Awareness on available Governement Services

By Millicent Agutu

Kenya Youth Empowerment Project (KYEP)

The Kenya Youth Empowerment Project (KYEP) is supported by World Bank. The project has three components;
• Training and internship for youths
• Kazi kwa vijana
• Capacity building of officers working within the Ministry

The program was started to create an enabling environment for job opportunities, to link the youths for attachment with private sector and to reduce the number of unemployed youths. Youths unemployment is a challenge for Kenya and other Countries. One of the problems that the project identified was that youths lacked jobs because they lacked skills and experience. For that matter Kenya Youth Enterprise Program (KYEP)is to improve employ-ability skills of the youths by giving them placement opportunities in sectors of their choice in collaboration with Kenya Private Sector Alliance(KEPSA).

KYEP offers the following services to the youths;
1. Life skills training (skills ignored but are necessary in private sector)
2. Co-business skills
3. Placement in formal sector employment (own job skills)

Who benefits
Any youth who has attained the age of 15 – 29 years, a Kenyan Citizen, must have attained KCPE Certificate, must not be committed/engaged at the time of application. KYEP is an intensive program that runs for eight months, runs in cycles, all applications are subjected to random selection (using a computer software) and each applicant have equal opportunity to be selected.

KYEP Structure
Life skills for – 2 weeks
Co-business for – 5 weeks Six months
Placement for – 3 months

The structure allows for breakup after completion of life skill training and then another breakup and completion of Co-business before a three months placement. During the placement if the youth prove to be competent, obedient and determined, then there is a possibility of being absorbed fully into the job. However, after placement, youths get jobs; some go back to school and some start businesses. Therefore, KYEF program and KEPSA does its work in conjunction with the Government in various sectors like; finance, manufacturing and tourism

Youth Enterprise Development Fund and Uwezo Fund
Eligibility; the fund is for youths and women. Youths are from 18 to 35 years, whereas women are 18 years to death. Men can also benefit from these funds, however, they should not constitute more than 30% of membership and not allowed in any leadership position in any of the funds.

Criteria of accessing the YEDF and Uwezo Fund
For one to be in a position to access Youth Enterprise Development Fund, one need to have an already registered group, business idea and a business plan. And for application there is a developed template from the funders. YEDF has a grace period of 3 (three) months and repayment within 12 (twelve) months.
For Uwezo Fund, applicants must have a table banking program in existence. Uwezo fund is given a grace period of 6 (six) months.
And for both YEDF and Uwezo Fund, they must have been operating an account in the given name at time of application.

For more information on Kenya Youth Empowerment Project (KYEP), Youth Enterprise Development Fund and Uwezo Fund kindly visit your;

District, Ministry of Devolution and Planning
Directorate of Youths OR
KEPSA Website
Devolution and Planning Website

And those coming within Dagoretti District, the offices are located at DC’s place behind the Dagoretti CDF Office, Kawangware off Naivasha Road.


Riruta Community-Administration Forum


Millicent Agutu

Riruta sports fraternity is an association of youngsters, resident of Riruta Location in Dagoretti South sub-county. The youngsters draw from different outdoor and indoor sports in two levels; Provincial League and Academy. This association comprises of different sports groups including RISA, Amani Yassets, Makarios, Amazing Grace and Kianda. The association together with Dagoretti South administration held an open forum to deliberate on eminent societal issues affecting the young people. Two main agendas were highlighted, these being insecurity and development opportunities. There was a concern from the youths in attendance on the access of government funds and services such as Youth fund, Uwezo fund, Njaa Marufuku and Cash Transfers for OVC’s.

Among those in attendance were CBO’s, FBO’s and NGO’s like KARDS, Comprehensive Diverse Initiative (CDI) Kivuli Centre workshop, Plan International, Consolation East Africa, Maiden Hope, Kivuli Youth Group, DYSAE Youth Group and YEEP among other non-governmental actors.

The occasion was graced by government officials from Dagoretti Constituency i.e. Riruta Chief Mr. James Ndichu and his Assistant Mr. Rhuphas Mwangi, the Chief Kawangware Location Mr. Chege and his assistant and Assistant Chief Kabiro. Also in attendance was the Police Inspector Kawangware Mr. David Langat, police officers stationed at satellite police station, CDF County Youth Representative Officer Mr. Kabera, and Dagoretti Uwezo Fund Committee member Mr. Nyaga. Other institutions represented were; Ministry of Education, Ministry of Devolution and Planning and Dagoretti District Development Office.

