22 Jan, 2019

9 Ways to Empower Youth Leadership

According to the Knight Foundation, statistics also show a gap. ‘Often that energy, that desire to contribute or lead, is going unsupported and untapped, they said.’ Teens and young adults don’t always…

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18 Apr, 2020

Safisha Mtaa, Safisha Akili Project; First Edition: Tackling Youth Radicalization And Violent Extremism

The first Edition 1: 

The cleanup took place on the 2nd of September 2015,  it was flagged of by the Chief on behalf of the District Officer.

With the objective of reducing violent crime and discouraging irresponsible dumping of waste

There were 125 people, with speeches from the Youth leaders, Area ward manager, Chief then were all divided ourselves into three groups.

Areas cleaned included; the stretch from the John Osogo road to the Catholic Stage, 41social hall to the catholic stage and from the junction at the Mti moja through awendo to the catholic stage.

The area cleaned involved, unblocking trenches, cleaning the roads, piling the garbage together and putting them in a sack, then the lorries from the Nairobi City County and the one from National Youth Service collected the garbage. The areas were marked and the house holds given plastic bags and tools so that the cleanup could be maintained, and youths empowered to collect garbage at a fee.

The area chief asked youths to collaborate with the local administration, community to desist from crime as they now had no excuse because they were given tools and capital to engage in collecting garbage from houses at a small fee.

The achievements realized included; Youth groups from different gangs worked together for they were mixed up with the others, and community confidence was upheld, the County Council got a chance to link up with the youths and will now work together in future cleanups, even if they have not been organized by COTA, the shops around the trenches now have youths to reach on issues to do with cleanups.

Safisha mtaa project, is a COTA initiative to create environment awareness among the community and unite the youths who have been divided along gang, tribal and idle groups, to be responsible and be positive change agents. 

TACKLING YOUTH RADICALIZATION AND VIOLENT EXTREMISM

The seminar took place on the 4th of September 2015 at Dandora social hall. COTA invited different facilitators including: The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Sheikh Hassan Kilele and Sheikh Ibrahim and Youth fund.

Participants were 200 youths

The first Session was Effects of Drugs and substance abuse by Mr. Jacob, Programs Officer from NACADA. He explicitly talked about drugs and substance abuse. Others were also happy to know of the facts associated with the drugs, apart from the drug abuse suppressing the nervous system and hallucinations many other thing were learnt in the forum Example: bang does not stay in the human brain for seven years but for a lifetime, causes infertility, shrinking of the penis and continuous urinating without breaks. Other results are overworking and over eating. Miraa cause infertility. Wines are alcoholic, lead to impotence, many thought that ‘shisha’ is just a flavor for fun, but the facts are that one puff of ‘shisha’ is equivalent to 10 sticks of cigarettes. Tobacco causes respiratory complications, and lung cancer.

50 people made up their mind to stop abusing drugs including five women who made up their mind to stop chewing miraa.

Hence, they were given the toll-free number to call in case of anything 1192 or have difficulty in stopping the vice.

 

The second session was Youth radicalization and violent extremism by Sheikh Hassan Kilele and Sheikh Ibrahim.

They answered participants questions and ironed out the misconceptions.

Radicalization is a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt extreme political, social or religious ideals that rejects freedom of choice. It is mans’ thoughts and not anything that the Muslim faith teaches. It is any philosophy that goes opposite or promotes violent extremism

It was noted that there have been instances in Dandora of youths and young generation getting lost while others radicalized because they are greedy for money, fame and power. Hence, given false information like they are promised money once they join and complete the activity, and the young girls are told that they will be married off to wealthy men. Other reasons are; idleness, unemployment and for fun.

The sheikhs defined ‘JIHAD’ as to defend one self and it resulted in the time when the Muslims were being oppressed, hence they protected themselves. Muslims have been given a leakage to kill provided it is within their laws. Example is when a woman is found guilty of adultery. Violent extremisms of the youth in stabbing each other because of reasons like women, robbery, and fun is not allowed by the Quran. One later asked the Sheikhs why they watched when youths in Dandora are transported to Somalia, the Sheikhs said that those Sheikhs who were involved were arrested and right action was taken.

