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UN-HABITAT makes a difference in youth Lives.
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Alex  Mwanzia, Mavoko a light for the youth group

Alex  Mwanzia
Mavoko a light for the youth group   

“The youth Empowerment Programme is one of the most encouraging activities aimed at changing the living conditions of youth living in slum areas. This programme has motivated many young people living in slum areas that had nothing to smile about because of the harsh and unfavorable living conditions in these informal settlements. Through this programme youth from different parts of Kenya have been trained and awarded certificates thus making it easier to access employment.
Through this programme talents have been discovered in many youths in different fields and the society has changed the general view about youth from slum areas and now realizes that the youth can be of big benefit in the society given the chance and the support they need. It is time people stopped underrating the youth and instead gives them a chance and the support they need. For example a Somali activist cautioned  people not only to view Somali youth as being  pirate /terrorist but the habit has grown stronger because the society has neglected the young Somali youth and that the world views them as just a spoiled and unfit society.

I pass a vote of thanks to UN-Habitat and partners/stakeholders who have made this programme possible. It is high time that the society should stop viewing youth from slums as incapable but instead give them a chance and support their needs.”

Joshua O. Opiyo

Joshua O. Opiyo

“As is widely known, the youth empowerment programme was started when UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Kibera slums in Nairobi in 2007. After seeing the living conditions of the youth in Kibera, he felt that they needed to be empowered through vocational skills, he thus donated around 100,000 US dollars, which has seen over two hundred youths taking different vocation courses. This money was increased with a donation by UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka to allow more young people form slums around Nairobi to get training in construction skills.

I personally take this opportunity to thank Mr. Ki-Moon, Mrs. Tibaijuka and the entire staff of UN-HABITAT for having worked day and night to make sure that the programme of empowering the youth succeeded.
 I was among the first lucky youths to be selected for training in Habitat Block Production which we did for about 4 months, the training itself changed my life from an idler in the community to a young skilled youth who can take care of himself, and be counted where the responsible young people are.

The training itself was not easy due to the unpredictable climate we were working under but with determination and ambition to excel in life, we endured all those.
I then again thank the co-ordination team within the UN-HABITAT Partners and Youth Section for there tireless work and bringing youths together.
 Long live UN-Habitat. ”

Millicent Auma Otieno.

Millicent Auma Otieno.

“When I was recruited to join the ICT training, I did not know how to operate computers. After the training I started using my IT skills in networking and finding business partners that I can work with to start a business enterprise from the business idea that I got from the training.
From the entrepreneurship training I have received from the Youth Empowerment Programme, I have been able to market my skills and currently have partnered with Matibabu medical centre to bring quality affordable medical services to my community.
Through communication and business skills that we were trained in I have been able to also convince my group partners to diversify our services, hence we have also registered a micro-finance called Tunaweza Company limited of which we intend to create a revolving loan fund to empower the youth on how to save and borrow finances for their own development.
Even more important for me, from the Youth Empowerment Programme training my group has been able to register itself, plan training programmes and also monitor and coach other groups on how to choose the right services and programmes that can fit their business needs.”

Mohammed Nassur.

Mohammed Nassur

“UN-HABITAT has played an important role in tapping and nuturing the hidden talents in youths from different parts of the informal settlements in Kibera, Athi River (Mavoko), Thika, Githogoro and from groups such as the Kilimanjaro. The youth empowerment programme will not only benefit the youths trained by UN-Habitat in the collaboration with other stakeholders/partners but with the sharing of the knowledge gained with other youths in the informal settlement, thus thousands if not hundreds will also benefit from the same.
To me this is the easiest way of alleviating poverty among urban youths in Kenya and the world at large. Thumbs up for Ban Ki-Moon the Secretary-General of the UN for the precedence that he has set for other world leaders to follow with his contribution of 100,000 us dollars. I strongly appreciate the efforts of Mama Anna Tibaijuka the Executive Director UN Habitat and her entire team for spearheading the Youth Empowerment Programme in Kenya in a very positive direction. If twenty five youths trained in habitat block production and basic building construction can build a world class youth training centre (Moonbeam Youth Training Centre), am sure one million youths trained in different fields will do wonders and we will get rid of slums worldwide.
 Finally I would like to urge my fellow youth to make good use of the word “GHETTO” another name which simply means “Get Higher Education To Teach Others”. By doing so, we would all be sailing in the same boat and walking on the same street of informed and empowered society. BRAVO UN BRAVO HABITAT.”
Kibera youth (Habitat  block)

Rajab Weleseme

“I am Rajab Weleseme and I am so glad to be among the beneficiaries of this program, because it has uplifted my standard of living.
I come from a poor family and never had the opportunity to enroll in any institution. I had no skills before but UN Habitat gave me the opportunity and now I have skills in brick laying and block laying under the construction department.”
Rajab Mohamed Weleseme.

Elizabeth Soila, Old Mlolongo United Action self help group

Elizabeth Soila
Old Mlolongo United Action self help group

I am Elizabeth Soila and I joined the Youth Empowerment Program early last year in 2008 for training in block making and construction. The training on business and organization development is changing my life especially because I had already gotten the skills on block making and basic construction skills. I can now market my blocks since I have done a lot in business.

        1. I have learnt on how to plan my business.
        2. How to get business ideas.
        3. Things to consider when you want to start a business.
        4. Rules of business and many others.

I am also in a cooperative and since I joined the cooperative I didn’t understand it, but now am well equipped from the workshop I have attended this week at UN-Habitat. I have also learned a lot about the policies and work of the UN Habitat. I will share this with my group mates and work to improve our standards of living.
I appreciate everything. Thank you so much UN Habitat.”

