United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) has partnered with the Kenya and Japan to support the empowerment of youth development projects in Mombasa County to the tune of Ksh 20 million.
At least 20 youth groups in Mombasa County have benefitted from the grant under projects the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and the State Department for Youth Affairs were implementing in the country.
The project aims at stabilizing the income of young people and helping them recover from the effects of violent extremism, conflicts and disasters affecting the country.
NDMA Drought Information Officer for Kilifi County Mrs Ayienda Caroline said that the program has helped a big number of the youths to tackle unemployment as they are provided with an alternative source of income, instead of relying on formal employment.
Ayienda said for a group to qualify for funding they should give out a proposal of a business idea, then the officers listen to the ideas, gather enough data and analysis on if a group can do the project they have suggested, then once satisfied, they do the funding.
“All the business proposals were from the youth groups, and they were marvelous that we rushed to get them funds,” said Ayienda.
In Mombasa, out of 40 groups that were selected for the program, 20 have already received their grants with the rest waiting for more funding.
“For those that we have already supported, they have successful stories, some were boda boda riders and the boda bodas were not theirs, but now they can sustain themselves with other alternative income generating activities such as chicken farming,” she said.
Among the ideas listed include selling baby diapers by Bomani youth group which owns a retail store in Likoni, a car wash by Tubonge Youth Group, garbage collection team for Kishoka youth group, among others.
Kassim Ali of Kishoka Youth Group expressed gratitude to the government of Kenya for making tremendous efforts in ensuring that the lives of the youths are improved.
“We are really happy as youths from Mombasa, we thank the government for fulfilling their promise of bringing us these goodies after promising us, this is the first initiative to benefit from the Kishoka Youth Group,” he said.
According to Ayienda, the government rolled out the project in 2016 in the coastal counties so as it can support youth groups in engaging in business hustles and avert crime.
“Most youths engage in criminal activities or get radicalized because they lack something meaningful to do. This is why the project mainly involves young women and men to keep them busy and create their own income,” she said.
Ayienda noted that the funding comes from the Government of Japan but the Kenyan government implements the whole project.
By Chari Suche