On the 25th of September 2018, the Youth Safety Awareness Initiative visited Kamkunji Secondary School to talk to the students about the reality of criminal behavior as well as violent extremism and gangs. Over a hundred and fifty students gathered in the schools dinning hall, all in their 3rd or final year of secondary school. Of these students, seventy seven of them were boys while seventy eight were girls. It was suggested to have these two classes as they were the ones who were about to leave school and join the outside world, hence vulnerable to join gangs as a means of fulfilling their financial needs.
Bernard Ouma and Pete Ouko were the speakers who took the stage in the hope of inspiring the students to avoid peer influence and to know how to choose their friends wisely. Mr. Ouma shared the experiences he went through while growing up from a poor family, how he had a chance to pursue a career course at a university but later indulged in criminal activities which led to his incarceration for six years at a maximum prison. Mr. Ouko also informed the students about his life journey and how he and Mr. Ouma met while in custody, joined forces and took on the task to create awareness amongst the youth in Kenya which led to the actualization of Crime Si Poa and the Youth Safety Awareness Initiative.
The presentation struck a chord with Hillary Omondi, the school captain, who remarked, “It is us the youth who are normally perceived as suspects whenever anything wrong happens and I feel time has come to change that narrative. Let us all learn something from Ben’s story and help spread the message to our fellow youth that crime does not pay.”