How to Unite Kenyans Using the Jamii Bora Initiative (Jambo Homes)
In the Kenya we live today, there are so many problems that we face as a society. These problems appear so complex and complicated when tackled from an individual perspective. But if they are tackled with neighbours and friends, they seem too easy and light.
Some of these problems are;
- Domestic violence (Husband and wife problems)
- Widows and widowers inheritance problems
- People living with disability problems (PWD)
- Insecurity problems (Harassment by goons and sect members)
- Lack of development in our areas
- Moral, social and societal degradation due to disunity. etc
The above listed are just those that I can remember but many more problems exist.
The Nyumba Kumi Initiative is a very good model of how to unite society. It has all along be used to tackle the security problems, but that can also be replicated to all other aspects of our life! We have to be our brother’s keepers in all our aspects of life! It also has the numerical no. 10 (Kumi) limitation.
So let us propose that we need the Nyumba Kumi Initiative but add some more roles to it and also remove the “Kumi” limitation. Let us call it the Jamii Bora Initiative. So, let also say that the homes that will belong to one Jamii Bora be called a ‘Jamii Bora Home’. This phrase Jamii Bora can be abbreviated to ‘Jambo” form (JAMii BOra). A JAMBO Home can have between 50-100 homes.
Now, the residents will use these JAMBO Homes to caucus, debate, brainstorm and bond together so that when members get a problem they have people who can come to their rescue.
The JAMBO Homes will act as the demand side of the state and non-state actors goods and services while the other state and non-state actors act as the supply side of the economics in Kenya.
These JAMBO Homes will be given a boost by the National Addressing System because each home will be identified easily
Since we want the JAMBO Homes to be a conduit to solve our problems, we would like their existence to be anchored in the law. Therefore there should be a discourse for public participation where views and ideas from the public are collected and collated. The findings will then form a bill that will be introduced in parliament and eventually form an Act of Parliament.
The reason that they need to be anchored in the law is that it is through the JAMBO Homes that the government, NGO’s parastatals and any other entity will make sure that goods and services they offer reach every person even in the village in a structured way.
For example, if the government is recruiting for the NYS, Police Service, KDF or for National Census or immunisation, they may say that each JAMBO Home countrywide has a slot. In this way, it will be easy for people to know that recruitment is fair and they have not been discriminated upon or some regions are being favoured.
The salient tenets of this Jamii Bora Initiative is that;
- The formation of the same is not government-driven but people-driven.
- The act of parliament will cap the number of member homes to not be e.g. less than may 50 families and not more than 100 families. The exact number can be gotten through public participation.
- The membership has to be from that same geographical area. For you to belong to a JAMBO Home you must have a physical home or business there.
- A person can belong to several JAMBO Homes as long as the other families or members acknowledge him/her. This can be so because one can have several businesses or families in different areas.
- There will be no remuneration of the JAMBO Homes officials. This is because the JAMBO Homes are neither income-generating entities nor government-funded. They are voluntary entities just like the current Nyumba Kumi leaders.
So, now that we have understood the JAMBO Homes, let us explain other greater benefits of adopting and joining them.
The JAMBO Homes members will be able to face common problems together such as
- Kenya Power electricity connections,
- Jointly requesting for services during public participation forums
- Enforcing moral, educational and societal ethics among members
- Coming together in aid of a member in need
- Jointly fighting a common aggressor e.g. if there is an industry emitting waste to their area they can fight it easily.