It is popularly believed that the proportion of Kenyans living under the poverty line is on the increase, with the urban population accounting for the highest proportion. A report by the UN Habitat reveals that in Kenya 71% of the urban population resides in slums. It can also be concluded that majority of the people living in these slums are youth since they form a large part of the Kenyan population. A draft of the youth policy by the Government of Kenya puts the population of young people (aged below 30 years), at 70% of the Kenyan population.
The Kenyan slums, which apparently host more than half of the Kenyan urban population, are characterized by poor conditions of an environmental, social, economic and cultural nature. Environmentally, the slums lack proper roads, drainage systems, sanitation facilities and safe and clean water. They are also littered with garbage. Youth residing in these slums are faced by these problems due to lack of opportunities. They also live in poor houses with no electricity. They lack jobs as well as means to access loans to start small businesses. Most of them turn to crime as a means of survival, while others turn to drugs to ease their
However, a few other youth in the slums, and facing similar problems have devised youth groups as a means of survival instead of crime and prostitution. Through youth groups, which are in most cases registered as Community Based Organizations and self-help groups, youth are able to lead a decent life. They utilize their talents and knowledge in these groups by starting projects that can provide them with an
Most of their projects are designed to provide income as well as solve challenges they face as slum dwellers. Therefore, projects to deal with the environment and HIV/AIDS are preferred. A few other groups produce artifacts for sale. These efforts by groups are hampered by lack of support by both the Government and Civil Society Organizations. Very few organizations give support to youth groups, yet these groups have employed a good number of young people in addition to rehabilitating them from crime and drug abuse.
Youth Initiatives-Kenya (YIKE) was established in 2003 to fill the gap, by choosing to support initiatives of youth who belong to groups by strengthening their capacities through trainings, initiating income-generating projects, and linking them to other organizations for more support.
YIKE’s mission is to encourage and strengthen collective social, cultural and environmental initiatives developed by youth groups in the informal settlements, through mainstreaming core values such as equity, responsibility and social justice. To achieve this mission, YIKE selects and builds capacities of youth groups based in the Eastland’s informal settlements to a level where they can comfortably run their own developmental projects. YIKE maximizes its impact through the following strategic objectives:
undertaking capacity building for individual youth and youth groups, engaging in policy advocacy to ensure full participation of youth in national and international issues, gathering and providing information on youth developmental issues and networking with like minded organizations.
Since inception in 2003, YIKE continues to grow and expand its programme, staff, budget and funding base. The year 2005 was particularly unique as the organization successfully completed a number of initiatives and developed new ones. YIKE also forged new partnerships with several organizations in line with the networking objective. YIKE’s programmes continued to focus on empowering youth groups through trainings, support of income generating activities and forging of partnerships that further helped the groups to grow.
Another significant area of achievement in 2005 was the chance YIKE gave to individual youth who consequently got jobs or training opportunities offered by other organizations. None of the milestones and accomplishments would have been possible without the hard work and complete dedication of the organizations staff, the unwavering commitment of the board and the generous support of our sponsors and partners. Thank you all for embarking on this journey with us.
-Ms. Pamela Wesonga, Executive Director
About Youth Initiatives-Kenya (YIKE)
YIKE is a non-profit and non-religious organization registered in July 2003 at the Kenyan Non Governmental Organization (NGO) bureau. It was started as an initiative of two young individuals, who realized the significance of youth groups in the development of the society. From their observation and experience they realized that youth groups based in slums have potential but are limited by the environment they reside in and therefore need encouragement to continue. YIKE aims at assisting the marginalized youth residing in slums and informal settlements. Youth targeted are those who have formed youth groups, to help them create a sustainable basis for a more hopeful future. YIKE chose to work with the youth because in Kenya they form the larger part of the population, yet there are few programs targeting them specifically. It is popularly believed that when youth are encouraged to work together in constructive groups they have the ability to positively influence each other and the community around them. It is from this belief that YIKE decided to support youth who reside in slums and belong to organized youth groups.
