Youth in line to register for National Identity Cards in Kwale. Photo credit: RTI/K-YES
Youth in line to register for National Identity Cards in Kwale. Photo credit: RTI/K-YES

Socio-economic conditions are a key root cause in either heightening or alleviating violent extremism among youth. These conditions include unemployment, poverty, social and economic inequalities, dissatisfaction, and poor leadership. 

The K-YES Program’s engagement in an abundance of activities helps counter youth involvement in violent extremism. In Kwale County for instance, the program is conducting sensitization forums with youth to caution them against the vice. 

The forums include trainings on responsible leadership; life skills, and mobilization to register and acquire National Identity Cards. 

The Program is partnering with other stake holders in the county including youth leaders from the County Bunge Forum ( a USAID supported youth leadership network) the county government, religious leaders, and potential employers to achieve the objective. 

In October 2018, for instance, the Program partnered with the county government to conduct a youth summit that attracted over 2,000 young people who discussed various issues affecting them including violent extremism. 

Overall program interventions are helping to prevent the youth from radicalization, with nearly 4,000 receiving new or improved jobs. 

The mobilization of acquiring Identity Cards has led to over 25,000 young people gaining the identification document that is mandatory for them to access financial services. 

K-YES staff leads a training on life skills. Photo Credit: RTI/K-YES
K-YES staff leads a training on life skills. Photo Credit: RTI/K-YES

The entire community in the region is also proud to own the process with mobile centers being established in various places including remote areas of the county. Chiefs and their assistants frequent the venues to support the process. The youth are also volunteering clerical services which leads many to see that relief is in sight.

‘It’s a true relief,” notes Hamisi Kionzi, one of the campaign beneficiaries. “Thanks to the outreach, I have managed to register for the ID”. 

The proportion of youth to the overall population is among the highest globally at 20 percent. Yet the young people are facing high rates of unemployment that poses the deadly risk of becoming easy prey for radicalization. 

K-YES is happy to play a role in turning the youth from the devastating consequences that can come about due to unemployment and economic disparities.
 

 

Contact: Sarah Mattingly: smattingly@rti.org

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