Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism among the Youth in Nakuru County is a wide and complex issue that requires collaborative effort among key stakeholders such as Religious and Community leaders, Government officials, Civil society actors and Private sector.

Promotion of alternative narratives is one of the key tenets in PCVE. Through organized dialogues, Systemic challenges affecting the Youth can be addressed.

Recently, MIDRIFT HURINET held a sensitization and capacity building forum targeting young women leaders and at-risk youth. The aim of the forum was to link them with available opportunities such as TVET programs, Private sector for employment and Affirmative action fund managers on how to access social economic opportunities, knowledge on financial literacy, table banking, savings, group formation and group dynamics which will help them  apply for Government funds.

They were also empowered to take up roles in Community peace and security structures, how they can be part of Nyumba Kumi, Community Policing Committees (CPCs), Peace Committees, and the County Engagement Forums (CEF) on Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism.

MIDRIFT HURINET also invited officials from National Government Affirmative action fund offices (NGAAF), officials from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) who capacity built the youth and women on how to apply for the available funds for Self Help Groups and CBOS.

They explained that the process is not tiresome but needs dedication and commitment on the part of the applicants. The phrase “Government has funds, just apply “was emphasized and they all committed to apply.

MIDRIFT HURINET will be making a follow up on progress made and support those who experience challenges.

A group of reformed “confirm gang” member began a pig farming venture but were challenged with high costs of doing business until they closed.  They sought advice from the officers on how to get seed funding to restart the business and expert advice on agricultural value addition.

Another group sought advise on how to monetize their talents based on their skills in the creative industry. The group requested to be supported with music equipment as well and funds to hire professional trainers to sharpen their talents

“We need to know how we can get funds in order to start a business venture, but we need some advice on profitable ones so that we don’t run into loses” asked a young woman leader.

The forum was successful and the participants committed to visit the NGAAF offices.

A forum with young women on participation in peace and security structures revealed that Gender stereotypes and patriarchy inhibits their participation in Community Security Structures.

The young women leaders committed to;

  1. Share lessons learnt with their peers on participation in Community security structures, how they can be part of Nyumba Kumi, Community Policing Committees (CPCs), Peace Committees, and the County Engagement Forums (CEF) on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.
  2. Utilize other forums to lobby and advocate for policies that support women inclusion in security structures.
  3. Utilize Human Rights Based Approaches as an entry point to women inclusion in decision making while educating the community on Gender Based Violence and demystify norms and beliefs that contribute to the perpetration of violence while leveraging on the Mulika Uhalifu anonymous reporting number 988.
  4. Hold forums with National Government Administrative Officers (NGAOS) officials for more awareness and sensitization at the community level.
  5. Be good role models to the upcoming generation of leaders and change makers.

On the other hand, participants shared about the gaps existing in the reintegration process of previous offenders back into the community. They indicated that the process is not smooth and the community takes longer to accept them back and this affects their mental health. They said that they still face stigma and discrimination since they are still viewed based on their past.

One said he is referred to as “ndie yule mfungwa anakuja”. They recommended for action by the Prisons department and probation officers to strengthen reintegration efforts and support the ex-convicts to get jobs after being released from prison. He further explained that most ex-convicts get trainings in different technical skills thus can be productive in the community.

The Prison Department officers shared experiences based on the prison mantra “Kurekebisha na Haki” where they are implementing programmes on Rehabilitation of prisoners and ensuring they are successfully reintegrated back into the community. The officers explained that the reintegration process is still met with challenges and committed to making improvements. They usually make visits to the family and communities to assess the possibility of reintegration of the reformed offenders.

After the capacity building and sensitization forums supported by Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) through Act Change Transform (ACT!) the participants came up with action plans with some already implemented.

The ex-convicts committed to:

1.Volunteer in the community e.g. churches and other organizations such as Kenya red cross to cub idleness

  1. Encouraging their peers to register into Self Help Groups in order to benefit from Government Affirmative Action funds

3.Enroll in short courses that will increase their skills and proficiencies and start economic empowerment projects like pig and chicken farming.

4.Work closely with National Police Service , National Government Administrative Officers – NGAOS Nakuru County Government – Official Ward Administrators and Nyumba Kumi leaders to promote reintegration efforts and lessen the stigma they experience in the Community

5.Work closely with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry on innovative ideas they can leverage on such as the #TalantaHela initiative

As MIDRIFT HURINET builds resilience of local communities using Human Rights based approaches, the clarion call to duty bearers is “Haki Kwa Wote”


by Jacob Karani

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