On November 11, 2017, Ogiek youth converged at a Nakuru hotel to deliberate on challenges facing them in accessing socio-economic resources.
Ogiek Peoples Development Program (OPDP) facilitated the forum assembling the 45 youth from Nakuru, Kericho, Narok, Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties. The discussions were guided by the theme ‘Breaking barriers, Exploring Opportunities,’ and the youth identified various obstacles including high levels of poverty among Ogiek households, lack of training on relevant skills and social networks to employment placements.
The youth identified understanding their Constitutional rights and seeking a fair share of allocation of bursaries from Constituency Development Fund(CDF) and loans from Youth Enterprise Development Fund as means of achieving equitable benefits from available social and economic resources.
“Get to know your rights,
look for opportunities and
create linkages with political,
religious and business
leaders and organizations,” said
Clarkson Leswage, one
of the youth in attendance from
Nessuit, Nakuru County.
The youth present were in different levels of education ranging from high school leavers, diploma and degree holders.Only one had a postgraduate degree.
During the forum OPDP’s Executive Director Daniel Kobei urged the youth to be more creative and aggressive in creating alternative employment through income generating projects instead of being perpetual job seekers.
Mr Kobei, advised them to be visionary and more resilient when starting out any profit-oriented activity as it takes effort and patience to succeed.
He said the Ogiek youth are crucial to raising the community’s visibility in development spheres through leading advocacy campaigns, engaging in governance and political leadership and showcasing its cultural identity.
Mr Kobei has championed for the rights of the Ogiek for more than 16 years and has
striking achievements to his name among them; leading the community in reclaiming
their land-related rights at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. A fight
that they won.
He also heads OPDP which is presently steering Indigenous Peoples issues in Africa under International Land Coalition-Africa (ILC-Africa).
He informed the youth of the legislative provisions supporting their rightful access to ‘productive resources and equal opportunities in employment, administration of justice and socio-economic development.’
“Article 27 of the Constitution guarantees each person equal and fair treatment and therefore you should not be treated as a lesser person, “Mr Kobei told the youth.
Mr Zachary Kariuki, a Nakuru based entrepreneur enlightened the youth on how to start a successful business enterprise.
He challenged them to shape their mindset towards being employers instead of employees.
“You must change your
attitude and stop thinking
about looking for
employment. Start with the
resources you have and
slowly by slowly you will
grow and become an
employer,” he advised.
Mr Kariuki encouraged the youth to seek for mentorship and guidance from successful entrepreneurs and experts to be able to run profiting enterprises.
Meanwhile, youthful Senator Victor Prengei, who hails from Ogiek community emboldened his fellows to prioritize education as it would pave way for better employment opportunities.
However, he advised them to take advantage of the government’s affirmative policies such as preferential procurement opportunities similarly targeting the youth.
“You need to organize yourselves into groups and decide on what you want to do before you can apply for Uwezo Fund or Youth Enterprise Fund,” he told the youth.
Mr Prengei added that “The government
has also made it possible for
youth to access tenders
through the preferential law
on procurement. It is your
responsibility to be active in
sourcing for information.”