Wednesday, October 05, 2005

KIBERA COMMUNITY YOUTH PROGRAMME Empowering Youth To Have A Stake In The Future

This unique, community-based organization formed, and run by young people in the Kibera slum of, Nairobi, Kenya has been able to leverage partnerships to get a lot of things going.

To begin with, it is registered under the office of Vice President and ministry of Gender, Sports and Department of Social Services Ref: DSS/NP/5/4/VOL. IV/2002 (217) and this gives it a connection to that ministry.

Its web site is sponsored by Kabissa and looks very professional.

The mission of this organization is the "advancement and well-being of young people in Kibera. We aim to provide opportunities that promote proactive participation in community development." And its vision is to "create an enabling environment in which young people can maximize their potential as well as play a more pivotal role in their personal growth and societal development." And it wants to do this by enhancing the integration of youth in community development

I have written about Kibera previously in our August 22nd article featuring Carolina for Kibera , but to refresh your memory, it is one of the largest slums in the world and as a result faces many problems related to urbanization. And the young people realize how important it is to have a community movement to address some of those problems. This was why they founded the KYCP in early 2002.

These young people felt the need "to join hands and offer our services to the greater community in areas such as environment management and capacity building, as well as in creating awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic." As a result these youth have attained a sense of social responsibility through their community service and also through the creation of a theatre group and soccer team.

Some of the issues to which the youth of Kibera are being sensitized are the dangers of drug abuse, illegal firearms, domestic violence, child abuse and HIV/AIDS. Development issues are also brought to the attention of the youth.

KCYP is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious organization that includes both Christian and Muslim members from the various ethnic groups found in Kibera. In addition to ethnic and religious diversity, gender equality and respect for persons with disabilities are important to the group as well.

Because the organization has leaders and policy makers who are the young people living within Kibera it is "in touch with the experiences, needs, concerns and aspirations of the community it wishes to serve."

KCYP has an eight-member management board of young people and anAdvisory Board from different professions. The management board formulates all the policies and receives input from the Advisory Board. These policies are implemented by the Secretariat headed by a Director who is the Secretary to the Management Board. The organization gained its legal status in October 2002.

Some of KCYP's projects are

- the successful implementation of a stigma reduction campaign on HIV/AIDS in Kibera through community theatre in partnership with Population Services International-Kenya.

- the initiation of environmentally sustainable income generating project of assembling simple and affordable solar panels.

- 20 young volunteers have been trained in theatre for development skills.

- 60% of the volunteers have been trained in entrepreneurship skills.

- effectively promoted active participation by youth and community activities i.e. sports, clean-ups, workshops etc.

- attracting both local and international volunteers.

There are many other accomplishments that can be found at their web site, but I would like to point to the recognition that the organization received from the BBC and local media for its solar panel project. Read BBC story here.

In the future, KYCP would like to:

- Set up a multi-resource center for both the youth and the surrounding community

- Start computer training to teach young people how to use current technology

- Start a cyber café to beef up our resources and support other projects therefore fostering sustainability

- Initiate a sports tournament for young people

- Establish a voluntary testing and counseling center

among other things.

In addition to Kabissa, KCYP partners with

* VSO-Jitolee, East African Volunteering

* African Regional Youth Initiative

* ActAlive

* Ecoventures International

* Students Global AIDS Campaign-Weslayan University Chapter

* Population Services International-Kenya

It also partners with Students In Free Enterprise , which we wrote about on August 1st 2005

Time is getting short, and I am going to have to wrap up this article, but I would like to say that KCYP is interested in:

Capacity Building

Leadership Development

Income Generating Projects

Sports Development

Volunteerism and Internship and

Recreational and excursion activities, exchange visits

And you can read more about each of these objectives at the KCYP web site.

This is a very determined group of young people who accomplish what they set out to do. So, for a really inspirational story and a wonderful model as to how people can partner with others, make a difference and make a change, go to the KCYP web site.

Kibera Community Youth Programme

1 comment:

Fredrick Ouko said...

Dear All,
I just wanted to provide another link that we have posted a project and currently looking for partners and supporters.
KCYP is trying all it can to create change in community led by youth themselves.
Please have a look:
Fredrick Ouko
Kibera Community Youth Programme
P.O.Box 5837-00200