The representatives of the groups lamented on the issue of exploitation of young people in sports by individuals who only serve to satisfy their own interest through the talents of these young people. They requested the administration to provide an enabling environment for the youth and their coaches to fully exploit the potential existing in sports. They pointed out that getting the youth fully engage will reduce the chances of individuals in the society using them to cause chaos and commit crimes.

Drugs; This session started with one of the coaches sharing reason for man’s creation on the six day, which was to manage Gods issues. But because of identity, we create problem for ourselves and others; This was just to infuse the minds of the youth on reasons to why some of them engage in drug use. This brought about the questions of i) How do we address issue of identity ii) How will we do it? iii) How does the drug use help you?( As an individual, team and community). The topic will be fully discussed in a future date in order to come up with action plan.

Public amenities especially the in areas of sports which mainly incorporate playing grounds and sports academies lack in this area of Riruta and those available are in bad shape. In this area for example there are only two play grounds Kinyanjui Technical and Kawangware ground which are commonly used for football leaving no space for any other type of sport. There was therefore a proposal that the administration and well wishers to look into ways of providing space for other sports including; basket ball, tennis ball and other forms of talents i.e. music and arts.
These facilities should be safe enough to enable both male and female to participate in the trainings. The facilities should also assure security of the participants including the young children in the academy and thus should not expose them to bodily harm or material loss. The association representative urged the citizen and administration to further development of sports through the collaborative efforts.

On the issue of development opportunities available for the youth, it was noted that sports present valuable opportunities for the youth to engage meaningfully in the society. There also exist other government opportunities for the young people to further their innovative ideas for self sustainability. To access these funds however, the young people were advised to form groups either youthful or community based groups and come up with development and business ideas to assist themselves. The administration emphasized on the need to involve both gender in the groups as this was a requirement by the constitution. They also advised the young people to link the administration with members of the community who qualify for the cash transfer fund that is aimed at assisting the OVCs in care of poor guardians. The fund also supports old members in the society who do not have any immediate support from their children.

The forum also addressed the many cases emanating from insecurity in this area. It emerged that the young people are prone to engage in crime since they are mostly idle due to joblessness yet they need to provide themselves with the basic needs. It was argued that engaging the young people in sports would act to reduce the chances of these young people engaging in deviant acts. The forum highlighted factors contributing to insecurity and noted the following;

• Lighting system – The lighting system within Riruta is very poor and as such the thugs take advantage of the dark streets and corners to continue mugging citizen. It was therefore proposed that the administration provide street lighting to address this.
• Unemployment – Lack of employment has forced many young people to engage in crime in search for livelihoods and thus there is need to offer more opportunity to these young people.
• Poverty – Poverty levels in the society have risen thus calling for a need to put up more measures to help the young people make a living.
• Infrastructure – poor state of infrastructure especially the roads have left the citizen prone to highjack as the culprits take advantage of the fact that cars drive slowly in damaged roads and also during the rainy period. There was therefore a need to improve the state of the roads.
• Communication – There lacks a free and prompt communication between the citizen and the security providers hence delay in communicating emergency cases. It was suggested that there be employed a mechanism that the citizen can promptly contact the security personnel in case of such occurrences.
• Corruption – Corruption was highlighted as a major challenge both in the administration and the community which is a major block in getting justice. There is need therefore to institute measures to fight corruption cases.
• Distance from one police post to the other – Distance from police posts inhibit timely response to emergency situations. There is need therefore equip the police with facilities such as vehicles in good condition to enable them make to the scenes with ease.
• Relationship between the police and citizens – There is need to improve the relationship of the police and the citizen for there to be a free interaction and information sharing.
• Responsibilities and roles of citizens – There is a need for the Citizens to actively participate community forums that are geared towards addressing issues affecting them. It was noted that most strategies employed by the authority to curb insecurity were met with a negative reception despite the efforts by the authority to have the citizens involved in making the decisions.

Environmental Network Set to Mark 2nd Anniversary

NAIROBI May 23, 2014 (CISA)

Let us protect mother earth. Let us replenish her health by planting at least one tree per year.

Let us protect mother earth. Let us replenish her health by planting at least one tree per year.