Currently, YIKE directly supports eighteen youth groups all based in Nairobi’s Eastland’s region covering Slum, Huruma, Kariobangi, Babandogo, Korogocho and Dandora. Each of the eighteen groups has an approximate membership of twenty-five, thus YIKE is supporting about 450 youth. Members of these groups are engaged in projects that can be categorized into three key areas, namely, environmental management, HIV/AIDS campaigns through cultural dance troops and production of artistic artifacts for sale. In handling the affairs of youth groups, YIKE designs programmes that involve all the groups regardless of their area of specialization. For instance, YIKE builds the capacities of groups in two forms, one, by providing them with trainings in group cohesion, leadership skills and basic financial management, and two, by purchasing for the groups equipment to boost their activities.
In supporting youth in groups, YIKE also networks with other Civil Society Organizations that are supporting youth activities in Nairobi. Similarly, we work with other youth groups in Eastland’s region that do not directly benefit from the capacity building programmes mentioned above. The organizations vision, mission and objectives that are stated below guide YIKE’s programmes. YIKE’s Vision The vision of YIKE is a society in which the youth are able to facilitate their own development. The Mission of YIKE YIKE exists to encourage and strengthen collective social, economic, cultural and environmental initiatives developed by youth groups in the informal settlements through mainstreaming core values such as equity, responsibility and social justice. Objectives of YIKE
The objectives of YIKE are to:
1. Undertake capacity building for individual youth and youth groups in order to enhance knowledge and skills on how to protect and manage their social and physical environment. To achieve this objective YIKE has projects that build the capacities of individual youth and youth who are members of groups. For individuals, YIKE partners with other organizations, which in turn provide trainings and job opportunities to them. As for the youth groups, their capacities are build through trainings offered by YIKE. YIKE also boosts their income generating projects by purchasing for groups materials /equipments.
2. Networking with other likeminded organizations locally, regionally and internationally in furtherance of the organizations objectives. With the realization that YIKE cannot solve all the problems faced by the youth residing in slums, partnerships with other organizations have been forged to market products made by the youth, recommend them for trainings, as well as job opportunities.
3. Ensuring that the organization in collaboration with the youth and other organizations gather and provide information on youth development issues. Considering that situations affecting development of youth keep changing, YIKE came up with a relevant objective of gathering information through researches to be abreast with current trends in order to serve the youth better. Several internal researches have been carried out with an aim of finding out the best way of helping the youth. For instance, in November 2005, an information gathering session was held by youth to chart a wayfoward for 2006 activities.
4. Engaging in policy advocacy in order to ensure full participation of the youth in national political, social and economic spheres including safeguarding youth rights and representation in appropriate national institutions that affect the youth directly or indirectly. One way of mainstreaming youth in national development is by advocating for laws and policies that are youth friendly. In 2005, YIKE worked closely with other organizations to push the agenda for the youth through the media and organized protests.
5. Mobilizing resources for the purpose of promoting youth related projects. To achieve this objective YIKE has mobilized, financial, material and human resources. Institutional StrengthsThe key strength of YIKE stems from its strong commitment to support youth residing in slums, informal settlements and disadvantaged backgrounds. This is made possible by encouragement, close monitoring of the youth group’s activities and YIKE’s open policy, where youth are free to consult and even chat with YIKE staff as often as they wish. This is one of the reasons why YIKE’s office is located in Kariobangi that is centrally placed and is easily accessible to all the 18 youth groups that have been selected for support. Another of YIKE’s institutional strength is the habit of consulting and holding brainstorm sessions with the youth before engaging in any activity. In the previous year there were several consultation meetings with the youth that culminated into two major community events. Also significant was the workshop organized to chart a wayfoward for the 2006 activities. Towards the end of the year, YIKE organized a youth groups brainstorm workshop whose main objectives were to: review YIKE’s three year strategic plan and to come up with relevant activities for the year 2006.Participants of the brainstorm workshop included representatives from all the youth groups supported by YIKE together with all YIKE staff.
