Kenya has got a lot of young change makers who are hardly seen in the national media . During my two months visit to the beautiful city of Nairobi, Kenya I happen to meet some of these young people and I was amazed to hear their stories and the impact they are making in Kenya. Most of them run their own non-profit organisations that focus on gender equity, philanthropy, human right activism, child right protection, entrepreneurship etc. This blogpost is to share what they do and the impact they are making through their various organisations. Enjoy the read!
Naomi N. Mwaura, a gender activist is the founder of FloNe Initiative, an organization that promotes social reforms in Africa in order to increase self –reliance and informed choices among African men and women because of the value and potential the organisation sees in our continent. Within this component, the focus will be on three thematic areas: gender equality, education, and sexual and reproductive health. Their vision is to achieve a sustainable improved quality of life for people in Africa. The organisation carries out it’s vision through: Community participation, school participation, gender equity and sustainability. Naomi was nominated as the “Opportunity Desk-Young Person of the Month (November, 2013). Read her feature article on: Tiny Frame with Giant Marks (Insert below link} I met Naomi in Nairobi during my educational visit to Kenya and had an opportunity to talk with her about her work and the impact it is making in Kenya. She was introduced to me by Kwabena Mavin Daniels.
Wiclif Otieno is the founder and CEO of Kito International, a non-profit social enterprise with a simple philosophy: give street youth an economic opportunity, and they will WORK their way off the streets and out of poverty. Kito was started by Wiclif (a former street boy) and focuses on youth between the ages of 15 and 24 by creating sustainable entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for street youth. Kito International hopes to assure that rehabilitated street youth can achieve success. Kito’s goal is to help street youth become productive and contributing world citizens. Kito helps street youth to find employment and attain self-sufficiency by strengthening youth capacity and employability as well as developing entrepreneurial and employment opportunities. The training provided to youth includes life skills training, enterprise skills training, computer skills training and leadership seminars and workshops. Wiclif was a tedx speaker at TEDxSanJoaquin. I met Wiclif at the iHub in Nairobi during One Acre fund Social Entrepreneurship happy hour where he shared the work he is doing. He was introduced to me by Spencer Ton
Evans Muriu is the founder and CEO of Kuna Vijana, a non profit making organization that seeks to earn Kenyan youth a name and a reputation by fully tapping, utilizing and exposing talent. A youth initiative with a difference that seeks to change the image the society has towards the youth. It intends to make youth of Kenya a resourceful people in the society and to be able to positively use their interpersonal skills, knowledge and talents to improve the society. The members of Kuna Vijana will be exposed to a variety of opportunities in learning, life skills development, volunteer-ship in order to acquire work experience, leadership qualities development, counseling and support through connections with mentors. Kuna Vijana aspires to be the Kenya’s most comprehensive and successful youth organization by ensuring the youth overcome significant barriers to success which they are facing in the society today and which curtail them in realizing their full potential. Evans Muriu is an Entrepreneur, Business Consultant, Analyst, operations manager for Africa Gathering, Kenya and a philanthropist. Evans was recommended to me by Marieme Jamme.
David Kimani, founder of Dagoretti Youth Development Group, this is a focused youth group which is up to changing the community. The vision is to create a world where youth realize their full potential through talents and also the use of drama to create awareness in Dagoretti community, Nairobi Kenya and beyond through partnerships with organization of similar objectives, the main agenda is to nurture the vulnerable youth in schools and out of school and encourage them to take their talents seriously. David was recently featured on Safari Africa TV debut programme dubbed “Youth Outlook” in Nairobi, Kenya. I was privileged to interview David and visit his organisation in Kenya and see what they do in the community.
Raphael is the convener/founder of The Youth Congress, a vibrant youth led initiative in Kenya that provide mostly young men and women in the urban slums and other informal settlements with a platform to enhance youth leadership and meaningful participation in socio-economic and political processes for improvement of their livelihoods and that of their community members at large. He is also the founder of Miss Koch Initiative, Koch FM Community radio, Nacka-Nairobi and K-Youth Media. Raphael is a strategic advisor and a member of key youth organizations and organizations working on youth related issues at the local, national and International fora. Noteworthy, he was instrumental in the process that resulted to amongst others the national Youth Policy and the National Youth Council Act in Kenya. He has been involved at different levels with youth initiatives in Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America. I was privileged to have a day out with Raphael as he spoke to me about his work and the assistance he is offering the Kenyan youth. He was introduced to me by Chris Ammon. SOURCE: http://www.unhabitat.org
Peggy Mativo is the founder of PACE (Promoting Access to Community Education) and the PanAfrican Scholars Program, both which engage passionate youthful volunteers in expanding educational access to African students. PACE is inspired by the vision that one day all Kenyan children will have access to quality education. To tackle the biting teacher shortage in the country, PACE applies a unique strategy where they recruit Kenya’s most promising high school graduates and engage them in all endeavors. After selecting the graduates, they train them as teaching assistants then deploy and support them through the entire period, they work in under-resourced schools. She is a 3rd year student at Harvard University majoring in Chemistry and East Asian Studies. She worked as a Mentor and tutor in the Harvard-Alston Educational Portal, a Campus Ambassador with Teach for China. Peggy recently won the Clinton Global Initiative University Commitment of the Year Award and is an affiliate of the Harambe Entrepreneurial Alliance. I met her through social media and read about the work she is doing.
Shikoh Gitau is the First African to receive a Google Award, a computer scientist with a heart, and over 8 years experience in ICT4D. Shikoh is the project founder of Ummeli is a mobile jobs and community portal hosted by Vodafone Live and accessible through Young Africa Live. The emphasis is on a community where young Africans can support each other in the development of their careers, share ideas, act as connectors or even just be a sounding board when things seem hopeless. She is a firm believer in human potential and loves looking at how technology can be an enabler to the development of marginalized, and often dismissed members of our society. She was recommended by Ato Ulzen Appiah.
Evans Wadongo, he grew up in Kenya, he strained to read by the dim light of a kerosene lantern. Now he’s making solar-charged lanterns and using them to spur economic development. His use of kerosene lamps during evening study eventually inspired him to create MwangaBora(Swahili for Good Light) in 2004. Through his organization, Sustainable Development For All (SDFA), Evans has distributed thousands of solar lamps to villages across Kenya and other African countries, and helped hundreds of women groups set up projects using money they would otherwise have spent on kerosene. I have not personally interacted with Evans, but his recent inclusion in the list of “35 under 35 innovators in the world” inspired me to add to this post.
There are many other youth who running amazing projects in Kenya and so proud of them as well. I will be coming up with “10 under 35 Changemakers in Ghana You Need To Know”
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