Mother Earth Network (M-e-net), an environmental organization led by the Franciscans Religious Order is set mark two years of existence with a host of activities including tree planting exercise on Friday May 30 at Portiuncula centre, Langa’ta in Nairobi.

“We will have expertise presentations on M-e-net progress and experiences and emerging issues in conservation. The workshop will also see the presentation and official launch of M-e-nets’ Certificate of Registration,” said Fr Herman Borg, M-e-net patron.

Fr Borg added that the network will further use the opportunity to thank its partners, stakeholders, well-wishers, friends and supporters who have stayed with them to date.

Early this year, the network got recognition from the government of Kenya that granted it a legal status as a Trust registered in Kenya under the Ministry of Lands.

According to M-e-net official launch concept paper, from its inception, M-e-net has been undertaking tree-planting and conservation activities in Nairobi, Machakos, Nakuru, Kajiado, Kiambu Nyeri and Malindi counties aimed at contributing to the national tree cover target of 10 percent.

Mother Earth Network has been in existence for two years. Since its formation, great steps have been taken and measures put in place to guide its strategies. Amongst its achievements are tree planting initiatives targeting schools, churches and urban slums; capacity building and awareness and sensitization through key environmental days such as 4th October marked by faith groups every year.

Social Capital; A Perspective On Organizational Development

By Martin Ndichu
Social capital

Social Capital is almost a new concept in modern organizations, this is despite its long existence. Social capital refers to the networks, institutions and norms that mark and define the quality and quantity of interactions within individuals in a society, organization, project or business. In this context, social capital does not account for players within the network but acts to glue them together. It is evident that cohesion within any organization is a vital component for development and sustainability of that organization. This is mainly because of the effect it has on the degree of association of individuals or players within that organization or network.

There are several attributes that constitute social capital, these include; Trust, Reciprocity, Appreciation, Acceptance and tolerance among others. These attributes of social capital have an effect on organizational productivity and well-being of individual players and reduces the costs of doing business by facilitating coordination and cooperation within the organization. Trust among individuals within any context is vital in promoting transparency while on the other hand reciprocity of goodwill encourages continuity of healthy interrelations; it also eliminates the feeling of abuse among partners. Acceptance and tolerance of individuals within an organization regardless of educational background or qualification, disability, societal branding, race or religious affiliation goes a long way to promote self-esteem, self worth and organizational ownership by the individuals.

So what’s the impact of Social Capital on organizations? True to my word, organizations that nurture high-quality social capital have staffs and partners that demonstrate a high sense of obligation towards the organizations and collectively engage in the attainment of the ultimate goal of the organization. Such organizations experience low staff and partner turn over which in turn increases the prospect of success. On the contrary, organizations with little or no social capital exhibits low growth, poorly motivated staff with a high element of self centeredness. They worry much on what they get in return of their service to the organization than on the welfare of his fellows or the organization. This has the effect on the organization security both internally and externally, simply because most of the individual/partners may be unwilling to stand by the organization when it faces challenges of different kinds.

Building social capital can be fun and disappointing at the same time. This is mainly because it comes with a strong element of expectation. This is mutual, so as a leader in any organization as much as you would want to grow social capital within your fellows or partners ensure that the benefits accrued are mutual such that no one feels abused. Learn to note actions by your partners that desire your reciprocity and promptly act back. As an organization, appreciate the little efforts made on daily basis by your staffs because they may end up being the best they ever do before stagnating due to unmet expectations. Building social capital could constitute a big budgets such as increase in remuneration, luxury holiday and excursions, but could also be done in simple ways in the day to day operation of the organization. Try volunteering your special skills to an organization, mentor someone of a different ethnic or religious group, avoid gossip, Say “Thanks” to colleagues and support staff and the likes.

To pen off, a message to managers and officers in charge of project, human resource, public relations, chairpersons of youth groups, women groups, CBOs, NGOs, aspiring entrepreneurs and other organizations in general government included; observe the element of social capital within your networks and you will not have to worry about how to meet your goal, how you will accomplish your tasks or with whom to share your plans. Caution though, social capital is an investment of a kind so invest wisely and please have a fair interest rate that won’t hurt incase of bad debt!!…won’t you? All the best.      



Mediation between two farmers having a border dispute (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

R. Muko.
True stories of successful alternative dispute resolutions in the Abyei Community collected from AHRS in Sudan. Difficult environments such as Abyei in most cases have undeveloped justice systems hence the local structures (family, church, friends etc) do play a great role in conflict situations. A case of a land dispute is presented below.

