Violet Mbiti Foundation, Kenya
A brief introduction of the organization including the motivation behind it: Through our brand Youth County Projects Kenya, Violet Mbiti Foundation empowers youth in the 47 counties in Kenya socially, economically and politically towards achieving Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals by initiating projects at the grassroots. Focus areas we are currently engaged in include youth entrepreneurship, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Governance. We have youth groups at various counties as well as coordinators in the various counties. I was unemployed for three years despite applying for jobs severally. I therefore decided that instead of waiting for the Government to help me, it would be better to start volunteering. I was also frustrated with not getting news on time regarding proposed youth projects as well as information when youth events take place in the counties in Kenya. That’s how I started the blog Youth County Projects Kenya. This later attracted organizations to work with us and that is how Violet Mbiti Foundation came to be.
Vision of the organization: To realize a Kenya full of opportunities for all young people that are responsible, democratic, knowledgeable and accountable.
Mission of the organization: To assist youth in Kenya by providing a platform for unity of purpose and empowering them to participate in leadership and development processes.
- Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Youth Entrepreneurship
Current projects and Success Stories: Focus areas we are currently engaged in include youth entrepreneurship, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Governance. We have youth groups in various counties as well as coordinators in the various counties.
Governance: Violet Mbiti Foundation conducted a Gender Mainstreaming Workshop in Voi Town, Taita Taveta County courtesy of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. We brought together 60 women to the workshop. Violet Mbiti Foundation is currently involved in the enactment of youth-friendly Nairobi County Integrated Development Plan courtesy of The International Republican Institute. We are currently engaging the County Executive and County Assembly in the Public Participation Process as well as County Budgeting. We also actively engaged in Jiactivate a social movement by youth and for youth and we have carried out Jiactivate Devolution Dialogue in Athi River Ward and Wamunyu Ward in Machakos County and Wabiri ward in Garissa County.
Youth entrepreneurship: we have created 122 jobs for youth in Uganda and Kenya through our Social Enterprise “Improved Cookstoves Project.” This project seeks to reduce deforestation, unemployment and indoor air pollution. In Kenya we empowered youth with skills on how to construct improved cookstoves in Taita Taveta County and Machakos County. In Taita Taveta 40 youth were trained as Trainers of Trainers and in Machakos 42 were trained. This was made possible through financial support from Taita Taveta County Government and GIZ En Dev Programme. We are scaling up to other counties. In June 2017, we were in Uganda courtesy of Social Innovation Academy where we created jobs for 40 youth from Uganda, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo. Some of the participants were from Nakivale refugee camp.
Sexual and Reproductive Health: we are engaged in promotion of reusable sanitary pads and also involved in youth advocacy in the Kenya Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health Network together with Organization of African Youth Kenya Chapter.
The German Government wing GIZ Energy Development Programme has expressed interest to scale up my initiative in Taita Taveta County and empower more youth throughout the county with skills on how to construct improved cookstoves. Also, due to the Jiactivate Youth Devolution Dialogue, youth formed committees and are now engaging their leaders in Government in matters policy and initiation of projects at the grassroots.
Challenges Encountered: Lack of adequate resources to scale up our initiative
(pics courtesy of Violet Mbiti)