Mildred Amwayi, Kibera

Mildred Amwayi, Kibera

“I am very grateful to UN-Habitat the way my life has changed after getting a privilege of attending ICT classes. Actually ICT made a step in my life and at the moment I have skills on how to use computers as part of an office team. After that I was taught on how I can type on Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. I am so grateful because in the current world, those are the key things that are considered in many institutions of work.
 I feel honoured when I announce that previously I had been disqualified for lack of computer skills in many vacancies I had applied for like in a pharmacy, cyber café and many institutions. But after getting these skills, now my life has really changed because at the moment I assist in a cyber café though it is not  permanent but I believe as time goes, with my skill I am going to own my own business. From it I am going to unleash my potential to other people.
 I want to thank UN-Habitat for giving me this privilege and also caring for my life during that period, without forgetting the facilitator from DOT. May UN-Habitat continue with the same and may God enlarge your territories. Thanks.”  

Douglas Namale, IT graduate

Douglas Namale, IT graduate

 “I had a dream of becoming a graphics designer but I could not make it due to financial constraints, until the UN Habitat Youth Empowerment Program came up with IT training that has made my dream come true.
 The training has helped me realize my dream since I am currently a designer with “Kibera Journal” a local monthly newspaper produced by the people in Kibera.
With the IT training coupled with leadership and entrepreneurship training I am armed with skills that have shaped my destiny, thanks to UN-Secretary General, UN-Habitat Executive Director and the Youth Empowerment Programme.”

Micheal K. Wanjohi, Soweto Youth Group, Kibera.

Micheal K. Wanjohi
Soweto Youth Group, Kibera.

“The purpose of the youth programme started in January 2007 is to empower the youth with skills so that they can employ themselves or even get jobs. Currently a lot of youth have been trained in different fields like electrical, block making, basic construction, and plumbing among others. I was among the twenty six youth who graduated in March 2009 after being trained in block making and basic construction.
We were taught a number of things which I believe will help me in my entire life. Among the things we were taught were measuring, excavation, batching, curing, things to consider at the site, safety prevention and after cleaning.
Although we faced a number of challenges during the training like working in a harsh environment, lack of protective gears, no drinking water, I was able to learn how to deal with these challenges and the benefit I got was skills which I would never have.
Since the training I have been able to get work in producing blocks in Mavoko, trained ten youth in Kibera in block making and basic construction. With the skills I have got in the training on business and organization development training I am now prepared to start a block production company with my colleagues.
I thank the Executive Director UN Habitat Anna Tibaijuka and UN Habitat staff for coming up with youth empowerment programme.”

Julius Ayoma. Kiibera community development agenda(KCODA)

Julius Ayoma. Kiibera community development agenda(KCODA)

“Since the time I was trained, I have been able to use power point presentation when I facilitate in workshops both in my organization and elsewhere on project planning and management, peace building, conflict management and reconciliation, training the youth on point and electronic media and governance programs in my organization. As a Program Coordinator in my organization (KCODA) I am able to now enter financial reports in my laptop on an excel sheet as well as doing the balancing of the organizational expenditures, checkbooks and bank withdrawals, it has made it easier for me to track the cash flow and  quick audit.

The ICT training has also enabled me develop a website for my organization with less assistance from those who do web designing and now my organization website will be hosted next week whereby the organization will be paying $45 per year, this was possible when I went to Google search and stumbled on the website which offers cheaper hosting fees. I have enhanced my internet usage to the point that I’m becoming addicted to the computer. I am able to go into the face book, draw tables and create folders and send emails to many people at the same time.

With ICT training skills I am developing a business proposal  to come up with a digital village centre in our village after seeing the opportunity that exists and this proposal I will be submitting to the ministry of information and communication, ICT Department for support.

The Youth Empowerment Programme also gave me an opportunity by sponsoring my trip to share best practices and experiences for youth empowerment during UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Youth Forum in Nanjing last year. This gave me gave me a life time experience to meet with youths from other parts of the world and also helped me reach a place that I had never expected to go to. I also represented Kibera youths through the Construction Brigade Society (CBS). I have managed to buy a laptop to enhance my computer skills.

As a group, under Construction Brigade Society in Kibera, we have managed to register a construction company to allow the youths in Kibera bid in the building and construction company business after going through a lot of training and mentoring programmes under the Youth Government Programme.

My thanks go to U.N General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, Executive Director U.N Habitat Ms Anna Tibaijuka, Youth and Partners section Anantha Krishna, Ms Hawa Diallo for their commitment to see Youth Empowerment Programme succeed.”

Duncan Aogo

Duncan Aogo

I personally give thanks to U.N Habitat for their program of Youth Empowerment Program because before I joined the Youth Empowerment Programme I had no idea what to do. I personally give thanks neighbours and effectively deal with conflicts within our group.
I really thank UN-Habitat and the organizers Madam Hawa Diallo and the youth coordinators Christbell and Linus. May God bless them.”


Jimiya Nasaro Hamis, Bunker Youth Group, Kibera

Jimiya Nasaro Hamis,
Bunker Youth Group, Kibera

“Before joining the IT course I was in a youth group doing voluntary service in my community. I was among those selected in the second lot to be trained. I completely knew nothing about the computer world but now I am so proud that I can use the computer, access the internet without difficulties and do power point presentations. I am currently able to write my own curriculum vitae compared to the past where I relied on my friends. I have also learnt about business skills and can now start and manage my own business and enter my financial data on excel. I appreciate UN Habitat and Youth Empowerment Programme for empowering us with skills.

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