A consortium of five Non-Governmental Organizations has launched a 30-month pilot project aimed at directly reaching and economically empowering 1000 youths in Madogo town, Bangale Sub-County of Tana River County.
The project has come at the opportune time since Madogo is currently witnessing the emergence of a juvenile gang known as Kayole that is reportedly made up of young people who are terrorizing residents.
Speaking at a Hola hotel during the launch, Deputy County Commissioner Evans Wendott on behalf of the Tana River County Commissioner thanked the consortium for the timely intervention that would go a long way towards ensuring the crime rate has been reduced in the fast-growing town.
The project dubbed shared Future 2 is funded by Kerk In Actie through CORDAID, Kenya will focus on improving Tana River youth employability and entrepreneurial skills, in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The youths will also be trained in business skills and linked to government funds like the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Uwezo Fund, and Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO).
Youth will be engaged in sports and other recreational activities to stimulate interfaith collaboration from a young age to prepare them for the future.
“The project targets youth from 15 to 35 years through interfaith collaboration in a bid to create safe spaces for interaction despite the differences in religion, tribe, and social classes,” said Mohammad Mwachausa of Samba Sports adding that the youth would also be trained on mental health.
According to the Programme Manager ADS Pwani Elizabeth Righa, the project will as well focus on gender inclusivity, involvement, and participation.
“The project will strengthen the gender mainstreaming strategies to engage more women and girls in the project through the use of interfaith dialogues like “Kumbatia” and parents’ dialogues to counter radical religious narratives,” she said.
The parents’ dialogues will target young parents to create an understanding of different religions, and to learn how to recognize signs of radicalization.
The project was first piloted in Mombasa and Kwale counties where early pregnancies and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) were noted as a growing concern in the project locations. “These deny women the opportunity for participating fully in educational and economic activities and may lead men further into criminal activities,” Righa noted.