses and organisations have given in-kind support to the Foundation over 2013. All of these volunteers and contributions are driven by the vision of creating Kilimani as an inclusive and vibrantly alive community for all.
The Project is now registered as the Kilimani Project Foundation, not for profit company limited by guarantee. We welcome individuals and agencies to take up individual or corporate membership.
We continue to vision and act for a Kilimani that inspires us. A community where: ‘Karibu Kilimani’ greets people passing through, guests and those who work or live here; A bustling public library and theater,where children ride bikes and families enjoy recreation facilities; Informal service-providers are integrated and inform planning processes; Safety and security is an owned responsibility of everyone in partnership with the public and private authorities.
The community is known for its creativity, aliveness, tenacity and neighborliness. The area rarely experiences violence, crime or a sense of isolation. People choose to buy homes or establish their businesses in Kilimani. It is, simply, the community of choice.