The way forward was: Organize a match between the Muslims and the public, Invite more partners on board e.g. the Catholic nuns and priest and Christians to read the Quran and Muslims to read the Bible.

 

The Third Session was How To access loans by Kennedy and Mary from Youth fund.

Role of Youth Enterprise Development Fund is to empower youths financially. The loan is interest free, only 5% maintenance fee is deducted and a grace period granted is three months and the loans are payable within 12 months. To get the loan a group must attach registration certificate, their ID photocopies and a duly filled application form.

The awareness from the youth fund was a success because 52 people expressed interest in applying for the loans, the list was given to Youth fund officer and a copy remained with COTA who will now work together to see that all those people get the loans and will be present at the next forum to share with the participants who will be present.

Special thanks to Global Communities, Kenafric Industries, National Youth Service, Nairobi City County, Clusa Kenya, Onward Kenya, Good Neighbors Kenya, KENWA, Tadeci Network, NACADA, Youth Fund, Women Enterprise Fund, NHIF, IEBC, Dandora Catholic Parish, Dandora phase 5 mosque, Hon Margaret Wanjiru, former Assistant Minister for Housing and Development, Youth groups, Women chamas and the Dandora community.

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18 Apr, 2020

Safisha Mtaa, Safisha Akili Project 2nd Edition: Gender Based Violence

Gender Based Violence and rape against women have been a global menace mostly in the informal settlements, and have been among the leading causes for HIV and AIDS infection. Up to 75% of these cases are never reported, reasons being the stigma associated with the victims, poverty and ignorance.

In Dandora division, only 40% of Gender Based Violence cases are reported and 30% cases of gang rape are reported to the police in Dandora, while 50% of those reported cases are dropped along the way.

Among the major causes is the proximity to the dumping site which is among the hot spots on Gang rape, other causes from our research are the myths that young girls who have never had any sexual intercourse with anyone can cure the vice when raped.

Another problem affecting the victims is the bribes that are offered and the intimidation when they report such cases. While others are not financially capable of living without their husbands who abuse them hence continue to hold on.

The gang rape which is a violent act against ladies and women will be condemned by all ways possible.

It is against this backdrop that we decided to organize and Sensitize the community on Gender Based Violence and Rape against women, establish and identify why youth and the public engage in Gender Based Violence and Rape against women and why it is very high, discuss, find out and address how the menace can be controlled if not stopped.

The event took place on 1st World Aids Day and 4th December; these days are among the 16 days of activism. Activities involving cleanup and a forum on the last day.

Youths, public and Nairobi County Council from Dandora did a general cleaning in Dandora, with an objective of creating a working and conducive relationship between young women and men.

4th Friday, 2015

There were forums by: Loan applications by Women Enterprise Fund on how to access loan, Ms. Wanjiku Mercy talked about women in business and how to navigate an industry dominated by Men, Ms. Leah Obada, GBV Coordinator talked about Gender based violence and how to report such cases, she pledged to assist women get justice by taking them to safe houses and following the law to the latter.

The Last speaker was Elly Ajowi, Co-founder COTA Kenya, who talked about Talent development and urged women to encourage their children in whatever talents they engaged in giving his story as a Boxer in Kenya National Boxing Team and an Employee of National Police Service.

Attendance were 250 youths.

At the end of it all, the public will be able to report their grievances to the higher authorities if their cases are not handled well according to their satisfaction, the young people will be financially empowered by applying Women Enterprise fund, hence will not continue leaving in abusive relationships, the will work for the benefit of the country hence the National Values, and they will have the legal know how in cases of Gender Based Violence.

Therefore, the journey to end extreme poverty by 2030, will have hit a mile stones.

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19 Apr, 2020

Sports for reducing school drop outs and having a responsible society.

Saturday 31st October 2015 COTA decided to have its second edition of back to school Match at Dandora Stadium with the objective of reducing school drop outs and having a responsible society.

