An army within an army or a city within a city-Kenya

Its food for thought to all who will read this note. We have the famous Eastleigh estate well known for business people who are percieved to be ‘Kenyan Somali’, the estate as we read in the recent Sunday Nation has turned to be for the above mentioned, buying properties for millions of shillings to ensure they are the only occupant of the area. Majority do not speak our National Language as I have realized when shopping in the area, true people who respect their culture as the swahili saying, ‘mwacha mila ni mtumwa’. they are “managing” the area with superb 3-4star hotels, as they say its only life you cannot get from the estate. Having said that, I will just touch a litlle about the military base in the area, is it a tickling time bomb? I will not say more than that because… Time will tell and are we “all” blind?

I have no ill feeling and I love them for who they are and especially the business part. I have to go… later

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Youth its our turn!

We have watched and witnessed Barak Obama take presidency in the United States, and history has been written. A young ambitious, focused … man. If he made it then youth its the high time we came out of the slumber land and take over leadership. Instead of complaining and mourning the bad governance, lack of inclusion and involvement in key leadership positions, we should wake up and take action in a peaceful way. The peacebuilding practitioners call it active non violence, I would refer to Mahatma Gandhi movement and the the grain of rice campaign. Kenyan youth we need to set an example for the world that good governance is coming to Kenya through the leadership of young people. We are all experiencing the struggle of the common person, and the marginalised “youth” to be precise, we also compose the largest population in Kenya and the world, why not then be able to demonstrate the leadership we want?

I have talked of volunteerism for a cause, and thats the only way we young people, we shall be able to liberate ourselves. We all need a plate of food on the table but lets not be like Esau for those who read the Bible who sold his birth right just for a meal, I will not elaborate more, I am sure we have the point.

The 2007-8 post election violence should have been an eye opener for us all, and especially after the coalition government, thanks to Koffi Annan for saving soles. However, 2012 is just around the corner, the romour has it and I quote “we are all prepared” and Kregler said if … “It will be like a christmas party.” Where is our stand, what are you as a young person doing to ensure that we build the Nation -Kenya we want? The campaigns are high only after an year, what development are we getting if the politicians are teaming up for 2012, why cant they work for “us” and campaign in 2012 itself, lets wake up and be focused, its our time. Nothing comes easily and we need to network for a common purpose with underlying factor that we are all youth and unemployed, its not the tribes which we are identified with but the fact that we face same challenges/ issues in our country Kenya, lets set an example for active non violence and the world will follow. The time is now!!!

By Rachel

International Women’s day

March 5th, I was among the few invited guests at the American Embassador residence, for dinner in honour of the Intenational Women’s Day. I was happy to interluct with other women creating change in the country and world at large. Its is through our little effort and in different ways which will make the Kenya we want. As always said and repeated then and I say it again today, Educate a woman and you educate a community.

It really does not matter the age of a woman as long as she is committed to make a difference a good example of the young girl Sheila an orphan and a member of Kenya Girl Guide Association at 17 years commited to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Kenya. She is one of the four girls from around the world selected to present at the 53rd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York. She is a living example for the young women in and out of school.

To the women in Kenya and the world, do what you know best and create a space for yourself in the world. The world is looking for a woman or women who will bring positive change in Kenya in particular after the post election violence having in mind it is us women who suffer with our children. When at labour pain we all experince it, despite of what tribe, we are the mothers of the world generations/population lets work together beyond our tribal lines, diversity is our strength. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE. As the US Ambassador said and I quote,”I urge all of you to help raise up voices of women from every region and corner of this country, from every ethnic and social group, to demand fundamental change through full implementation of the reform agenda…. Women of Kenya, make your power felt! the time is now! Drive the process of change in order to transform this country.” We all have space move with your space and make a positive future and make sure you build network to have strength in numbers, lets talk and they will listen.

By Rachel

US ambossador residence

US ambossador residence

Two in one – Coalition Government

Its so surprising how things are running in our country Kenya today. The country is going down to… everyday, we have two governments in one the so called coalition government, the so many ministers, assistants ministers and the Permanent Secretaries. If for sure it is the government for the people why do they have all the 44 ministers when it can have 22 or less, like those of the developed country. The huge salaries and allowances earned by them to be used by the youth for socio economic development, which has become a reason for the cause/manipulation of youth in the post election violence. If we really want to empower the youth economically, why then not give them priority?

However, the implementation of the youth fund, a loan repayable on weekly basis, Is it for benefiting the youth really or to make them more miserable?

So many questions without answers but the youth we should lobby for our space not to wait for a space, unless you are among the few in the “millionare” bracket. Volunteerism key to success and community cohesion.

Rachel

Caravan Amani (Peace caravan) East africa

VYP is well known for the annual National Peace Camel Caravan in Kenya since 2004,which aims to encourage the youth to form as many youth groups as possible at there own local community in order to tap the available resources within the area for self –reliance and community development. This was to emphasize that education is not the only way to success but teamwork, hard work, discovering own talents and turning them to a career is also a way to a better future. Peace Caravan was a tool used during the last year post election violence in Rift Valley to bring the conflicting communities together for dialogue to enhance peaceful coexistence, which has led to the start of a new project Skill for Sustainable Peace to address social economic issues among the youth which has made them venerable to the hands of the politicians.

