NCBA CLUSA is celebrating Youth Civic Engagement during this year’s International Youth Day. NCBA CLUSA implements youth-focused projects in Uganda and Kenya, helping to support the training and education of young people, improve their access to finance and promote agriculture, business and civic engagement.
NCBA CLUSA’s Yes Youth Can program, which empowers Kenyan young people to engage with their communities, was recently highlighted as a success by U.S. President Barack Obama. Yes Youth Can participants are entrepreneurs and leaders, having developed local “bunges,” or youth parliaments, that empower young people to participate in the political processes and develop entrepreneurial skills. These groups have developed credit unions, encouraged ID card registration and developed small businesses to improve their livelihoods.
“There are some amazing examples of what’s going on right now with young people. I’m hopeful because of a young man named Richard Ruto Todosia. Richard helped build Yes Youth Can—I like that phrase, ‘Yes Youth Can’… After the violence of 2007 and 2008, Yes Youth Can stood up to incitement and helped bring opportunity to young people that were scarred by conflict,” Obama said during his most recent trip to Kenya.
These youth are also becoming leaders in their communities. More than 43,000 youth—40 percent of whom are women—have been elected to leadership roles in village councils, churches, local health committees, women’s groups, farmers groups and cooperatives. This is a huge increase in youth participation across Kenya. In fact, there are 87 percent more youth involved in the coast provinces and 67 percent more in Nairobi since the beginning of the program.
A new program in Uganda implemented by NCBA CLUSA brings agriculture training to youth coming out of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps to economically empower them for the future. The Youth Empowered Through Agriculture (YETA) program is an innovation in training and curriculum for post-conflict youth. Feedback loops in the curriculum help make the program flexible and based on the needs of individual youth.
NCBA CLUSA is proud to work with youth and celebrate this International Youth Day, a United Nation’s emphasis day falling on August 12 this year.
(August 11, 2015)