The rate of kids dropping out of school has been high, most of who drop from class seven and eight while others finish their class eight exams as they get married or recruited in crime.

Most girls also avoid school when experiencing their Menstruation Flow.

From the records 60% of crime in Dandora is committed by young people of the age of 15-17.

By the age of 21 the young people become hard core criminals, without schooling and languishing in abject poverty.

Parenting/lack of mentorship has been the major problem.

Giving an introduction, CPA Jobiese thanked all the six community schools, 200 students, 50 parents and guardians for attending reminding them of their objectives which included: To support children’s education, to encourage Children’s talents and to emphasize to the parents/guardians on their leading role to children, hence a responsible society.

Activities included: soccer match, give books to the children, and pads to the girls, give a talk on parenting and capacity building on drugs and substance abuse

Target Group was 13 and 15 years old; from class eight to form four who are from harsh and humble backgrounds.

The Schools were in a team of 9 playing on 7 aside for 15minutes on knock out stages.

Each having 1 person as the coach/team instructor. This signified that the young adults were responsible for their lives and their peers’, if they do not instruct the rest well, they all lose.

Later there were refreshments then winners were given books and gifts, which had been donated by Safaricom while all the players will be given books and girls will be given Sanitary towels.

Later, there was a forum on right parenting by Elly Ajowi, and why they need to take leading role even in their busy schedule to oversee what their children do. Topics he discussed included; Children rights (early marriages), FGM, crime, drugs and substance abuse and good parenting.

Elly Ajowi later thanked Kenafric Industries, Safaricom, NACADA, for coming through with donations and making the event a success.

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19 Apr, 2020

Financial Literacy at the Slums

Illiteracy is one of the major causes of poverty hence Homeboyz Foundation partnered with COTA Kenya to train on Employability and transferable skills, accommodating customers with special needs, soft skills, customer service standards, getting to know your customers, building professional CV and interview techniques. All this took place on 22nd and 23rd October 2015, from 9:00 am to 3:00pm at Dandora with 60 youths from Dandora Gitare Marigu.

The aim was to make the training more accessible to them and also get many people to be trained in a short time span. The training accommodated all the participants, from the young ones who had just completed school and who were just hustling around to the ones doing small businesses and those still who have not made up their minds and do not know what they want in life.

We noted that many people are hungry for knowledge hence as Cota we felt highly motivated, for the society that people have always perceived to be lazy, was on time to attend the training and very reluctant to go back home even when it was time to go.

The achievements realized included; The targeted people availed themselves, more opportunities arose from the network of Homeboyz Foundation and the Dandora Community, as the Foundation had been approached by a security firm that wanted people, 20people submitted their names and got the job, the people were now confident to start and run their business, because now they understood their clients well.

Our mission as Cota to empower youth so as to be able to facilitate their own development, achieve sustainable human development and protagonists of peace, human dignity, sustainable positive transformation and development of their communities, is on its way to be met.

Not to forget ending extreme poverty by 2030

It was recommended that Cota should organize for more trainings on entrepreneurship, advance loans and mentor the young people in doing their business.

“We thank God and appreciate the effort of Homeboyz Foundation who devoted their time to attend and train the residents of Dandora, and also supported the exercise in kind and monetary terms,” CPA. Jobiese said as he gave his closing remarks on the last day of Training.

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19 Apr, 2020

A visit to Mugabe Were’s Children’s home

There can never be sustainable development if orphans are not taken good care and none minds their welfare, to create the culture of giving back to those we feel really need the most.

That was the main reason for Saturday 17th October 2015 visit to Villa Teag Mondoazurro, a children’s home that was founded in 2003 by the Late Hon. Mugabe Were, Member of Parliament Embakasi.

Located in Dandora phase 5, opposite Phase 5 Administration Police Camp.

The reason why he set it up was to cater for the orphans who dropped out of school due to HIV/AIDS prevalence. Hence the young kids used to go and scavenge for food at the dumpsite. The environment was also a threat to the orphans for the innocent kids were exposed to drugs and substance abuse, crime, violence, early pregnancies/early marriages and the reality of primitive abortion by quacks.