Two farming neighbours Fadi and Adamo bordering each other were involved in land border dispute. According to Fadi, Adamo had encroached in to the side of Fadi as a result of his farming activities. Fadi in order to find a solution to the problem approached Adamo to discuss this issue. Adamo on his part was insistent that he had farmed on what was rightfully his farm.
Fadi and Adamo in time experienced a stalemate in their discussions. Fadi then decided to seek the assistance of Jose to help them sort out their stalemate. The first thing after listening to them, Jose advised them to pursue non-violent means to solving their issue. He then accompanied them to their farm and found that it was true that the border had truly been interfered with and it was not there.
Jose then asked Fadi “up to which point does your land extend?”
Fadi pointed to a place that was immediately disputed by Adamo. “That is inside my farm!” claimed Adamo.
Jose then asked Adamo the same question he also pointed saying “my farm extends from here to there”. Fadi on his part retorted “lier, your farm does not extend that far. You are trying to steal my farm! Please desist from pointing inside my farm.”
At this point Jose realized that that the issue was becoming very complex, as both disputants were claiming a right on what could have been rightfully someone else’s farm. At this point he decided to adjourn the meeting promising the two parties that he would communicate with them after he had consulted.
Jose decided to seek for advice from his church. It also happened that Fadi and Adamo were also congregants at this church. After deep consultations, he was advised to call both Fadi and Adamo. They obliged and narrated their stories infront of a church committee created to help them solve their dispute. The committee then chose a member of their church Nekesa to assist Jose in finding a solution to among Fadi and Adamo.
The two representative church committee members after this first sitting decided to visit the farm under dispute. They examined the two farms and truly found out that there was no clear demarcation. Both Fadi and Adamo were claiming that the other had encroached into his farm.
After some long discussion it became apparent that both Fadi and Adamo had planted sorghum but they separately had planted breeds of different colors. With this information in mind the two mediators Jose and Nekesa suggested that it was not possible to solve the dispute until the sorghum matures. This suggestion was agreed by the two disputants. After the sorghum had matured, the two disputants Fadi and Adamo approached their mediators Nekesa and Jose and converged to solve the border problem.
Nekesa told Jose “Hey Jose look here there is a mixture of red and yellow sorghum in this section of the land.”
“Yes, yes, I see and I think that the solution to our problem lies in this section.” Said Jose. Turning to the disputants he told them “This is the portion where the mixture of sorghums is. Having listened to your submissions, and according to our observations let us work on finding a solution.”
The two disputants Fadi and Adamo also agreed unanimously that the border was passing around that area. The four both the disputants and the mediators then determined the rightful border to the satisfaction of all. They erected beacons or clear marks to separate the two farms. They also took pictures, an agreement was then drafted and the disputing parties signed it. Fadi and Adamo signed it to signal their agreement while Jose and Nekesa signed it as witnesses. The agreement deed was made in four copies for the two disputants and also for the witnesses.

Project sustainability I

More debate on this topic found here

Project sustainability entails strategies  put in place to ensure that project benefits  continue to be felt beyond the period of external donor support. There are various ways to look at this

1. Exit plan

The project should have exit plan, in absence of exit plan implementation team should work on preparing exit plan. The exit plan should have linking with the community and government department. So that the project intervention can take over and carryout support if needed. In any project or intervention all components are not scalable or sustainable, so it is important to identify which component is sustainable. Based on the well functioning component implementers can plan or design to make it sustainable.

2. Creating local ownership

Give  priority for creating sense of ownership and commitment among the targeted community to ensure sustainability after phasing out. One mechanism for sustainability is to elect executive committees from influential community members that own the project starting from the design. The committees are expected to secure the sustainability using local resources after end of the project. Some organizations sign tripartite agreement among themselves,  government administration and executive committee that become a platform to guarantees the sustainability of the projects.Lastly, weaning process by the partner funder should not be abrupt but be in line with the phasing out process. A strong sense of local ownership and genuine participation in design, project implementation and monitoring and evaluation by both men and women are critical to successful implementation and sustainable benefits, OECD (1989). Designs should build on local demand and initiatives. This requires that the stakeholders (i.e. the beneficiaries and local personnel) meaningfully participate and play a core role in the identification and design process. The idea should come from the community, belong to the community, and be a part of the community, it should be locally driven.

