A team of University students is changing perceptions by providing a platform where young people can learn about good governance.
My Kenya My Choice is an NGO founded by young university students that is subtly but effectively addressing crucial economic and governance issues among the youth. Having separately attended forums on governance and leadership, the students from UoN, JKUAT and USIU came together with a common dream of a better Kenya instead of sitting by the sidelines and allowing the political class to dictate the agenda for the youth.
“Facilitate good leadership and all other things are bound to fall in place,” states the group’s CEO, Constantine Ogari.
The NGO, which started off as a youth group, organizes thematic forums where college-going youths are free o express themselves and share their ideas in an open and fair manner. The youth group has grown to 4,000 members and its quickly growing as it expands to more regions in the country.
The group is currently facilitating forums around the theme of ‘My President My Choice’ with a view of enlightening participants on the ideal attributes of a president. They have conducted 17 forums in different locations, with the Tangaza college forum being most successful. The forum attracted participants from a number of universities across the country.
My Kenya My Choice other objectives include conducting civic education, promoting peace, creating employment among others. They have had some achievements in this front, the Soweto bead program being highly notable.
The organization managed to source funding from UN habitat and took a group of youth from Soweto area in Kibera to Thika for a one-week training. There, they learned the art of bead work and now they use these skills to earn a living through the sale of ornaments and bags.
The NGO also advertises vacancies on their face book page all this meant to improve the status of the youth in the country.
What makes them stand out is the fact that they divide their roles according to their career paths. For example, the chairman has an administration background while the treasurer has experience in accounting.
According to Joseph Ayonga the programs manager, this ensures perfection in whatever activities they conduct. Their future plans include reaching out to all the youth in the country and also involving children as young as 5 years old. They believe that leadership is a learning process and should be nurtured as early as possible.
Their vocation however doesn’t come without challenges and availability of funds ranks number one. The organization survives on own contributions by the founders, sale of membership cards and donations by well wishers. Their membership cards range from a price of 50 to 100 shillings.
By Irari Anthony and Simon Muli