In the words and advice of an Oldest Youth!

Ever met an adult very proud of being one and even more proud of the fact that they are and have supported many young people, to the extent of earning themselves a title they are proud of? Then you understand what I am talking about! And if not, I will introduce you to one in this article.

As the Youth Venture (YV) journey in Kenya begins, there have been conversations with youth, adults, organizations….name them!

I will thus let you into one conversation I had with an Ashoka fellow in Kenya- from the introduction, some of you are already guessing!...maybe you got their name right, but before I share the name, I want to acknowledge all the other Ashoka Fellows in Kenya, and Uganda who have gone out of their way to ensure that the YV Kenya team has all the support it needs. I can’t write all your names here, but you are great and doing amazing work! So definitely we will keep reaching out to you.

Now back to my conversation, I met Bob Munro (‘the oldest Mathare youth’), an Ashoka fellow and founder of Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA). Bob shares the MYSA story from a human angle that I bet you can only get from him! So what did he have to say about the Youth Venture program?

Bob  has a big heart for young people; you could see it in his eyes and the attention he gave thesubject. But he knew that a big heart was not enough, he had to do something and he did it through MYSA. Thus the Youth Venture Kenya program believes that every young person can be a changemaker, we have a big heart for youth, but we know a big heart is not enough.

YV Kenya is thus working towards engaging partners in all sectors, all spaces as long as they are youth, working with youth, or have a big passion for creating a positive change so that together we give each young person 12-22years an experience and exposure at empathy, leadership, teamwork and change making. YV Kenya will not just inspire them to dream, begin and grow their ventures, but to know that failure is still an experience and that in change making it is the little efforts that we make even amidst challenges that count!.

So what did Bob have to say? ‘It’s simple. All we have to do with young entrepreneurs is make the same deal as in MYSA, that “if you do something, we’ll do something but if you do nothing, we’ll do nothing”.  It’s a deal we both have to honour while also learning, like in MYSA, that ‘the best way to help yourself is by helping others … “, so as the meeting ended, I knew a key investment that YV Kenya can make is to activate the dreams and aspirations of young people and never let the momentum die!. The how, look out for it in the next blogs as the conversations continue.

By Peris Wakesho