Role modeling, emotional and material support changes the lives of vulnerable youths at Konza

Role modeling, emotional and material support changes the lives of vulnerable youths at Konza

When young people are not encouraged to engage in meaningful ventures that build them up as future leaders by enhancing their skills and nurturing talents, they end up seeking solace in criminal activities including joining criminal gangs, over indulgence in drugs use and substance abuse and sometimes even violent extremism. While youth form the majority of the population, they have been seen to largely exclude themselves from participating in democratic processes and political processes. Majority lack enough motivation to participate in peace building processes and in violent acts. Those who have tried to come up with groups, sports clubs and other youth initiatives often get frustrated due to lack of enough funds and role models to look up to and consult. 

In May 2022, Njoro cohort through a PBLD participants got a wind of a team of reformed and promising youth struggling to nurture their football team (Konza FC) which was established purposely to engage idle and vulnerable youth prone to gangs and gang violence, drug abuse and misuses by local businessmen and political leaders for personal gain. A collaborative was formed to explore ways to help them. With only uniforms and a ball, the team was comfortable to conduct their sporting activities effectively and not be lured into violence. In July, 2022, the cohort led by the Peace Crusaders group conducted a fundraiser and managed to support the Konza FC club with uniforms and three balls in an event where they shared their delight and how the equipment will encourage them to lure more youth into finding an alternative to spending time away from violence. The cohort motivated the young football club and motivated them to be useful members of the society.

 The collaborative exhibited collective wisdom. Since the leaders have already been equipped with leader and leadership values through module 2, they contextualized the knowledge through practical activities showing that indeed their leadership capacities have been greatly improved. “We have already been developed as leaders, our greatest responsibility is to go out there and be role models by developing other leaders within society”. A collaborative leader said. 

The empowerment goes a long way in encouraging positive mindset and using sports to create social cohesion among the youth and the community. There are already more youth joining the team for their involvement in sporting activities after the equipment support. The team has organized friendly matches with police officers where they want to create a safe space for interaction and trust building as a show of their resolve to fight violence. The Njoro cohort therefore act as role models for young people in the sub county prone to election violence