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Success stories of youth empowerment in Baringo

Various youth across Baringo County have shared their experiences after undergoing empowerment and leadership training that have in turn nurtured a number of talents amongst them hence impacting them positively.

The empowerment programs sponsored by Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) included peace building talks and cohesion with youths across the county by participating in peace walks and crusades in all sub-counties before, during and after elections which bore a positive impact in the hot spotted area.

The peace crusades also included Kazi Mtaani youths who in the long run made an influence in the entire county with residents voting and waiting for the results from their homes therefore registering zero conflicts during the entire electioneering period.

It is the first time that Baringo County witnessed calmness before, during and after elections courtesy of numerous peace walks which traversed through the six sub-counties emphasizing on the importance of peace.

Kaptimbor, a village situated 200 meters away from Kabarnet Town in Baringo Central Sub-County within Baringo County has in the recent past been in the limelight being associated with criminal activities, but has been redeemed through the empowerment which saw over 100 youths from the area enrolled in different football teams including Kaptimbor FC and Kaptimbor Starlets.

Bishop Julius Chepsat, chairperson Inter-faith network while mentoring the youth at the rehabilitation center on Wednesday thanked them for heeding the guidance offered by the religious leaders and maintaining peace during the electioneering period.

“Thank you for being good ambassadors and accepting change for a brighter future. As religious leaders we are ready to support you; however we can and we even intend holding an athletic contest early next year where the winners will receive cash awards and overseas education scholarships,” Chepsat said.

He added that the youth network aims to help, influence and inspire young people to reach their full potential and God given abilities.

Gladys Cheserem from Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) and a beneficiary of the mentorship program lauded the efforts of IRCK in impacting positively on their livelihood noting it would go a long way in taming different vices that have crippled youth advancement.

Kevin Opiyo, a youth from Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said his involvement as a player at the Kaptimbor FC had helped cut off idleness which would have otherwise led most of the players to waste away in alcohol, drugs and substance abuse.

Opiyo said the club started four years ago but through hard work and determination they have been ranked the best team in the county after winning a FKF match held at ASK Kabarnet showground over the weekend.

Another youth, Janet Nelima from National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) highlighted that the mentorship program has been beneficial and was able to impact other youth to take up leadership roles in various capacities.

Omar Marjan from Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) said interfaith dialogue has brought about unification, mutual understanding, inspiration and guidance among them hence promoting peaceful coexistence among communities hence moving toward nonviolent means of conflict resolution.

Mercy Nyabuto, a youth representing the Seventh Day Adventist thanked IRCK for the training noting that it had positively impacted on her life and helped in peaceful elections.

Area Member of County Assembly Ernest Kibet thanked IRCK for mentoring youth and instilling discipline, noting that Kaptimbor village was now a safe place to live and do business. He however noted with concern that more is needed to be done to assist youth earn a decent living adding that the programs ought to be sustainable in order to have a lasting impact.

“We are looking for partners to support various youth and I am sourcing for funds to open two bakeries for Kaptimbor FC and Lesaki FC,  purchase football jersey including shoes and pay for them National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover so that in case of injuries they can to get treatment without a problem,” Kibet said.

The County Coordinator, Kipngeno Rono aka MC Toroh applauded efforts made by IRCK in mentoring youths from the year 2020 hence making Kaptimbor location a safe place to live and invest in unlike previous years when crime was rampant.

He further thanked partners including the national and county governments, local administration, Inter-faith Youth Network, Diakonia, and Uwiano for their continued support and urged more partners to come on board to make Baringo a place of peace.

By Caroline Cherono

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