Chinese young man helps realize dreams of impoverished African children

By Lv Qiang from People’s Daily


A Chinese man named Yin Binbin, who has worked four years in a Kenyan slum, is making efforts to help the impoverished Kenyan children realize their dreams.


The Mathare Valley, located in Nairobi, is the second largest slum area in Kenya. Covering an area of three square kilometers, it is home to around 600,000 people, most of whom are living in chronic poverty according to the World Bank standard.


The place not only lacks clean drinking water and basic sanitary guarantee, but also is threatened by violence and diseases.


Yin, born in 1990s, came to Kenya for the first time in 2014 as a volunteer teacher at a local primary school. Seeing the shabby teaching facilities, the young man decided to build a school with concrete for the local students.


After posting information on the internet, Yin received donations from over 1,000 Chinese netizens, and the primary school, Changrong School was finally established.


“I can hardly believe that a primary school in the slum can be built with joint efforts,” Yin said excitedly.


From then on, the young man determined to continue bringing benefits to children in the slums. He co-founded Dream Building Service Association (DBSA), a non-profit organization dedicated to the survival and development of children in impoverished areas throughout the world, to do more for the children.


So far, the DBSA has recruited over 100 Chinese university students and overseas students.


Local children would cheer Chris, the English name of Yin, once they saw him, and they would also call out “China! China!” and give high-fives when seeing Chinese faces.


At the end of 2016, the Caso School in the Mathare Valley was burned down due to an explosion of a neighboring chemical plant. The principal Samuem went to Yin for help, hoping that the DBSA could rebuild the school.


“They are one of the best charity organizations in the slums and have the abilities to reconstruct a new school,” the principal said when explaining why he chose the Chinese volunteers.


After more than one year’s fundraising and construction, a new two-storey school house was completed this August at the original site, covering an area of over 360 square meters. It has 14 classrooms that can accommodate some 400 students.


Thanks to Chinese firms including Keda Ceramics, the school was one of the best schools at the Mathare Valley, and also the first school decorated with floor tiles and suspended ceilings, said Yin.


Up to now, the DBSA has built three primary schools at Mathare Valley.


In addition, the non-profit organization jointly launched a free lunch program for children in Kenya together with China Social Welfare Foundation, benefiting over 1,600 students at seven slum schools. Now, the charity program has spread to five African countries, including Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Malawi.


“It can be projected that by the end of this year, we will provide free food for more than 10,000 African children. It’s hoped that the program can go to dozens of African countries and become an international charity program of China,” said Yin.


He added that the free lunch program had signed a memorandum of understanding with Rachel Ruto, the wife of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto.


She thanked the Chinese volunteers for all the efforts they made for Kenya, saying that the free lunch program could help starving children as well as promote education in impoverished communities.



A Chinese volunteer is tutoring a slum child in Kenya. (Photo by Lv Qiang from People’s Daily)

Kenyan slum youngsters are doing warm-up exercise before a football game. (Photo by Lv Qiang from People’s Daily)

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