Voluntary Youth Philanthropists, having been part of the Caravan Amani in 2004 for Greatlakes, its again partnering with Esperance for the second, this time East Africa Caravan Amani taking place in March 2009.

Esperance – the implementing organisation, in collaboration with SRSA, YDF is aiming to recreate Caravan Amani by drawing from best practices and learned lessons of the experiences made in 2004 and by extending the tour to central Uganda, eastern Kenya and northern Tanzania.

Caravan Amani East Africa partners

1. Voluntary Youth Philanthropists (VYP) – Kenya.
2. Esperance (the implementing organization)- Rwanda
3. Centre Kamenge – Burundi,
4. Rainbow House of Hope – Uganda
5. Tanzania
6. South Africa – NGO “I – Pal”.

The participants will be recruited from the (6) countries, through Esperance partner organizations, of which each partner country will be represented by 6 young people aged 18 to 30 years. The participants will have to be able to speak either English or Swahili. In addition to that, a gender-balanced team is a prerequisite.

Each group from the respective countries is contributing a specific element, such as Football Forum Theatre, Street Style Football, Sketches and Stand-up-Comedy, Marching Band, Pop Music, Jazz-Dance

The Caravan Amani will start in Kigali with one week planning, rehearsal and team building. The real Caravan Amani on the move, Kicks off in Bujumbura (BUR) and leading around Lake Victoria via Butare (RWA), Mbarara (UGA), Kampala (UGA), Kisumu (KEN), Homa Bay (KEN), Mwanza (TAN) to Kigali (RWA) again for the closing and evaluation of the Caravani Amani.

“Youth lets unites and focus on our future”

caravanamani-map

Skills for Peace

Dear all,

“Light a Home” is a project of voluntary Youth Philanthropists to ensure that rural areas have DIY solar for the light and for radio power and solar torches. The project I thought of during my visit to the UK when we met with Graham who also gave me samples to carry with me.

I have organized youth in 3 rural settings (20-25 people per group) in Kenya where they use petroleum products for lighting the lamps/any other lighting equipment. we have introduced the concept and used the samples to illustrate the use of the solar for radios especially and touch. The project has been embraced by the youth in the rural areas and we are working together to set up the project to benefit the homes in the rural settings where their main source of income is subsistence farming and pastrolism, education to many is a luxury after standard eight due to lack of school fees and thus makes it very difficult to raise the standards of living. HIV/aids has also rocked the areas with little knowledge on the same. The groups we have organised will be used for outreach in the community after the necessary trainings and they will also work on the “Light a Home” project as a source of income generating project one among the many they will be introduced to as the time goes by.

I have a technical guy who is going to show them how to assemble the DIY solar, and later the project to be for the community/youth in the rural area. However, the materials to assemble for the above mentioned solar lighting projects one is approximately USD 10 and can be sold between USD 20-30. I am looking for people who are willing to contribute for the project as seed money. I would appreciate if i could be supported with USD 500 to kick start the project.

In summer we have organised work camps in those 3 rural areas and we are going to make some of the equipments and encourage interactions among youth from different communities.

Thanks to Graham Knight for the knowledge you have shared with me. You will give a smile to many youth rocked in rural remote areas.

Light a Home

Regards

Rachel
http://www.peace-caravan.org
http://www.peacecaravan.ushahidi.com

SMS CENTER-+254 713 465220

Dear friends,

I would like to bring to your attention that Voluntary Youth Philanthropists has an sms centre +254 713465220 where you can post what you are doing on the ground for peace and development and or any other constructive information you may be having for a better Kenya and world at large.

You can use the sms centre to report/inform
1. the world what is happening around you.
2. share invovative projects
3. get known globally
4. share youth issues
5. or basically tell us about your community the way of life etc.
6. and much more depending on what you would like the world to know about you and your area

It will also be a way of networking youth and all with similarities and also sharing ideas. Always tell us where you are, you may or may not disclose your name but we can call you back to verify or learn more about your text message. lets talk.

Remember you can only send an text message to the number but you cannot call the number. After we have received your sms we shall write a report / send it online for the world to read about what you want us to know. The smses will be posted to http://www.peacecaravan.ushahidi.com site.

Please forward

VYP is redesigning the website watch out.

Peace Caravan – Mt Elgon

VYP has been following the on goings in Mt. Elgon district with a keen interest especially on the role played by the youth in the eruption and consequent involvement in the violence. We have noted that the youth are the main proponents of the violence / misunderstanding as they are the mostly affected age group by the issues of Land ownership and unemployment which are the main catalysts of the Mt. Elgon violence. They bore the brunt of the security forces during the operation okoa maisha that was launched by the government to bring back law and order into the region. As much as the youth were involved in the conflicts, and acts of unlawfulness orchestrated by the militia groups that ran terror in the region, it is also important to integrate the same youth back into the community and help them forge a way forward so that they can change their ways and get involved positively with the community. To pass this message effectively we feel that they would be more accepting and involved should this message be passed to them by fellow youth and by use of forums that identify best with the youth. We wish to do this by incorporating into our team youth from other conflict spots of our Nation who have been beneficiaries of similar initiatives by VYP as a testimony to the Mt. Elgon youth, that there is a future for the youth even from trouble spots but only if they themselves lead and own the process of transforming the region from a trouble spot into an environment fit for living and conducive for economic activities thus the theme Youth Leading Change – Mageuzi kutokana na vijana.

By

Rachel Wambui