UP WITH HOPE creates positive spaces for youth to unite and share ownership. Through environmental conservation and youth entrepreneurship,
UWH supports young leaders who are dedicated
to creating a legacy in their community.
For the past year I kept saying I would
write about a certain project we have been working on with UN-HABITAT and
SAMSUNG. Now that things are underway I can elaborate a little more about this
awesome project we are a part of.
Innovate Kenya is the name of the project
and it’s aim is to engage more youth in ICT (Information Communication
Technology) and provide a space that can promote learning and entrepreneurship.
Along with 5 other sites in Kenya, we were given funds to renovate a space in
our centre and were provided with laptops and other goodies from Samsung. The
program also has an E-Learning platform that allows a user to study online with
the University of Fraser Valley and be given diplomas for courses such as
Project Management and Community Mapping.
some of the community members we have do not know how to turn such a machine
on, we have started classes on basic computer skills that are being taught by
some of the top programmers in the country (one of them a young girl who was
born and raised in the community). This space will help the 200 plus young
people who are engaged in our centre to connect with the rest of the world and
not only find opportunities but create them themselves.
We are very excited to be beneficiaries of
this project and give a HUGE thank you to UN-HABITAT and SAMSUNG for supporting
us. This will allow for many more youths to engage in positive activities that
will give them desirable skills to take to the job market.
It seems the years are getting more and more intense with time. Up With Hope has been in the Youth game for a while now and I can't tell if it's getting easier or harder. One thing is for sure and that is the world is starting to slowly wake up to the fact that supporting youth will definitely make a brighter future.
Was really proud to be part of the first ever Asian Pacific Youth Summit in Indonesia.
For 3 days youth from all over the Asian Pacific region met in Jakarta and discussed about urbanization issues and our different roles we play in the society. Of course I made a short video!
In Trujillo, Peru I learned about the fantastic work Rasa Joven is doing to bring hope back to the youth of the area who live in very difficult situations.
Rasa Joven gives contemporary dance classes to youth in different communities. They also have their also built their own schools and do community awareness programs for domestic sustainability.
Peru is an incredible country. Working on the video right now!
So not to down play this event but I guess this is all chronological. UN-HABITAT has released two reports on our community work together with Mathare Environmental Conseravtion Youth Groupwho has been changing the community since 1997. Get the reports here and here. Kind of a big deal.
We presented the reports and findings at the Urban Thinkers Campus in Geneva. A huge thanks to Tone Vesterhus (pictured above) who spent 2 months in Mathare doing research on our projects and came up with amazing results.
The reports released by UN-HABITAT. Obviously we are proud :).
Meanwhile in Nairobi things are happening. Getting more visitors and partners. There was a week long tournament that had a free medical camp and feeding program. Just keeping the kids engaged at least.
A local hero who has since moved far and away to achieve his dreams and inspires the kids to do the same. Bigs thanks to Wachira and his wife for this day. Reach for the stars!
Feeding program. The women of the community play a huge roll in keeping the kids fed!
A big thanks is due here to Fredrick Mwaura for believing in us.
No shortage of smiles!
The Mathare team invited to play against the UN team. Two games have been played each side winning one. A tie breaker is due...
Around 6:30 I start to look towards where the sun is setting. Usually it's blocked by big buildings or walls and I see bright colours bouncing off clouds. This is my favourite time of day but rarely do I find myself sitting back with an icy drink taking in a fresh breath of air. Whether I am shooting video, doing someone a favour, or sitting in the back of the bus to do all of the above, I seem to be addicted to my life. The last time i had a good chunk of time off was years ago. Up With Hope is still alive in the depth of my entire existence. I hang on to hope as I walk past hungry kids passed out on the road, I hang on to hope when I shovel dirt into my friends graves and I hang on to hope as I wake up everyday to try and be a positive force in this world.
Lot's of times kids want me to take their pictures and I wish I could give them the pics
Live Music serenading us and the community while we work on the field.
We partnered with Safaricom Foundation who donated some big terraces for the field
We also partnered with Philips who has installed solar power lights.
Now when the power goes off in the community the only light that shines is Slum Soccer!
We download cartoons and watch them with the kids - this is my favorite work :)
Lots of visitors with no shortage of questions
Little Acts of Kindness youth outreach program that visited all the primary schools in Mathare to bring some positivity and leadership to the young kids before exams.
Big Up all the kids in Mathare!
UN Mission to Rwanda with the Secretary General's Envoy on Youth to check out the youth situation. My video here!
The Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi during our mission to Rwanda when we hit the Congolese border
Rwanda was an incredible place. I am happy to have visited and learned about what incredible spaces they are building for young people there.
Got some projects going with the United Nations bringing ICT space to young people all over Kenya. Learn more here