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Youth led peace, social cohesion, and mental wellness through sports (Playmakers programme-GAME)

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Overall objective. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to youth in local underserved communities being less prone to participate in crime and

violent acts, and for the overall frequency of youth inflicted crime, drugs, and substance abuse) to drop in the targeted areas. This is achieved through creating and refurbishing public spaces and amenities for the youth and children to play sports and engage in capacity building dialogue sessions that aim to equip them with necessary skills and knowledge to meet their social economic needs.

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Project Synopsis

With respect to article 55 of the constitution of Kenya, the project aims to complement the role of the state in creating opportunities for the youth to participate in peace, security, governance, and democratic processes. Through fostering partnerships with the County governments, the Ministry of Interior, grassroot implementing partners and key relevant stakeholders, the project prioritizes continuous recruitment of young volunteer coaches (Playmakers) interested in sports and advocacy. As part of their capacity building, the Playmakers receive training on becoming effective role models to the youth and children in Nakuru through street basketball and football. The young Playmakers also champion for the renovation and accessibility of sporting facilities within their neighborhoods to provide safe spaces for youth to engage in sports and life skills development dialogues.

The youth led sports for peace and social cohesion project seeks to contribute to the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goal 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable)

Due to lack of youth inclusion and participation in mental health conversations both nationally and at the community level, the project is also focuses on facilitating youth led mental wellness drive through sports. Cognizant of the recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Mental Health Gap Action Programme, which seeks to support non-specialist mental-health service capacity in vulnerable communities, the project aims to link targeted youth in intervention areas to ongoing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support services and livelihoods programmes

Expected outcomes

  • Enhanced Life skills and role models; Young volunteer coaches (Playmakers) interested in sports developed as role models and local change-makers and their engagement in trainings and tournaments will strengthen social cohesion between ethnic, politically, and economically divided neighbourhoods in the targeted areas.
  • Strengthened social cohesion through
    • Reduced number of youth and children involved in violent crimes and substance abuse through street sports activities organized and led by volunteer youth coaches and linking the intervention to ongoing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support services and livelihoods programmes .

    • More girls have a focus on participating in activities through specific girl-zone/safe spaces and activities that attract young women and girls

    • Enhanced dialogue processes between the Playmakers and youth with local stakeholders and duty-bearers on violence prevention and promoting social cohesion between neighborhoods with different ethnic compositions and political affiliation (including safe spaces for youth and children)

  • Increased specific focus on girls participating in sports for peace and social cohesion through sports and dialogue activities.
  • Establishment and refurbishment of youth friendly sports facilities (GAME Zones to facilitate youth led sports and dialogue for peace and social cohesion.

Key Achievements realized in Nakuru County

    • MIDRIFT HURINET was recognized as the best organization in promoting peace and security in Nakuru County.

In partnership with the County Government of Nakuru, MIDRIFT HURINET through this project formed the Nakuru County Multi – Agency Forum for 70 Youth Serving Organizations. Following a series of activities supported by MIDRIFT through the sports for peace project, a report commissioned by MIDRIFT was launched in August 2023, where the County Government of Nakuru adopted the structure, which installed Governor Susan Kihika as the patron of the forum. During the launch, MIDRIFT HURINET was recognized as the best organization in promoting peace and security through fostering partnerships and implementing diverse programs in Nakuru County.

    • Significant contribution to a peaceful August 2022 general Election. In the period leading up to the August 2022 general elections, the trained youth applied the violence prevention skills gained to advocate for peaceful coexistence in Nakuru East and West and influenced their peers to desist from fueling ethnic tensions and inter-communal conflicts
    • Capacity Development of Leadership and advocacy among the Youth. 51 Playmakers recruited and trained as social change agents, leaders, and influencers so far have exhibited a lot of growth in confidence and capacity to implement the Project activities with minimal support from the MIDRIFT HURINET.
    • Reduction of youth inflicted Crime and Violence in intervention areas as seen in the impact Documentary : From Crime to Peace Champions!


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