In a new video published by Taksvärkki ry’s cooperation partner Undugu Society of Kenya, we meet three young people who talk about their lives and advocacy work in Kenya. A lot of Kenyan youth are either unemployed or in low-income jobs, which means that earning a sufficient living is very difficult for many young individuals. In addition to increasing poverty, this increases young people’s asocial behavior and makes them more likely to partake in criminal activity. For example, a portion of Kenyan youth resort to harmful earning methods, such as street begging or stealing. It is estimated that 57% of crime in Kenya is committed by 16–25-year-olds. It is clear that young people who have to live and work in the streets face maltreatment and serious violations to their rights. In the video, the interviewed youth discuss this topic and tell us about youth groups which they have formed in order to fight for local street youth’s wellbeing.
19 new registered youth groups
The youth groups to which the young people in the video belong have both received support from Taksvärkki’s cooperation partner, Undugy Society of Kenya (USK). Taksvärkki ry has worked with USK since 2008. The goal has been to improve Kenya’s street youth’s status in society as well as to increase their opportunities to live a good, safe life. USK states that ”youths in general are marginalised, meaning that this is more pronounced among Street Connected Youth who suffer multiple vulnerabilities”, emphasizing the diverse challenges they face in addition to discrimination based on their age.
Taksvärkki’s and USK’s cooperation project has brought about important developments. USK notes that getting local young people to participate in society fosters a feeling of belonging and empowers youth to advocate for social justice. For example, three local youth groups have successfully negotiated with the regional administrative authorities for safe business spaces in which they can carry out their livelihood activities, such as car washing and urban farming. In addition, 19 youth groups, consisting of youth living and working in the streets, have officially registered their group, which enables them to apply for public benefits. This helps them work more efficiently as a group in terms of employment, for example by allowing them to open a bank account and apply for loans.
By taking part in Taksvärkki’s fundraising campaign, you can help support USK’s and Kenyan youth groups’ activities!