YIKE’s projects are centered around 18 youth groups that were selected through a rigorous process of tendering in an application that was scrutinized by the field officer. Basing on the application, several groups were visited randomly to find out if they actually exist, and if they have activities that could be supported. From this procedure ten groups were selected for possible support in the year 2005, this number was added to eight groups that had been chosen in 2004 through a baseline survey.
Since inception in 2003, Youth Initiatives Kenya has increased its support base from 8 youth groups in 2003 and 2004, to 18 youth groups in 2005 as indicated above. The increase in the number of youth groups is due to the enormous success of YIKE in its first two years of operation, and YIKE’s increasing popularity among the youth in Eastland’s. Currently YIKE supports about four hundred and fifty members, drawn mainly from the 18 youth groups. A profile of the groups is provided in the appendices. The groups gained support in form of:
Trainings and Equipment\ material support
Policy advocacy activities
1. Trainings To build the capacities of youth groups, relevant trainings aimed at strengthening the performance of groups were designed. The curriculum was arrived at after consulting with members of youth groups who pointed out their weaknesses, as laxity of members in carrying out group activities, poor leadership skills and lack of knowledge in financial management. Armed with this information YIKE came up with trainings in three areas namely: Group cohesion/ teamwork, leadership skills and basic financial management. Trainings on the same topics were offered to over 20 youth groups drawn from other areas of Nairobi at the request of NairoBits and One Stop Youth Resource Centre, which are some of the youth based organizations that YIKE partnered with in the year 2005. Youth from the groups that received these trainings reported that the trainings assisted their members to work together as a team. From our observation this is evident from the cohesion shown by these groups. There is a high tendency of groups breaking or splitting due to leadership problems and poor financial records and lack of accountability. Encouragingly, all the groups that received YIKE’s trainings have managed to stand. Also revealed by youth is that, they gained knowledge to come up with constitutions and relevant rules and regulations to guide them. Some of the groups opened bank accounts to keep their finances, while others purchased simple books of accounts for record keeping.
Members of Altawoon youth group in a workshop Trainings on needs assessment to be able to know how best to help the groups achieve their full potential were also offered to groups. As such YIKE conducted workshops on needs assessment for all the groups at their respective bases. The objectives of the workshop were to: educate the youth on needs assessment, assist the groups to 7identify and prioritise their needs and to enable them (groups) to develop a proposal for YIKE’s support.
2. Equipment/ material boost
Youth living in slums especially those engaged in productive income generating activities are faced with a lot of challenges, chief among them being lack of adequate equipments to comfortably carry out their activities. YIKE is very much aware of this fact and in 2005, YIKE bought equipments/materials for all the eighteen youth groups based on proposals presented to it by the groups. The equipment boost goes a long way in increasing the groups’ market base resulting in increased incomes for the youth residing in slums. Shownday youth group receiving a handcart and dustbins from YIKE.To the right is Antony Gatonga of YIKE. Before YIIKE purchases equipment for groups, a brainstorm workshop is normally arranged with individual groups with an aim of finding out their needs. Through this workshop, youth are taught the significance of prioritising their needs vis avis resources. During this session a groups needs are identified, prioritised and the most viable selected for YIKE’s support. Youth at this juncture are asked to write a proposal to YIKE in line with the selected need. Since youth groups are engaged in different activities, such as, music and dance, environmental management through garbage collection, and production of artefacts, the materials bought for each group were relevant to their needs and activities. On a general basis they requested materials for making costumes for music and dance, others needed equipment for garbage collection like dust bins, overalls and gumboots, while other groups asked for sewing machines. Two youth groups, Ngei 1 Development and Altawoon, uniquely asked for a cash boost for their loan scheme and equipment to furnish a medical facility, respectively. YIKE’s monitoring results revealed that equipment bought for groups have facilitated the employment of many youth. They also provide income to members of groups.
