“I’ll ensure that every child in our public school system gets the proper attention in an appropriate class size to progress. We need to give special attention to immigrant newcomer children and those with special needs” – Kombii Nanjala

 

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Kombii Nanjalah, local community and union organizer and activist.

Kombii Nanjalah has served for six years as a shop steward with BCGEU Local 303 and she currently serves on the COPE Executive as a Member at Large.

Kombii works as a Community Care Worker supporting mentally and physically challenged children at Pathway Community Services. She also works with the African Great Lakes Networking Foundation, focusing on youth empowerment through education, sports, and music.

“I will be a strong advocate for students living in poverty, lunch programs, the Inner City Schools program, and a city-wide anti-poverty strategy,” said Kombii. “Parents need the $10 a Day childcare plan right now, and I will fight for the School Board to play a strong role in providing affordable childcare for everyone who needs it.”

Kombii is also a strong supporter of the Sanctuary City movement. “We need to support families to stay together and feel safe without the threat of deportation” said Nanjalah. “Our schools should be sanctuary zones, and should not discriminate against children based on their status or the status of their parents.”

She is concerned about people like Rodney Watson Jr, a war resister who has taken Sanctuary at the First United Church in the Downtown Eastside. Rodney’s son Jordan is now school going age and faces seeing his father being deported to the US to face court-martial.

Kombii also brings extensive experience from her youth advocacy work in Africa. She built a soccer movement Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) that grew from just four boys to over one million children and youth in Kenya. She organized low-income youth in Nairobi, and in 2002 started working in the second largest slum in Africa, called Kibera, where she worked to organize, educate, and empower women and youth and advocated for the upgrade of Kibera slums. She brings her five years experience gained at UN Habitat headquarters’s Nairobi office as youth organizer. She served for two years as Secretary of the Civil Society Coalition that was formed from local community organizations andpartnered with UN Habitat Chair Mobilization Committee.