Eric Ngei got news, sometime last year that there was an NGO which was inviting young people from Kangundo SubCounty, Machakos County, for a training on sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR), he only went just because he did not have anything to do. From that day on, he has never regretted the steps he took to attend the training conducted by I Choose Life Africa (ICL). Eric Ngei is a Trainy of Trainers (ToTs) of the SEAL project in Kangundo SubCounty, Machakos County. Apart from that, he also doubles up as the Communications Intern of the Kang’udo Youth Resource Centre.He was appointed to that position as a result of his sheer hard work and good knowledge on computer systems which he all learnt as a result of having keen interest on communications especially Social media management. Eric has been a great pillar in ensuring the visibility of the youth centre is enhanced as well as training other young people on opportunities abound in the World Wide Web. ” Before this centre was operationalized I was in a state of despair since I was learned and had no job but as result of the SEAL project, supported by Children’s Mission Africa, I have been trained and now am also earning some income doing what I love” said Eric during one of the field visit which CMA conducted on the centre.
The youth centre, which was was built by the Kenya national government back in 2011 had been deserted and left unattended all those years. The ICL team gave it life be signing a memorandum of understanding with the government in utilizing it for the SEAL project. “The centre was slightly renovated and fitted with computer and internet connection for young people to utilize for learning and explore opportunities” said Matheka, a project officer at ICL. As a result of breathing life into the centre the Ministry of Communications fitted the centre with a satellite dish including installing a projector.
The centre which has become a source of pride and joy for the community, has changed the attitude of parents towards young people as it has enabled young people to learn not only on sexuality but also on other skills of life which are not yet offered in the Kenya education school system. The centre also doubles up as an establishment that not only brings young people together but also women groups to deliberate on their issues, as it is sits right at the heart of the Kang’undo town. The centre has also attracted other CBOs and NGOs alike to utilize it for youth programs thus opening opportunities for young people in the area. “We should start a drama club as it will be able to bring other young people on board including my friend who are left out”, said Don, who has just joined the centre after clearing his Form Four examination
The centre which usually experiences a large number of young people especially during school holidays has plans to establish both drama and comedy clubs so as to spur creative economy among young people and tap on their talents for purposes of growth.
“We are planning to start a seedbed of Avocados and macadamia just here”, Matheka pointing to the free space just outside the centre. Th seedbed will be an income generating project for the women groups to generate income and sustain their activities. “Through the savings of from the table banking, the seed bed would generate an additional income that would be able to diversify our income going forward,” said Catherine Muove, the leader of the women group.
The community and village headmen are very glad due to the fact that the centre has transformed the community including improving behavior of young people as it has kept them busy as well as reduced insecurity in the area.