Past Events
Some of the Signature collected from the leaders of Dandora Phase four

Year Two thousand thirteen witnessed youths take different roles of championing for peaceful cohesion and inclusivity in politics of national development.

The main peace activities done included: asking the residents of Dandora phase 4 area, that was severely hit by 2007-2008 post-election violence to sign and pledge to maintain peace during the election period, after engaging and training them. We obtained 1,000 signatures, and it reduced drastically, we also linked youths and women to opportunities and training to be taught entrepreneurship and given loans. We intend to empower the youth, children, and community to become agents of positive social transformation that we came about with this project.

The exercise took place before the general election that took place on 4th March 2013, and the peace ambassadors continued to engage fellow youths around Dandora phase four.

The exercise started in early January 2013 and ended on 30th March 2013. One of the factors that made the task successful was the alternatives provided by the actors, which included training on loan applications and conflict resolution management techniques.

Two wrongs do not make a right, and violence is never the sure path to solve a problem. Having been in the informal settlements of Dandora, filled with violent crimes, then we are in the best position to lead the whole society in finding the best way to solve disagreements without casualties!

Speaking at the end of the program, CPA. Jobiese Richard thanked the youths for taking a leading role in being peace champions, pointing that when they are involved in finding solutions to local problems, then a society’s foundations are firmly placed. He further asked the elected leaders to work with youths. And continue empowering them by awarding them tenders to the qualified ones as this is part of community responsibility that every one of us must undertake if we want to see nation-building and improvement in the economy of the country. 

The signatures!

  

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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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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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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