Serious violence has doubled, and many young people are dying due to crime related acts including drugs and substance abuse. While law enforcement is an immediate response to this epidemic, creating space for youth to gain employability or entrepreneurship skills is key in addressing the challenge.
A report released in May 2023 by The National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), reveals that children as young as six years old are suspected to be engaged in drugs and substance abuse. The report shows an increased consumption trend among the youth.
On other crime related activities, data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, put the number of jobless and idle youth in Kenya at around 3.5 million, indicating they are frustrated and more vulnerable to criminal activities.
Reports indicate that most young people are able to attend primary but drop out in high school due to poverty. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 30 per cent of the adult population in Kajiado County is unable to read and write. This means that many young people do not gain proper skills for employment once they drop out at the primary level.
Crime Si Poa has been building the capacity of young people on digital livelihood and soft skills in Kajiado county to improve their employability and ability to run their businesses.
“A strong aspect of our work is linking and preparing young people for gainful employment through entrepreneurship skills. With the world moving towards digitization, we work to provide them with competitive skills which improve their employability and income in the long-run. This, in turn, lowers the financial frustrations on the young people and reduces the likelihood of them getting into crime related activities.” says Mr. Peter Ouko, Executive Director at Crime Si Poa.
“We have targeted 30 youth in this Cohort 5, who will go through a 2-month training curriculum which will equip them with basic ICT skills, soft skills, and other employability skills. So far, we have trained 91 (cohort 1 to 4) youth in Rongai with more than half of them currently in employment and entrepreneurship while some went back to school to advance their skills,” says Ms. Phanice Kimutai, IT Lead, and Digital Livelihoods Officer at Crime Si Poa.
“We are seeking partnerships with organizations that can absorb these young people who have gone through the training, either offers them employment or hands-on skills through internship programmes,’ says Irene Were, Crime Si Poa Programmes Manager for community engagement, adding that the students will be awarded certificates of completion.