 The director works together with 6 more volunteers, 2 of the volunteers have been brought up in the children’s home, 3 more are currently working after being brought up in the children’s home hence they also help in sorting some bills.

Currently there are 34 children in the children’s home from primary, secondary schools. 2 male doing business management and CPA and 2 female doing vocational courses, hairdressing and tailoring

Once they complete their studies they are required to integrate with the community and also give back to the children’s home in any way they can.

Activities included; Speeches to inspire the orphans, cleaning the area, wash utensils, cook, play with them then have a forum, where we will talk to them and inspire them. We will talk of subjects like, drugs and substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, share stories of great men like Safaricom CEO Bob Colymore, who used to wash toilets as a youth etc

We had games, Donation of Food stuffs; maize flour, rice, oil, Tissues, pads, Mosquito Nets , Clothes, shoes, slippers, Books

We were joined by Mr. Silas Michael Manager Cooperative Bank. Special thanks to Kenafric Industries, Local traders and Dandora Community for their donations.

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19 Apr, 2020

Christmas Celebration with the less fortunate in Dandora

On the 1st of January 2018, all roads led to Dandora Gitare marigu area, to celebrate Xmas with the less fortunate in the community.

Activities included; Cooking Chapatis, Beans, serving, Donating Clothes and speaking to the kids whose families never know the meaning of Christmas.(never enjoy Christmas)

What caught our attention is the leading role of the youths and community who donated the Sufurias, Tables, jikos and also volunteered to cook and serve.

People that benefited were 300 and everyone rejoiced. From Gitare Marigu, Sashamane, dumpsite and Baghdad.

Our mission for making one child smile was accomplished, as we made 300 smile when they received clothes and food!

Mr. Oure, a youth leader and boxer in the community team, thanked Cota for coming through and asked that we should always consider this area from time to time, he also thanked the donors for the clothes and for coming to Dandora assuring them that the youth have reformed and are now responsible, hence they should continually feel welcomed to visit anytime.

CPA. Jobiese Richard, also thanked the youths for donating the tools for cooking, serving and cooperating to make the process peaceful and successful.

Special thanks to Friends of COTA and members contribution to make the event a success.

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27 Apr, 2020

COTA Kenya Distributes Food Stuffs to 100 families in Dandora Area

Dandora is faced with so many challenges which include; crippling poverty, unemployment, disease, drugs and substance abuse, violent crimes and proximity to the dumpsite.

Due to Covid-19 things have continually become unbearable as many companies have shut, the government directive of 7pm to 5 am curfew and restriction of movement in and out of Nairobi has worsened the situation. As many companies have shut, most informal jobs like salons, washing clothes and masonry are no where in the picture as these are what most of the people living in Dandora Gifarage Slums depend on. Things have taken another toll as most food prices have gone up.

 

On Sunday, 26th April 2020, there was ray of hope as Pankaj Donated food and COTA Kenya distributed it in the houses.

The pack included; 2 packets of 2kg Maize flour, 1 packet of 2 kg wheat flour, 1 kg sugar, 1 kg rice, 500grams cooking fat, bathing soap, 200grams salt, 4 kg beans, a packet of sanitary towels, 2 face masks and sweets.

The distribution included delivering the food packs to the door steps of the most need, who included the elderly, people with disability, orphans and other vulnerable people in the community.

Other beneficiaries included Dandora boxing members and their families.

The other method we used to distribute food was having the beneficiaries in an open field, at least one meter apart.

 

The residents were filled with joy and rekindled hope as most of them did not have an idea where the next meal would come from.

Kennedy Rueben, COTA Kenya Secretary Thanked The Volunteers, including Mswaki, AKA MC Toothbrush in absentia, who had been at the ground helping with the mapping of the area and Team Pankaj for the donations, he also called upon other partners to donate even if it is 500grams of maize flour as the situation at Dandora Gifarage which is adjacent to the dumping site is at dire needs of help.

 

The you tube link of how it went down is here, remember to subscribe: https://youtu.be/lT1eBuBRgyQ

 

More donations will take place weekly.

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