3. Community Events YIKE does not work in isolation from the community in which they serve. YIKE’s staff have on several occasions attended meetings with other community members to deliberate on issues like security and development. YIKE has also partnered with locally based organisations in supporting youth. A good example being the partnership forged with Miss Koch Initiative. Miss Koch is a local CBO that seeks to empower young girls in Korogocho by offering scholarships to bright girls who are unable to pay school fees. Through this partnership YIKE introduced a 8young girl (Sharon) orphaned by HIV/AIDS to miss Koch who in turn assisted her to get a school, as well as school fees. Sharon during a visit to YIKE’s office Sharon is now a form one student at Our Lady of Fatima Secondary School. She is doing well in her studies and is very thankful for the support offered to her by YIKE. Sharon dreams of becoming a doctor and YIKE hope to support her as she pursues her dream career. Other than working with the community through partnerships, YIKE organised two community-based events as detailed below:
a) Youth Groups Against Crime Event YIKE organized the event dubbed youth groups against crime in conjunction with youth groups from the Eastlands informal settlements on the 11th of June 2005 to mark the global week of action against light weapons and small arms. Between June 6 and 12, 2005, the world marked the global week of action against Small Arms And Light Weapons (SALW). The global week of action is a worldwide effort by civil society organizations to eradicate the problems posed by SALW. Kenya as a country took part within the global fight by coming up with the Kenya Action Network Against Small Arms, whose activities were centred on the launching of community based policing, a strategy that requires the police to act as partners with community members and share resources with the overall aim of controlling crime. Zingaro youth group performing during the event ‘youth groups against crime event’ However, YIKE marked these events in a unique way of exposing the talents of the youth to the community and the world at large. This was mainly because youth in Eastland’s and other lowincome areas do commit crime. But there are those youth who use their talents through youth groups to earn a decent living. YIKE chose to hold this event so as to encourage youth who engage in crime to shun it and either join existing groups or form new ones. Another aim was to sensitise the community about the significance of youth groups in fighting crime as well as unite all youth groups working with YIKE.This event saw two youth surrender their illegally acquired firearms to the area chief.
b) International Youth Day Celebrations The general assembly on the 17thDecember 1999 declared 12th August as the international youth day following the recommendation made by the world conference of ministers responsible for 9youth. The assembly recommended that public information activities be organized to support the day as a way of promoting better awareness to the world. A major focus of the day is practical action to further encourage the participation of youth in decisions that affect them and promoting public awareness of youth issues. YIKE marked the day by doing voluntary work at Mother Teresa home and giving Thayu primary School a facelift. Youth cleaning Mother Teresa’s compound on the International Youth Day The two institutions are based in Huruma slums that are characterised by a high rate of crime. Youth who in most cases are proprietors of these crimes were targeted on this day. Shows and activities organised by youth who are members of groups were staged to pass information to criminals that groups are an alternative to crime. This event was well attended by community members who expressed their satisfaction of the work done by youth.
4. Networks Networking with like-minded organizations and youth groups is one of YIKE’s main objectives, reason being that networks give organizations with similar objectives a stronger voice in fighting for youth rights. For this reason YIKE worked closely other organizations in the previous year as indicated below.
• YIKE linked youth groups to MEDEVA TV an organization that through its programmes Agenda Kenya and Tazama; provides the youth with a forum for discussing issues that affect them. This partnership also brought on board policy makers to discuss their roles in mainstreaming youth issues in national development.
• YIKE linked youth groups for trainings e.g. GOAL Kenya provided trainings in peer education which is a recognised method of carrying out HIV/AIDS campaigns. HOPE WORLDWIDE also provided similar trainings to YIKE youth. NairoBits, a Dutch funded organisation that trains youth from slums in Information Technology absorbed two young girls from YIKE in their training. • YIKE at the request of Chemichemi ya Ukweli, made it possible for youth to undergo a three day intensive training on Active Non Violence from which the youth were equipped with skills 10on peaceful ways of conflict resolutions.
• YIKE also entered one of its groups (ACREF) in the GTZ’s- best practice competition for CBO’s and ACREF went on to scoop the award and Kshs 25,000 in cash. • YIKE also partnered with the Centre for Democracy to train 50 youth from different youth groups on constitution making and the referendum. The main aim of the training was to make the youth understand issues in the proposed constitution to enable them make informed choices during the referendum.
