Youth and empowerment
Empowerment is the ability to meet your needs, wants, beliefs, and feelings. It is the ability to freely express your skills and opinions. There are different types of empowerment; these are economic empowerment, which is how people work to create wealth, cultural, societal, political, and national. Youths in Kenya are mostly from the age of 18-35.
Including youths in decision-making processes is key in empowerment. The Kenyan government has enabled this by ensuring there are youth representatives in the senate and the government at large. Youths are being included in the budget-making process; their voices are heard when it comes to community engagements. By this, youth gain a sense of responsibility in the community and nation.
Honoring the voice of the youth empowers them. Assuring the youths that their voices matter assures them that their ideas are valid when it comes to tough decisions.
Empowering youths also means understanding and implementing their honest opinions. When elders and leaders listen to youths’ ideas and implement their decisions, it encourages the youths’. Youth get inspiration from adults when they share their life’s experiences.. They feel they are not walking on a lonely path and are encouraged to find the strength to overcome their challenges. Adults can also warn the youths on paths they should avoid living successful lives.
Youth are productive when given opportunities to utilize their skills. When youths are engaged, they are unlikely to engage in crime and drug abuse. Most organizations in communities engage the youths as volunteers. Organizations that work on humanitarian activities and environmental conversations are widely known for engaging youths. These organizations mostly call out for youths to help in cleaning up their environment, planting trees, and community training.
Social entrepreneurship is an approach by groups or individuals, in which they develop, implement, and fund solutions. Most groups engage youths in these activities to give society positive world-changing solutions.
Youth-led research is also an empowerment program that organizations and government use. This is done by making youths take lead in researching the community. The research may include surveys, interviewing people, or staying in a community for some time to collect information. This research enables the youths to gain experience as well as earning some money.
Advantages of empowering the youths
When youth are empowered, it helps them to get employment as well as create employment opportunities for themselves. This reduces the rate of unemployment in the society. Several youths in Kenya have gone through empowerment programs and now have successful start-ups. Some youths start their business and succeed due to empowerment.
Reduced crime rate
Empowered youths hardly engage in criminal activities. This is because they learn creative ideas and activities that can keep them busy as well as aid them in earning income. societies with a high number of empowered youths hardly experience criminal activities by the youths.
Not abusing Drugs
Empowered youths hardly engage themselves in drug abuse. This is because empowerment programs teach youths about the disadvantages of drug abuse. Instead, the youths go out and mobilize other youths to avoid using drugs. They do this by performing songs, skits, and even poems that teach other youths about the effects of taking drugs.
By Catherine Khayali – ABLI mentee 2020