Meet Sallinder Nyawira, 28, a single mother to a one year old boy and key Accounts Manager for SAFISHA. You must have seen her tweets, but if not, here is her story.
Salinder Nyawira is the founder and marketer of RescueBnB, a collaborative organization trying to connect those seeking shelter due to security concerns after the recently concluded elections.
RescueBnB was born on 12 of August this year at 2am when Sallinder Nyawira asked on her twitter handle @missnyawira those who were in need of shelter due to security concerns to contact her. Since then, Rescuebnb has grown to a team of 10 core volunteers and over 100 network volunteers in various locations like Kibera, Dandora, Mathare, Kawangware, Siaya and Kisumu. It has also partnered with various CSOs, foundations, children’s homes and religious organizations in the country.
I reached out to her to share the story behind RescueBnB and her desire to help others.
1. What is RescueBnB and how did it come to be?
A colleague of mine was trapped inside her house in Kibera with no way of getting out or access to food and this made me feel bad as she has a small baby. So I put out a call on Twitter asking those who felt unsafe to get in touch with me and people started to reach out. And that’s how RescueBnB was born. We got people applying as hosts and applying as those who needed hosting.
2. How did you do it? Were there challenges, if so how did you overcome them?
We first set up a Twitter handle then a website that we were using as our interphase. Our handle was quickly taken so you shall notice that on Twitter we are Resque with a Q. But we are in talks with Twitter to have the handle back. At first it was hard to tell genuine people from those who were not but we started to work with CBOs that are based on the ground and that really helped us a lot.
3. Is it an initiative that was meant for that period only or is it futuristic/continuous?
At first it was meant for that period, but then we realized that there is lot to be done on the ground. And Since as RescuBnB we already have the contacts, we are able to facilitate quite a number of other activities.
4. What do you think is the position of the youth in shaping Kenya’s future/politics/leadership?
We have a HUGE role to play with this regard. We are literally the future of Kenya so we must make changes that we shall be happy to see. Changes that will make us proud to call Kenya home. We must not be brainwashed along tribal lines by those who go before us. We must think independently of them but resonate with one voice.
5. What are some of the successes recorded this far and what next for RescuebBnB?
Our biggest impact has been in letting Kenyans know there is always hope – we’ve connected volunteers (some of whom really wanted to do something about the plight of others but had no food), counselors, community organizations and individuals who need help. It is humbling.
By the time we were getting into our third day, we had three women (one of them pregnant), and a child in two host homes; 251,000 raised on M-Changa, 61,000 on Mpesa, 170 Care Packets Shared, 8-partners and a growing number of volunteers. You can keep up to date with progress on social media and on our website.
We will continue to provide a platform for people who want to help, make a difference and connect with other human beings. Everyone the ability to do something, and RescueBnB is proof of this