• The National AIDS control council (NACC) gave YIKE a stall to exhibit products of youth from slums and also provide information to people during the Nairobi International Trade Fair Youth displaying products at the Nairobi trade fair
• Kenya Youth Business Trust (KYBT), a micro finance institution with a bias towards the youth, has extended its activities to Eastland’s through YIKE.
• YIKE exhibited youth products and provided information to a large number of people during the World Aids Day celebrations in Nairobi.
• The Executive Director of YIKE Mrs. Pamela Wesonga attended a oneweek intensive training organized by South African Media and Gender Institute (SAMGI) on strategic communication covering topics related to the media and general organizational communication. • UN- Habitat, that supports activities of youth welcomed YIKE’s application on partnership. Through them a young man from the slums of Nairobi, specifically from Exodus Youth Group, was given a chance to attend a world wide conference convened to discuss habitat issues affecting the globe.
• Other significant partners in the previous year were, The One Stop Youth Resource Centre, Green Alive, The Youth Environmental Network, A civil Society union on the Referendum, The German Foundation for World Population 11(DSW), and The NGO Council among others.
5. Linkages/Assistance for Individuals Some of the youth that YIKE supports within and without youth groups are qualified in different fields and YIKE endeavours to market them as individuals to various organizations and corporate bodies for possible attachments and job placements. In the year 2005, YIKE managed to: • Offer volunteer opportunities to youth drawn from the 18 youth groups being supported by YIKE.
• Attach youth to other organisations for possible job placements for example, one of the youth volunteering for YIKE got a job at Miss Koch a local CBO after she was introduced to them by YIKE.
• One youth was able to secure a job at Ragz to Records Studio- a studio affiliated to YIKE as the studio’s promotion and marketing manager.
• YIKE managed to secure part time employment for 15 youth drawn from all the groups with the help of DSW for a period of six weeks.
• Two members of YIKE’s groups acquired proficiency in Information Technology, through YIKE’s partnership with NairoBits- an organisation that empowers youth by providing them with skills in IT.
• A young girl orphaned by HIVAIDS was able to secure a chance in secondary school as well as get a scholarship for her school fees through YIKE’s help.
• A young man with an inborn talent to design artistic sandals and shoes was linked to the Kenya Youth Business Trust, where he secured a loan to boost his business.
• One young girl good in acting and dancing was identified by YIKE to act in a documentary dubbed “noise is my voice” sponsored by the Dutch public broadcaster.
• One youth from Exodus Youth Group attended a World Urban Conference organised by the UN Habitat on Habitat issues affecting the world. During this forum he provided information on issues affecting youth in slums.
6. Policy Advocacy Activities Despite efforts by various actors to challenge the status quo, the youth in Kenya are still neglected by the government as far as policy issues are concerned. Most of their rights are either ignored or lumped together with those of children and women. To date, the draft on youth policies developed in 2003 is yet to get parliamentary approval. This therefore calls for joint efforts amongst youth serving organisations like YIKE to 12lobby for increased youth participation in national issues. YIKE partnered with other organisations based in Nairobi to speak with one voice on policy issues affecting the youth. For instance, YIKE partnered with the Centre for Democracy to educate the youth on the contents of the proposed new constitution especially Article 40 that touched on youth issues. YIKE also joined hands with other Civil Society Organisations to pass information to the youth on the proposed constitution for the purpose of making them understand it before the referendum.
7. Resource Mobilization Another activity carried out in the previous year was mobilising different types of resources such as, human, material as well as financial. Human Resource Like all other organisations, YIKE needs human resources to guarantee her smooth operation. In the previous year, YIKE’s human resource of four people working on a full time basis remained unchanged i.e. the Executive Director aided by the Programme Officer (Field) and Programme Officer (Administration) were in charge of YIKE’s daily operations. The Director international office on the other hand handled funding and international linkage issues. Brief profiles about the four employees are stated below:
i) The Executive Director Pamela WesongaThe Executive Director holds a Master of Arts Degree in Development Studies and a Bachelor of Education Degree, together with a Diploma in Human Resource Management. She is the principle coordinator of the affairs of the organization, thus being responsible for all the organizations activities. She currently works for the organization on a full time basis, creating networks and designing programmes, as well as fundraising. She manages the day-to-day activities of the organization and is answerable to the board of directors.
