The objective of Amani Lazima (Peace is a must) which is CSUDP funded, is to act as a grass root intervention mechanism for disenfranchised youth who are and continue to be susceptible to negative influences in their communities creating opportunity which not only rob them of their lives but also pull them towards livelihoods that are influenced by crime and drugs.
The project seeks to address the following issues that continue to plague the young people in the informal settlements who are marginalized and poor.
- Urban Safety and Security. Violence in the poor urban areas is on the increase. This is not only gang related crime and violence but also recruitment of the youth in extremist groups. Furthermore and leading up to the 2017 general elections, some youth are also being used for some individuals political gain. In all of these places violence and gang related violence (robbery, murder, rape) is prevalent while services (water, healthcare, sanitation, streetlights, schools, garbage collection and other infrastructures) have not been or hardly been put in place. I addition the landlords operate in cartels which means that as a tenant one has very few rights and can be kicked out very easily. These (slum) estates are very congested, noisy, they have open sewage (which flood during rainy seasons) and an almost 100% unemployment rate. Initiatives like the proposed activity are very welcome and needed not only because of its main aim; it also keeps the youth off the streets. In regards to Urban Safety and Security, through the proposed activity Sarakasi shall conduct workshops where issues of peace and security will be addressed by relevant facilitators. In addition, by seeking to empower the youth from these communities and keeping them engaged in the Sarakasi performing arts training satellite centers, we shall succeed in removing them from the life of crime and drugs.
- Poverty alleviation. With the increased rate of unemployment, henceforward many youth in these areas live of less than a dollar a day. Youth is constantly looking for opportunities that give them monetary gain. Our aim is to develop and enhance the talents of the young people to a point where they can earn a living through paid performances.
- Employment creation through performing arts. Because of the high school dropout rate amongst the youth from the poor urban areas and /or their inability to join secondary school because of lack of school fees, most of the youth have not been able to school themselves in skills that would either allow them to pursue white or blue collar jobs. This includes training in the performing arts for those who have that talent. Therefore training of the performing arts and art management will fill this gap.
The proposed activity will target talented youth between the ages of 15 to 30 years in six informal settlements of Nairobi and Kisumu. In Nairobi we shall target Dandora, Kibera, Kawangware, and Korogocho, while in Kisumu we shall target Nyalenda and Obunga catchment areas.
Sarakasi has defined these 6 areas based on previous experience and also because a very clear need has been expressed by the youth at grassroots level (*find relevant communication with youth groups in and around Kisumu attached). In addition, these areas have been chosen because of the volatile environment (mostly due to an increase of crime rates) and the idleness of the youth in these communities. This way and as per Sarakasi’s model of intervention the proposed activity works ‘bottom up’ by responding to the demand and it also offers an alternative way of job creation.
From each area 20 youth will be identified to be enrolled in Sarakasi performing art training satellite centers; the number of 20 has been chosen because this is a manageable group, which is neither to big nor to small and still big enough to have an impact on the wider community. The experienced Sarakasi dancers and Choreographers will conduct the training at the satellite centers.
Together with on the ground stakeholders and youth organizations the aim is to approach the youth of the informal settlements and involve them in activities each month in a different slum that are designed to reach out to interest the youth, create a positive attitude, generate self-esteem, a feeling of ownership and to empower the youth.