1. Youth Initiative
Youth violence has been identified as the most prominent concern of all stakeholders in the communities Usalama is working in. It was identified that young people who are out of school and who are not gainfully engaged, are likely to be lured into deviant behavior which will eventually lead to more violent behavior in future. Usalama Forum therefore has designed a model that seeks to promote a sense of worth, belonging and civic responsibility among young people. Usalama’s Youth Initiative is designed to inspire youth mainly from the informal sector, to increase spending their hard earned money into ventures that enhance their dignity instead of spending it on drugs, alcohol and deviant activities. Local volunteers who have experience in spurring business instincts shall be invited to support and build capacities of these groups on local dispute resolution and team building. The groups will then focus on how to get organized to influence their peers, their environment and critical policy makers to promote local resilience against crime, violence and disorder. In each of the five communities, Kibera, Eastleigh, Kisii, Mtwapa and Kagumo, target groups have been identified; bodaboda groups, car wash groups and sport clubs and the meetings are taking place.
2. Family Transformation Initiative
Sex and Gender Based Violence featured among the top security priority issues in all the pilot communities. Most communities were reluctant to discuss the issue.
Usalama’s Family Transformation Initiative aims to mitigate sexual and gender based violence and strengthening the family as the cradle for crime and violence prevention. The forum intends to create a platform of interaction between security agencies, community leaders and the women whose children are perceived to be getting involved in activities that contravenes the law. This is premised on the fact that women play a major role in family and social development.
The initiative draws women participants from violent families and abusive relationships and takes them through an eight session training where they will be taught on Sex and Gender Based Violence and its effects to an individual and the family as a whole with the aim of transforming them into champions of crime and violence prevention. They will serve as role models to the entire community.
In each of the five communities, Kibera, Eastleigh, Kisii, Mtwapa and Kagumo, 30 women have been identified and the meetings are taking place.
3. School Initiative
Usalama Safety Audits (2012) established that schools are critical institutions for nurturing human beings into becoming active and responsible citizens. However, if a school is left to degenerate, it can become potential recruitment arenas for violent gangs in the community, including extremist groups. They can also become arenas where children are exposed to proscribed drugs, alcohol and violent behavior which will then grow out to become a larger societal problem.
Usalama has designed a simple initiative that focuses on identifying and assisting children with various forms of difficulties. Usalama is mobilizing guidance and counseling teachers from public primary and secondary schools.
This initiative seeks to assist the teachers to better document their cases and frame the findings in ways that can assist stakeholders, like Associations of Parents and Teachers, School Boards and the Ministry, to develop better approaches, beyond the curriculum, towards building responsible citizens.
In each of the five communities, Kibera, Eastleigh, Kisii, Mtwapa and Kagumo, 5 schools have been identified and the meetings with the teachers and counsellors are taking place.