ii) The Director International office Nynke NautaThe Director International office also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Development Studies of Amsterdam University. She additionally has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. Her duties and responsibilities are mainly fundraising and organizing for international networks. She also 13represents the organization in international forums.
iii) The programme officer -FieldJacinta Otieno The programme officer- field holds a Diploma in Community Development. She has a wealth of experience in youth work. She has worked for many organizations as a coordinator of youth activities in the slums of Nairobi. Her duties and responsibilities include mobilizing youth to participate in activities, finds out and learns about activities of youth groups and writes reports indicating field findings. She also represents the organization in meetings in line with the networking objective.
iv) The Programme officer- administrationAntony Gatonga The programme officer – administration also holds a Diploma in Community Development and a certificate in peace building, he also has a lot of experience in working with the youth. He is a member of the Miss Koch Initiative, a community Based Organisation supporting the girl child’s education. Besides working as an administrative manager, his duties and responsibilities are like those of the programme officer field.
In the previous year, YIKE appealed to donors to fund her material base in form of furniture and computers. Janivo Foundation in Holland granted the appeal, although the materials were finally purchased this year (2006). Thus, the office has additional material in form of two computers, a printer and scanner. Also made possible was the relocation to a more spacious office.
As for financial resources, YIKE received funding from:
• Janivo foundation
• ASN Bank, • Novib and
• Up To You Too Foundation all based in the Netherlands. Funding proposals were also sent to various funding agencies in Kenya with no positive results. Details on the funds received and expenditure see overleaf in the audited report. Voices of youth In order to serve the youth better and also to evaluate herself, YIKE carried out random interviews with members of youth groups. The interview sought responses about the interviewees’ group activities, what the youth have gained from their youth groups and what youth groups have gained from YIKE. YIKE’s strong and weak points were also sought. 14Their responses were captured in form of narratives as indicated below.
Humphrey Odhiambo of huruma pamoja group
I am Humphrey Odhiambo and I reside in Huruma, Kiamaiko village. I am a member of Huruma Pamoja Development Youth Group. The group is based in the sprawling slums of Kiamaiko village. My group deals with income generating activities like garbage collection. We also operate a barbershop and a gymnasium and occasionally we conduct cleanups in our area of operations. As a person I have benefited a lot from my youth group in terms of earning a little income from the groups’ income generating activities. The group has to some extent helped me to be a morally upright person especially through trainings on behaviour change. Also important is that the group has made all of us (members) to be accepted by the community because of the good work we do of keeping our area environmentally clean. As a member of Huruma Pamoja, I benefit a lot from the community as they (community) are our main clientele. The group has benefited a lot from the trainings conducted by YIKE on leadership and financial management and the equipment boost i.e. gumboots, overalls and bins that YIKE gave us. Thanks to YIKE, we now have widened our client base to cover a much wider area. YIKE should continue supporting the youth by giving them equipment boost and trainings relevant to their activities. YIKE’s main strength is that the support they give to groups especially equipment boost is relevant to most youth; their friendly staff is also another plus. Finally I want to ask my fellow youth to desist from taking drugs and also change their behaviour, as AIDS is real.
Alphonce Ochieng of Ngei 1 group
My full names are Alphonce Barrack Ochieng Otuoma and I reside in Ngei 1 village. My group, Ngei 1 Development Youth Group, was started in 1997 to fill the gap left by the Nairobi City Council of collecting garbage in the estate. I am the group’s secretary. Apart from garbage collection, my group also engages in other income generating activities like water vending, offering transport services and sports.
