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Project shows the other side of Nairobi

This content was published on June 22, 2018 - 17:00

A Swiss man has come up with a unique project in the Kenyan capital: hiring local tour guides to show the harsh realities of city life. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Gianmarco Marinello from Zurich studied psychology in Switzerland and worked in the private sector before giving it all up to go and work as a youth developer in settlements in South Africa. He moved to Nairobi in 2016 to study social innovation management at the Amani Institute, where he met his project co-founder Sriram Damodaran from India.

In Nairobi, many of the estimated 50,000 street children end up scavenging in dumps for scraps to sell, others turn to crime. Marinello and Damodaran wanted to implement social change and find a new business idea for disadvantaged young people, so they set up Nai Nami, "Nairobi with me" in Kiswahili, offering tours with the young people themselves as city guides. The idea is to use their existing skills to create sustainable income.

Swiss public television, SRF, visited the home of one of the guides, Kissmart, and heard from some of the other young guides how dangerous it is to live on the streets.

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