Improve youth livelihoods and entrepreneurship in KenyaRATIONALE
Kenya faces a period of great opportunity and critical choices for youth development. The past four years have seen immense progress, with the enactment of the National Youth Policy, 2006, establishment of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and the recent passing of the National Youth Council Act, 2009, all within the context of Kenya's national endorsement of a new constitution in August 2010.
The new constitution offers many new opportunities for youth development. Land reform will offer opportunities for youth entrepreneurs to gain access to unused and unproductive land. Youth over 18 now have the right to run as candidates for office, and young women leaders are afforded affirmative action policies for representation in Parliament and civil service. Reform in civil service and the legislative and executive branches affords youth the opportunity to hold government accountable for the quality and timeliness of services
Government statistics count 500,000 youth who leave school each year while the Kenyan economy generates only 25,000 jobs annually. Unemployed youth are easily recruited into political violence as evidenced in the 2007 post election conflicts. Kenya cannot be at peace without creating opportunities for youth to engage productively with society. Youth unemployment is 3.01 times that of adult unemployment in Western province, at 21%. The new constitution offers many new opportunities for youth development. SASA will empower marginalized youth ages 15-30 who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or school drop-outs, with a special focus on young women.
Youth unemployment is 3 times that of adult unemployment in Western province, at 21%. Agriculture and forest-related income generation dominates economic cycles, yet land and population pressures result in small divisions of land making agriculture commercialization difficult. A lack of industry limits employment opportunities for landless youth. Agriculture in Western Province is dominated by subsistence farming, and maize and sugar cane are the preferred staple crops, often intercropped with beans. Sustainable agro-forestry approaches are lacking. Youth school drop-out and illiteracy rates are higher than the national average. In terms of post-election violence in 2007, there was evidence of opportunistic attacks by youth who engaged in wanton looting and destruction of property, as well as cutting off roads and limiting supplies entering the area.
Kenya Yes Youth Can! Project for Western Province (YYC Western Province) is a youth-led project designed to genuinely empower youth to develop themselves for greater voice in national and local reforms, to create new opportunities for livelihoods that meet the aspirations of young Kenyans and build peace through a network of youth, supported by alliances of public and private linkages and institutions. Yes Youth Can! Western supports development in Western Province of Kenya recovering from post-election violence, by building the capacity of youth groups and organizations to engage with markets, government and communities, and to pursue their legitimate needs and interests more effectively in a way that builds positive inter-ethnic networks.
Our vision for going forward in year two of the project is to embrace empowered Kenyan youth in Western Province exhibiting leadership in peace-building, social service and economic prosperity for holistic community development.
To achieve this vision, YYC Western will:
Per USAID guidance all program activities will fall under a Window of Opportunity Mechanism detailed below:
Windows of Opportunity
1. Building capacity of local youth organizations that promote youth voice in local and national policy dialogue and to participate in inter-ethnic coalitions. This may be at the village or county level and may address organizational capacity through learning by doing, leadership development, membership drives, communication and resource mobilization skills, as appropriate.
2. Facilitate and provide new livelihood opportunities for youth, and improve access to youth-friendly services. Projects must enable real, tangible development gains to be made during the life of project. Results for these interventions would come from bringing youth together with their communities to apply best practices in, illustratively, improving livelihoods, and access to services such as education and health services. Stronger and more rapid impact may be achieved by building on current or prior activities of the U.S. Government and other donor and stakeholder programs, in addition to GOK government programs.
3. Gender: Given the critical role of women in Kenyan households, it is essential that organizations demonstrate knowledge and capacity to address gender-based constraints. Based on the different needs and roles of men and women, strategies for addressing these needs and for ensuring women's full participation in all proposed activities must be part of the methodology/proposed approach. The process of project identification must be designed to explicitly encourage the proactive identification and incorporation of the needs express by women in the community. In addition to explicitly addressing women's needs and participation, the proposed methodology/approach shall also address: (1) how gender relations will affect the achievement of sustainable results; and (2) how proposed activities will affect the relative status of men and women. Furthermore, the program strategy shall demonstrate how activities will be monitored, tracked and evaluated to measure the impact on women and on gender relations. All people-level results and indicators must be disaggregated by sex.
Proposed activities under the Window of Opportunity Mechanism are shown below:
• Outreach and increased participation
• Outreach to 2,401 VYBs (1413 registered & 988 in the process of registration)