Personally I have gained a lot from my group for instance, I have acquired leadership skills through learning how to handle group issues, and I have also gained economically from the group, as the group projects sustain me. The Ngei 1 community benefits a lot from my group for instance, the estate is very clean compared to how it was before we started our operations. We also offer transport services at a much lower rate and the water we sell to the community is always reliable and cheap. My group members have benefited from the community in that they are our customers and we also get odd jobs from 15the community, for example, we clean carpets for community members. But above all, the community has come to accept us as part of the wider society.
YIKE has helped my group in terms of building our capacities through trainings in team building, financial management, democracy and governance and also by giving us equipment boost. I think that YIKE should bring together all its youth groups so that strong groups can share ideas and mentor the upcoming ones, in that way I feel YIKE will be serving the youth better. My parting shot to my fellow youth is that they should start their own initiatives even with the little resources they have and they should “think positive always”. Ibrahim Otieno My names are Ibrahim Otieno and I reside in Mlango Kubwa where I run a small business. I belong to a youth group called Y NOT, which is not yet affiliated to YIKE.Personally I have benefited from YIKE’s trainings on leadership skills and financial management. Through YIKE I have been able to get a loan from the Kenya Youth Business Trust (KYBT) to boost my small handicraft business. I think YIKE should continue to build on networks with KYBT and other organizations that support youth development. The fact that YIKE has helped me even though my group is not affiliated to YIKE is a big encouragement and they should continue doing so in the years to come. Finally the youth should be focused when forming groups and avoid joining groups with the aim of getting instant gratification and they should respect themselves if they expect to be respected by the community.
Michael Owino volunteer at YIKE
My names are Michael Owino and I am affiliated to Ngei 1 Development Youth Group. I graduated from Kenyatta University in 2004 with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Environmental Studies and Community Development. I sought and was granted a volunteers position at YIKE. I have gained invaluable experience as YIKE has given me the opportunity to experience what I learned in campus from a more practical point of view. I have gained skills in fieldwork, which concurs well with the theoretical knowledge I gained in community development.
I have also learned communication skills since I receive guests and youth in the office whom I have learned to communicate with well. Part of my practical experience has been boosting my writing skills, gained from the several reports that I have been entrusted to write, key among them being drafting this annual report. My advice to young people looking for Job opportunities is to offer voluntary services to willing organisations as this offers one working experience.
Stella Pamba of Dakahumas
My names are Stella Pamba.I reside in Kariobangi North and am a member of Dakahumas youth group. Dakahumas was formed in 2004 mainly to harness the talents of youth involved in performing arts. Apart from the arts, my group also deals with peer counselling. As a person I have benefited a lot from my group for instance am a performing artist and my group has helped me nurture my talents in singing and dancing. It is also through my group that I got nominated by YIKE to be among the youth who were to undergo a web-designing course at NairoBits.
YIKE really boosted our activities by buying for us much needed costumes and by conducting trainings for us in group cohesion. We also benefited from the networks introduced to us by YIKE we are now known by many organisations judging from the number of invitations for shows we now get. YIKE’s biggest strength is that it is a grassroots NGO and it’s activities are relevant to the youth.
Benard Ochieng of MYTO I am Bernard Ochieng, the current chair of Mathare Youth Talented Organisation (MYTO) based in Mathare 4A. MYTO was started in May 2004 and registered in September of the same year.
MYTO is involved in various activities e.g. we run a tailoring business, we also have a school that has classes up to standard five. Apart from that, we also engage in sports and theatre. MYTO has helped me in that I derive a small income from the group’s income generating activities. I have also benefited from many trainings that has helped me as an individual e.g. trainings on conflict resolutions.
MYTO did benefit a lot from YIKE’s trainings on financial management and group cohesion, not to mention the equipment boost that has expanded our tailoring business. The immediate beneficiaries of our activities is the community since we train young people in tailoring, YIKE should continue with its current activities and maybe broaden the networks.
YIKE’s Management Structure An independent board of directors comprising of 9 members who are distinguished professionals governs YIKE. Also on the board is one youth from YIKE’s area of operation. Board members were selected for their experiences as leaders in communities and fields in which YIKE works. The current board of directors were selected because they were the first members of YIKE and are constitutionally required to serve on this board for three years, ending in 2006. The board sets policies relating to spending, governance, professional standards and geographic focus. Board members are also allowed to review both internal and independent audits.