3. Building the capacity of beneficiaries

Sustainability is very key to any project and the key players to it are the beneficiaries themselves. When designing the project, we should ensure that the beneficiaries are allowed to get involved and create opportunities arising from the funded project. This will result into them exhibiting high ownership of the project. An example is given of a 2008 project created in Sichuan China after the earthquake. This project first trained women survivors on handcraft skills and secondly supported them to establish their own business. The third aspect of the assistance was in helping the women find marketing for their products. After the grant period, those women continued to run the business by themselves and are still benefiting from arising profits. 

4. Thinking process

Sustainability comes in where there is an abundance of locally available resources (human capital, land, water, vegetation and clean unpolluted air). It starts with a participatory involvement from project inception where the vision and the mission and mission of the endeavor are locally generated and not implanted. This is an empowering process that brings about mutual understanding between members and partners. The local communities organize themselves around the said endeavor, taking full control and responsibilities of their project/s (ownership) and being proud with their endeavor. External contributions only come to contribute to the local initiative instead of destroying it by replacing it.

5. Service Payment

Beneficiaries could also be made to pay for  service. It is believed that paying for the service contributes as a solutions to poverty by instilling discipline and responsibility. This solution is derived from market solutions that quash free charity debunking it to sentimentality. It is important however that the price of the services sold should lie in the space between market and charity if ever it is to assist the most vulnerable. For those not able to afford then pure charity could be explored.

6. Continuous local resource mobilization

There is need to  consider the aspect of continuous local resource mobilization to support the activity.  The establishment of a strong community organization, or the strengthening of the existing organizations which will continue to operate, manage the project efficiently and effectively after the end of funding is a critical step towards sustainability for all kinds of rural projects.

7. Maintenance and responsible use

Some projects such as warehouses, roads, building or training room will remain to be useable even when the period of project funding comes to an end. Even without external funding, the people in the community can maintain the infrastructure by providing volunteer services, i.e. cleaning and doing repairs. If there is a strong community organization, the leaders and members can take charge of these tasks as well as mobilizing other community members.

Sustainability of the green environment means that the project will not cause damage to the environment in the community. Examples of projects that may cause damage to the environment are roads that cause flooding due to improper design. If that happens, the road itself will be damaged eventually and the people will not support this project. Other projects such as handicrafts making which use plants available in the locale should ensure that the sources of raw materials for the project will not become extinct due to over harvesting. Therefore, the project should have a plan for re-planting or maintaining their natural habitat, in the case of forest flora and fauna. If any part of the project causes environmental damage, this project will be a burden instead to the people and will not be sustainable. 


Adopt a Light

Christine Wambui


I believe that it is possible to light up the whole of Kenya (Esther Passaris). 


Adopt-a-light was an initiative that was spearheaded in 2002 through self-funding corporation; with the intention of making highways and streets safer by lighting up Nairobi through advertising streetlights infrastructure. The city council of Nairobi paved way and gave the project the license to kick start.

Esther Passaris is best known for spearheading this business model which has a social positive impact in the Kenyan business. For the project to succeed, she brought on board powerful partners from the private sector to collaborate with the city council and Kenyan parliament through the Constituency development fund (CDF). Upon the early stages of the project, it was tricky for Passaris since the Nairobi city council was reluctant and did not fully back up the initiative.

Adopt-a-light initiative became active in 2005 in the slums; the aim of the project was to: Improve the quality of people’s lives by ensuring that public spaces — slums, streets, parks, neighborhoods — remain well lit after sunset through an effective partnership between the private and public sectors to finance and facilitate the installation of lights and in so doing, to improve security, safety and aesthetics of public areas, enabling populations to more fully enjoy their lives and participate in economic and recreational activity while at the same time providing financial sponsors with quality advertising services.” (Source: UN Habitat Business Award Report on Best Practice).

This project did not lack challenges. It was a problem to access the slums since they are densely populated. So as to overcome this challenge, local leaders and administrators had to join hands in order to find the most convincing locations to set up the lights. Also there were families which were relocated so as to provide space.

The steadman group also known as synovate Ipsos kenya limited conducted an impact study of the Adopt a light project. It found  that the rate of insecurity had greatly reduced in the slum areas and the residents were able to conduct their businesses  until late hours. The project had improved their social lives immensely as they were able to extend their income earning hours and walk home without fears.

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