YOUTH & WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
Today, young people are entering different sectors of the Kenyan economy in large numbers, putting immense pressure on government with new challenges, including the increased need for jobs and livelihoods. The youth and women, in particular, are faced with social and economic disparities, high levels of unemployment and rapidly deteriorating standards of living which is a testament of the negativity that joblessness has on young people, their families and communities through economic hardship, psychological torture, social exclusion and loss of production. Yet, experience shows that when given the opportunity, young people can be intrepid innovators, productive workers, successful entrepreneurs and active community members participating in governance. The challenge for all stakeholders therefore is to generate sufficient opportunities for all youth to use their talents, experience and aspirations- exploiting their talents under conditions of freedom, security, equality and human dignity. At Article 43, we are committed to working with government, private sector and all relevant stakeholders to empower young people and to provide productive and sustainable livelihoods in both formal and informal sectors of the Kenyan economy for young people from all parts of Turkana County. We seek to carry out youth and women empowerment in the following ways: a) Building the Next Generation of Leaders Through Leadership Training Programmes for Youth Leaders and providing young leaders with improved skills for effective social change leadership. We work to develop and enhance opportunities for young people to apply leadership skills through the development and implementation of youth-led projects in Turkana. We do this by running Youth Leadership Academies in our Turkana Youth Empowerment Centre, offering learning trips to successful youth leadership projects and institutions, supporting participants with technical and financial assistance to develop and implement their own social change projects in their backyards. We also aspire to matching participating young leaders with leadership mentors who serve as role models, coaches and guides for participants’ leadership experience. In partnership with law and policy makers, we intend to advocate and campaign for youth-inclusive policies at all levels and to encourage advocacy and action for youth participation in shaping the development agenda in Kenya. By organizing regular Youth and Women Conferences, Summits, Seminars, Community Meetings, Town Halls, we intend to capacity-build, inspire, empower and raise the profile of youth as equal and competent development partners able to contribute meaningfully towards achieving the SDGs at all levels. We focus on building consensus among a wide range of stakeholders on the importance of engaging youth as key actors in the development process; and to provide improved leadership, technical and operational capacity for youth engagement in local and national sustainable development efforts b) Development of sports talent by regularly organizing Youth Sports Tournaments at the ward, constituency and county levels. Through partnerships with established national football and volleyball clubs, we aspire to sponsor talented Turkana youth to enroll in academies in those clubs and develop their talent further. c) Conducting mentorship and motivational talks in high schools & primary schools in Turkana County on career choice and the role of youth in community development. We believe by nurturing and speaking to future leaders at this level will generate a new crop of social changemakers. d) Tailored Business Training & Support for Individual Youth & Youth Groups. We intend to put up The Turkana Youth Empowerment Centre through which we will, among other things, create networking platforms and co-working spaces for Turkana youth-led start-ups to foster collaboration and innovation. Through our intervention, we will create visibility and recognition for many Turkana youth start-ups and entrepreneurs, including through award schemes. Together with other partners, we intend to provide loans, grants and other incentive schemes to young entrepreneurs. We will also offer the much-needed mentorship to youth start-ups by facilitating exchanges with experienced entrepreneurs and leaders. e) We focus on building consensus among a wide range of stakeholders on the importance of engaging youth as key actors in the development process; and to provide improved leadership, technical and operational capacity for youth engagement in local and national sustainable development efforts f) Article 43 also hosts the Youth Dialogue Forums across major towns in the county to discuss issues unique to particular youth on matters affecting them in their specific region. This will undoubtedly offer the much needed multi- stakeholder platforms for deliberating on youth issues and forging common actions informed by the Kenya National Youth Policy and other youth-specific policies and laws.