The board generally does not carry out the day-to-day activities of the organization; rather it delegates that authority to the Executive Director and other staff and then reviews the approved action at regular board meetings. Board members are called upon for various informal consultations and problem solving assistance during the year. The board members are neither paid a retainer fee for board services nor any allowance. All their duties are done on a voluntary basis. The following persons are the Directors of YIKE’s board.
Charles Otieno Chairperson
Names: Charles Otieno
Qualifications: MA. Entrepreneurship
Occupation: Prog. Manager
Pamela Wesonga Secretary
Names: Pamela Wesonga
Qualifications: MA. Development Studies
Occupation: Executive Director
Douglas Namatsi Treasurer
Names: Douglas Namatsi
Nynke Nauta Founder
Names: Nynke Nauta
Qualifications: MA. Development Studies
Location: Nairobi/ Holland
Wycliffe Otieno Coordinator
Names: Wycliffe Otieno
Qualifications: PHD Education Occupation: Lecturer
Organisation: Kenyatta University
Names: Judy Oduma
Occupation: Prog. Manager
Names: Herbert Ashiruma
Qualifications: Degree in Law
Organisation: Ashiruma and advocates
Names: Antony Kinyanjui
Occupation: Artist Organisation: Shantit Youth Group
Names: Patricia Parsitau
Qualifications:MA. Development Studies
Occupation: Prog Manager
Organisation: Action Aid Kenya
Some community events through the year YIKE’s Executive Director the fourth from the right in the front row, briefing the area member of parliament during a community event- Youth groups against crime. Youth in a protest procession against crime in Huruma area Korogocho slums one of YIKE’s fields
Appendix 1: Profile of youth groups
Name of Youth group
When & Reasons for formation Activities
1. NCCK Senior Started in 2000 to tackle problems facing youth in the slums i.e. HIV/AIDS, abortion and drugs Passing information thro’ theatrical activities like dances and puppetry
2. Livity Youth group Formed in 2004 to educate youth on sexual reproductive health, curb unemployment and encourage positive living Passing information through creative dances, drama and traditional dances
3. Mathare Youth Talented Organisation (MYTO) Formed in may 2004 to bring youth together in order to improve their community and to start sporting activities. A tailoring project, they run a school for orphans in Mathare slum and they have a football team
4. Kiamaiko Youth Group Started in 2004 to clean up their environment and ensure security in their area Garbage collection and community policing
Formed in 2004 to nurture the talents of the youth in music and drama Painting, dancing and drama
6. NCCK junior
Started in 2004 to initiate an income generating activity for youth, and to pass information on youth related issues Soap making, drama and art
Started in 2002 to inform the refugee community on HIV/AIDS issues as well as drugs and reproductive health matters. Awareness creation through teachings and library management
8. Altawoon Islamic Youth Group Started in 2000 to handle education and health Resource centre, library management and an annual medical camp issues in Korogocho slums
9. Zingaro youth group Formed in 1996 to deal with youth unemployment Production of artefacts, music and dance
Formed in 1999 to deal with youth unemployment and idleness Garbage collection, music and dance and sporting activities
Formed in 2003 to deal with youth unemployment and idleness Music and dance, educational activities
12. Huruma Pamoja
Formed in 2004 to deal with youth unemployment Garbage collection, gym management and barbershop
13. Seeds of Peace
Started in 2001 to deal with youth idleness and curb crime Music and dance
14. Yetu Jeans
Formed in 2003 to start an income generating activity for the youth Designs and makes clothes and sings hip hop music 15. Ngei 1 development youth group Registered as a group in 1997 to deal with youth unemployment Garbage collection, sanitation facilities and transport services
16. Ghetto Boys
Started in 2004 to deal with youth unemployment and idleness Music and dance and sporting activities
Started in 2004 to collect garbage Garbage collection and production of artifacts
18. Shantit youth group
Started in 2004 to nurture artistic talents of youth. Production of artifacts