The government through the State Department of Youth Affairs has provided over Sh 8 million to upgrade and operationalise three youth centres in Narok County in order to nurture talents of the young people.
State Department for Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli said the three centres namely Kilgoris in Trans Mara West sub county, Emurua Dikirr in Trans Mara East Sub county and Mulot in Narok West Sub county will provide a ‘one stop shops’ to provide friendly services to the young generation.
Also in plan, Sunkuli said, is to convert the Narok North Youth Centre into a Youth Development Centre (YDC) of excellence as indicated in the medium term plan 111 (2018-2022).
“Once fully operational, the centres will promote and nurture youth talent, positive leisure, recreation and interaction places,” he said.
The PS spoke at Talek area in Narok West Sub County when he presided over the official opening of Talek Youth Friendly Centre that was built by the government in collaboration with non-state actors among them CHASE Africa, Community Health Partners (CHP) and the Maa Trust Fund.
Sunkuli observed that the centre will nurture talents of the youth who live near the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, hence giving them a bright future.
“Youth are our arrows to the future, if well natured and empowered, the youth can contribute to the realisation of the Kenya Vision 2030, the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among other development milestones,” added the PS.
The PS reiterated that his department will equip the new centre with resource materials, equip the ICT hub with some additional computers, and provide additional indoor equipment.
He promised to hasten the registration of the centre with the Ajira Digital programme as well as helping the youth in the area to access youth funds.
“The youth in Narok face a lot of challenges that, if not addressed, could affect their social economic development and the overall development of the county. The challenges include: early marriages, low esteem, low education levels, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child labour, gender based violence and unemployment,” he continued.
It is estimated that children and youth aged between 10 and 29 make up approximately 41 per cent of the county population according to the 2019 census. In the year 2020, Narok County recorded more than 15, 000 cases of teenage pregnancy.
Talek dispensary is currently caring for 115 teenage mothers and has dealt with 21 cases of gender based violence this year.
The youth friendly centre is expected to be an intervention of these challenges through programmes that will be offered to keep the youth engaged in productive business.
The PS further noted that the government has constructed 156 youth empowerment centres across the country adding that according to the Kenya vision 2030, each constituency should have a youth centre as a ‘one stop shop’.
Present during the launch was Narok West Deputy Commissioner Darusi Muyesu, Community Health Partners (CHP) Director John Sankok among others.
By Ann Salaton