Fostering Resilience Initiative: Kenya
Kenyans are unemployed.
of those Kenyans who are unemployed are under 30.
of Kenyans emigrate for work.
The Fostering Resilience Initiative (FRI) activated a community-based learning and action program with the Catholic Church in rural Nyeri county in Kenya to explore if community mobilization could add value to rural based poly technic efforts. As a result, in partnership with ZiziAfrique Foundation and Logos Consult, the Fostering Resilience Project launched the Juhudi Initiative in the Mugunda ward in August 2018.
The Mugunda ward is a rural area in Nyeri county with close to 25,000 residents. After identifying the need for expanded educational and economic opportunities for youth between the ages of 15-25 years through community meetings with different local stakeholders, the main purpose of the Juhudi Initiative is to bring the community together to identify assets, skills, and resources about what can be done to better empower and provide opportunities for youth, so their primary option is not migration to urban areas.
FRI put together a Community Asset Mapping guide based on best practices to mobilize community members around youth assets in Mugunda Ward. Members of the FRI team trained 14 volunteer community mobilizers to carry out community asset mapping activities in their respective sublocations. The training covered asset mapping techniques such as appreciative interviewing, positive deviance, capacity inventories of individual skills, and mapping of physical and natural resources, institutions, groups, and associations. The training also included a theoretical introduction to the concept of Asset Mapping and Positive Youth Development as well as opportunities for practice and facilitation of such exercises in a group setting, including a field visit to one of the selected villages. In addition, the community asset mapping was complemented by a household survey of approximately 300 youth in Mugunda ward later. The quantitative data from the household survey offered a more statistically representative snapshot of youth issues than was possible from the community asset mapping, a qualitative approach.
Community Asset Mapping for rural youth allows organizations and communities to:
- Understand the full range of services, talents and infrastructure available to youth within a community,
- Improve the quality and efficiency of support services for youth by integrating or combining services from multiple systems, and
- Develop new services and programs based on identified assets to overcomes existing gaps.
Goals, Progress, and Impact
The long-term goal of the asset mapping and the household survey is to mount a locally-led, contextually-appropriate response to youth needs in Mugunda that is both effective and sustainable. Our hope is that this approach can serve as a model for youth empowerment in other communities in Kenya and globally.
Learning activities, including community asset mapping and a household survey, have resulted in community-identified initiatives in youth mentorship, smart agriculture, and sports engagement to improve youth skills and opportunities in the area. Keep up to date with the the Juhudi Youth Development Initiative of Mugunda’s initiatives: https://www.juhudiyouth.org/