Eaastleighwood was started in the year 2011 by Director Burhan Iman to transform lives through art, media and capacity building while advocating for peace, stability and development and substantially contribute towards facilitating the social-economic, political and cultural development. The Director has to date managed to have branches in Kamkunji, Mogadishu and London. His wish is that he can expand to Kismayu and Gedu in Southern Somali.
Through his organization he has been able to provide employment opportunities to not only the marginalized youth in Eastleigh but also vulnerable youth across the country.
He has also promoted peace within diverse communities by allowing youth from different communities to work together.
Success stories from youth who have benefited from the organization since it was started. Youth have been able to start up their own productions, create music as well earn from online social platforms such as Youtube. Some have also been able to acquire scholarships to study abroad and better their living standards.
Through an annual event hosted by the organization, the Eastleigh Exhibition Week, there has been massive partnerships between different organizations.
Through trainings and such events, a lot of youth, women, and community leaders have been able to gain knowledge in different areas such as journalism and business
The organization through the good work done for the community has been able to as well host ambassadors from different embassies to come and take part in some of the productions done and workshops.
Since 2018 to date, the organization in partnership with four other organizations started implementation of the ‘Jiongoze Project’ funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund. The project aims to build a community of resilient and empowered youth with a sense of purpose and identity or their lives reducing radicalization to violent extremism.
Eastleighwood has been able to help youth in Nairobi and Garissa Counties. The project is implemented through media and art providing opportunities to showcase their talents through voiceovers, wall murals, animation, plays and to as well pass prevention of violent extremism messaging in radio and TV.
These achievements would have not been if not for the support from sponsors, the government, the community.
The major challenge Eastleighwood has had over the years to date is getting funding for the projects it does for the communities. In the case of enough funding, the Director feels the organization would have been able to impact the lives of other youth in other communities and eventually be the best local youth film production in Kenya.
In his journey, Eastleighwood has made appearances in international and local media, Aljazeera, VOA BBC, KTN, Switch TV,Universal TV,Star FM,Ghetto FM,Pamoja FM. There are also wall murals in Kamukunji and Kibera as well as newsletters distributed to the community with visual arts and updates on the organizational activities in communities.
The Director’s mission currently is to expand the organization to other parts of Africa and reach out to more youth with skills and potential for the betterment of the country.